vlomo09 day 10

in case you haven’t seen, or if you only get these videos via email or RSS, the last few days’ videos have been posted on 12seconds.tv rather than as individual posts on Twittervlog.

you can see them in the little player at the top right of the Twittervlog site, or by clicking here to see them on my channel at 12seconds.tv

no doubt more vlomo videos will be posted on 12seconds this month – it’s a manageable way to meet the challenge of posting every day, although I don’t just post any old clips there. Even a 12 second moment can tell some kind of story – and I try to get two or three different elements in each one.

Formats available: MPEG4 Video (.mp4)

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Shot late at night on Nov 1st, Day of the Dead, in my father in law’s rambling old country house.

As I mentioned yesterday, I and a bunch of other people are playing a big game of video consequences this month. Each day, someone different makes a 90 second video, inspired in some way by the previous day’s piece.

Adrian Miles kicked it off yesterday with Like A Match, a love poem in audio, looping over a video of a match being struck, which changes when you move your mouse over the video.

The rules are that your video has to be 90 seconds or less, and inspired in any way (you don’t have to explain how) by the previous day’s video.

While I was pondering my response late last night, and filming the log fire we were gathered around, I caught this moment, which I decided to share as it is.

Then I went up to bed, in the haunted room. At 3am, Kate and I lay wide awake in the pitch black. Old country houses are dark. Every few minutes there was a loud and unexplained bang of wood on wood from somewhere within the room. Turning on the light would have woken the baby, so we spent a rigid hour with Kate asking me to whisper reassurances in her ear about the lack of scientific evidence for ghosts. Neither of us wanted to admit to the other how freaked out we were – Kate had already been in bed when I shot this video, and I didn’t want to frighten her by telling her what I’d just heard. Eventually, she quietly got up, turned on the light in the hallway, left the door open a little, and the noises stopped.

Turns out that Kate had had the same conversation with her stepmother yesterday evening about ‘the flamingo room’ – only she had the details, which for obvious reasons aren’t widely available, but which do add an eerie extra level of synchronicity to this video. If you want to know, the code is here, you’ll just have to View the Fire again, and think “Fox” and “Source”

(Update: Dennis’s response to my video is here)

iPhone Video / Podcast mp4 file

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Immigrant Video Diary – Episode 2: “(Nothing But) Flowers”

One of the things that excited Kate most about coming here was the idea of learning to garden, to have her own vegetable patch.

The topsoil here isn't so good, and would need more added – and it was important to Katie that she should do it all herself. And she was 7 months pregnant, so didn't feel much like digging and turning a big bed. So she built a raised bed.

She used the shipping boxes from our move as a base (they'll rot away), then covered that with compost and cut grass left by the previous owners of our house.

Then she bought organic soil and manure in big plastic bags – not the greenest solution – but hey, you gotta start somewhere.

Turns out she's got green fingers.

The RyanIsHungry.com video that Katie mentions is here:

“This was a discount store,
Now it’s turned into a cornfield”

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Country Colours & Remix

Shot, edited and sent with Nokia N93.

This was our last weekend in the English countryside before we emigrate. I wanted to capture and cut together some quiet little moments to take with me on my phone as a reminder.

But after it was done, I thought it could do with a bit of tightening to improve it. Maybe cut a few seconds here and there. So I opened up my phone and started fiddling. You know when you’re doodling or sketching, and you make something you’re vaguely pleased with, but then you just have to add one more line… and then another… and then another…?

Oh – and my last week in England is also the fourth annual Videoblogging Week. So I’ll be churning out my egocentric mobile rubbish every day this week! Hurray! To join in, just make a video every day this week and tag each video ‘videobloggingweek2008’ and post a link at: http://videobloggingweek2008.blogspot.com/

Original MP4 file

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Kate’s first videoblog post

I handed the camera to Kate today. We were in Burnham Beeches, just outside London (map/satphoto). The colours are incredible this year. Another thing I’ll miss in evergreen Vancouver Island.

I was trying to persuade her to sing her song The Falling of the Leaves (a Yeats poem she set to music – you can hear it on her Myspace page) so that I could use it as a soundtrack for the other moments I shot all around the woods. But this is better.

I think I’m going to give her the camera more often.

Alternative file types:
Quicktime / Flash (click to play if player above doesn’t work)

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Amy in Wonderland – silent moving snapshot



I said it before, I’ll say it again. I hate technology. I’m thinking of going Amish.

I’ve tried to upload this twice yesterday/today.

I’ve been away from the internet this weekend. Shocking, but true. Just testing out the Amish thing.

Anyway, here it is. I shot it in Canada in August, in the woods along Long Beach on Vancouver Island (map/satphoto). I usually shoot a lot of still photos on holiday. This time, I shot a lot of moving snapshots, only one or two of which I’ve published so far. Basically, I just experimented with keeping the camera still and shooting a movie instead of a still. Slightly different compositions from what I’d choose for photos, but you see what I mean. I was frequently surprised by what would unfold within the frame in the minute or so I kept the camera running – plus you get the extra dimensions of moving light, and sound (though not here). Futuristic holiday snaps.

