(Orginally published July 18, 2014)
“You know how creative people are, we have to try everything until we find our niche,” so says Katherine in Brushstrokes of a Gadfly.
It appears she may be correct, writers like yours truly also have the need to try everything else in the creative sphere, including making a film. For years kids have been able to make short videos and post them online easy peasy, so after an age of eyeing that intimidating programme on my computer, ‘Windows Movie Maker’, I figured it was finally time to give it a shot. Hey, if everyone can plonk a video on YouTube these days, it should be fairly simple to do, right?
Oh my, has my appreciation for filmmakers increased one million percent, especially for animation teams. How they can literally piece a picture frame by frame and have it come out edited to perfection, completely timed with the music and special effects, or vice versa has my mind boggled, not to mention working with so many people and in the end come out with a polished piece of art no matter what the genre. To think of all the work and team effort it takes to create a movie, not to mention the time involved for the few hours of entertainment we receive!
Here I am with my simple ‘Movie Maker’ programme, trying to create my little presentation with various pictures with special effects, not to mention have them all synchronise perfectly with one of my favourite pieces of music, and I’m yelling like a madwoman at the screen and everybody around me for two weeks. Of course, I did have a major learning curve to take into account considering I have never done this before, and although I was tempted to chuck the computer at the wall on a number of occasions, I’m happy to say Mission Accomplished! Er, almost ... *screech of brakes*
Director's Cut, Take Two! Mission not quite accomplished...
As a novice film-maker I have just discovered the minefield of copyright audio issues--BAM! I would step right into a bomb! In other words, expect trouble on YouTube if you are using a soundtrack that's not in the public domain. Your video will be posted, just not made visible to three quarters of the world. After all my hard work, nobody could actully view the thing. Talk about Indie films and distribution issues. Nothing for it, off I Googled, looking for a public domain recording of the same orchestral piece and...woo hoo! Success! I happened to find one. All right, back to the editor's workroom to set my video to the new soundtrack.
(Apologies to those who couldn't view it due to these technical difficulties.) Finally...
I have managed to create my first YouTube video and keep my sanity intact. The funny part is, my new recording was made before a live audience, so I have some additional 'sound effects' I didn't expect, but manage to work. (Look out for the scene with the skull, someone tends to splutter at the right moment, I didn't plan that one....)
Okay, maybe my humble video is not Hollywood material, and the closest I will ever come to giving an Oscar speech is in my dreams, but I present the final result to you below. I only ask the critics in the house to be kind, this is my first film endeavour after all. Please be patient, it's not an action film, just one of those 'Don't Worry be Happy' easy-going pieces. Best viewed in highest resolution possible, 360 or 480 on the gear / settings icon. Yes, it takes a little longer to load on that setting, but the picture is much better. Enjoy!
Follow the link: Brushtrokes: The Video
(Hollywood Sign Photo by Namiwoo, July 2013)