The Quilt Video


This video is UNLISTED on YouTube. According to them, the only way anyone can see this is from a link or an embed. One day I will have to prove that. If only to myself.

This is a video I shot, edited, and posted to YouTube. There is little explanation that is required for why I made the video. What I will detail here is the thought process and methods I used to produce it.

The Idea

Carol (my unofficial second mother and I being her unofficial adopted third son) was just putting the finishing touches on the quilt. Both she and Carl, the dad, wanted to see Aggie’s reaction to the gift. The idea was floated of setting up a FaceTime session so they (who live on the West Coast) could see us (on the East Coast) open up the gift. But my nerd mind was already in overdrive. In a matter of moments I had already started figuring out how I was going to shot this, how I was going to set it up, and what other media I needed to add to make a final video.

I’m no editor. I’ve dabbled here and there and my experience with NLE systems is incredibly simple. Given enough time, access to Google, and the right footage, I might be able to hammer out a clumsy piece, but at least I know enough to not shot cell phone videos in portrait mode.

After a few days of thinking, I came up with a plan. First, I would record myself setting up the gift giving and then when the actual event was taking place, I would point the camera (while on a tripod) at the both of us to record the actual moment. During the setup, I would add photos and other video previously shot. Easy.


The Recording

Like most people, I HATE the sound of my voice and can NOT stand the look of myself on video. I roll my eyes too much like I’m trying to figure out prime factors and I blink my eyes so much it seems like I’m batting my eyelashes like a flirting schoolgirl or I just discovered a sizable piece of raw granite in my eye. Not to mention I can not form a coherent non-rambling non-run-on sentence to save my life. It would be if Abe Lincoln stood at Gettysburg and said, “Four score and derrr…. seven… like… years ago, uhhh, or fore… fathers? well like they kinda… brought… derrr.” You get the idea. This is why the video of my speaking was edited so heavily. I’m like the George Bush of YouTube. “Can you splice this?”

The plan was read a little blurb I typed out, but since I have no teleprompter and the fact that I have the attention span equal to the lifespan of a Mayfly, I was just gagging words out of my mouth like a man on crack trying to recite the opening of Romeo and Juliet. Two households both alike blahhhhhhhh….

And that was the worst part! Because in order to edit all this sentences together and have them actually make sense, I had to actually WATCH and LISTEN to myself. It is a painful process because the first reaction is all this footage I shot of me speaking towards the camera should be placed right next to The Day the Clown Cried in Jerry Lewis’ vault – never to be seen by anyone one – let it become legend before anyone discovers just how bad it is.

But I endured. Editing in fits and starts and working in a solace of shame. In fact, when I thought it was done I could not (and still won’t) watch the final edit for mistakes or other issues. I. Just. Can’t. I’d rather eat sushi.

Yet what sorta impressed me was I could edit all this video shot in 1080i on my little 13″ MacBook Air (2012) using Final Cut Pro X. To be clear, using FCPX is like removing an alternator with a pair of pliers and a butterknife, but I managed to get through it (with the help of some Google-ing). But this little machine was able to encode the video (while I went to go do something else like read War and Peace) and spit out a decent enough video to post on YouTube.

But HOLY SHIT did that process make me want to through my computer into the wall and have it stick there like some sort of contemporary art! Since Google has decided to force Google+ down people’s throats and since Google owns YouTube, you gotta jump through a ring of flaming herpes to post a video WITHOUT having a Google+ account. Look, I am not on FaceBook and I sure as hell do not want to be on Google+ so why do I have to activate my Google+ account just to post a video to my YouTube channel without going through a process similar to removing one’s spleen with an a sharp rock? I’ve been thinking I should add a post detailing the hell I had to go through just to post this video, but it just makes me sad and fucking angry and who wants to relive that?

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