This isn’t a Lumiere, strictly speaking, because it’s not under 60 seconds long, but I’ve muted it anyway because (in this case) I wanted to leave space for you to imagine the sound of a forest on the edge of the Pacific, and to imagine what’s being said and thought.

You can re-read Alice’s encounter with a mushroom here:

Alternative video files:
Quicktime / Flash

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This is Red Five; I’m going in!

This is one of the things I’m going to miss most about England when I go to Canada.

I shot this on Monday in Devon, on the way back from Kate’s dad’s cottage to the station in the nearest town. 20 minutes of death star taxi adrenaline. I was wondering what I should do with it until I saw Gogen’s NaVloPoMo Day 7 video of his drive back home through his town at night, set to music. Then I realised I’d secretly known all along what to do with it. NaVloPoMo is full of people responding to and being inspired by other people’s videos. Organic video conversations. I love it.

And I love how – when cutting quickly to music – you can find and take advantage of chance interactions between image and soundtrack.

It feels good to finally add the score for real, since when I’m actually driving at high speed along single lane country roads, this is *always* what I’m singing to myself in my head. And if I’m driving and there’s nobody else in the car, maybe perhaps sometimes I might even possibly have been known to sing it out loud. Maybe even quite loud. Especially the bit that kicks in after he turns off the tracking computer. It’s like being 11 again!

Alternative video formats:
/ Flash (click if above video doesn’t play)

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Trip on the ferry to Dartmouth

Just some moments from a trip down the river yesterday.

It’s a funny thing – I probably wouldn’t post this if it weren’t for NaVloPoMo. Because it’s aspiring to be something it’s not.

I wanted to do NaVloPoMo because I thought it’d make me feel more comfortable posting just *anything* without judging it too much. I wonder whether it’s having the opposite effect. Seeing all the amazing things other people are posting has made me dissatisfied with the kind of stuff I’m doing with this phone.

It’s made me realise that I’ve been getting increasingly frustrated with my mobile phone’s aesthetic limitations. It shoots good *resolution* for a phone but I don’t really like the colours, the contrast, the *character* of the video it makes.

So while it’s great for capturing personal human moments and posting them in the moment, without frills, it’s not so good for taking moving snapshots of *things* that I see and want to photograph. The images just look flat, and dull.

I know that making things on my phone has got me making things and posting more often, which is great. And the aesthetic limitation has stopped me getting too hung up about what I make, which is also great.

But in NaVloPoMo I wanted to post a whole load of different types of films up, and some of them just won’t work with this phone. I want to start playing with a proper camera again.

And the truth is, I haven’t got time to. It’s already causing tension at home, the amount of time I’m spending at my computer for NaVloPoMo – and all I’ve posted are simple single-shot nothingy little snapshots. The time spent cutting the San Francisco film last week and this film today are just *too much*.

So I guess I’m stuck with my phone and its boring image quality. And that’s what I’ve got to work with this month. That’s my challenge. Fight the aspirational demons that tell me that you’re all making more interesting videos than me. Fuck it. Just post stuff. And talk. Create and connect. Kill the artist. 🙂

And yeah, yeah, I know… a bad workman blames his tools…

File types: Quicktime I Flash

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Lumiere: Deliverance

(Lumiere films have no sound, are 60 seconds or less, have a fixed camera position – see http://videoblogging.info/lumiere for more information)

This was shot and cut on my Nokia N93 phone. Not bad, for a phone.

I hate London.
Iím in Devon, staying at my father-in-lawís house on the River Dart.
This is a Lumiere that I shot when I was out in a boat with him earlier this evening. This is him, rowing. I’d love to share with you the sound of the oar, the boat and the water, but you’ll have to imagine it. Apart from anything else, what he was saying is unbroadcastable.

Earlier in the day, we went to Dartmouth on the ferry. I shot 120 clips, and cut them together as a little moving slideshow. But then I forgot my own rules, and cut them in Final Cut Pro instead of something quick & easy like my phone or Quicktime. It didn’t improve the quality of the finished product at all, I don’t think – and I forgot to compress it before I went out for a drunken dinner. So now here I am at 11.45, with the video still stuck compressing and my Day 3 deadline unachievable.

So it’s lucky I shot this Lumiere. In some ways, I prefer it to the video I was going to post.

I’ll post the Dartmouth trip video as soon as it’s done – which will be after midnight – and so maybe I’ll even end up posting 2 videos tomorrow. Or maybe not. There’s no need to show off, is there?

As I finish writing this, it’s 23:58 and the video is just about to finish uploading at Blip. Jesus. 23:59. Copied and pasted. Here we go.

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