10 Legendary Lessons on Video Chronicling a Legendary Pool

 

 

This summer has been a whopper! You all know that after having worked Pool Construction for 3 years while doing Video Marketing part time, I made the leap to video full time January 1 of this year.

Somehow this summer I ended up marrying the two and have been chronicling the making of a Legendary Escape these last 4 months. (For info on what a Legendary Escape is, click here)

Each day, my cameras, tripods, mics and I would commute or carpool the 1 1/2 hours to this Legendary site and capture the magic unfolding while, yes, helping out as needed.

The goal was and is to make a video series on just who and what Legendary Escapes is and how it operates.

What an undertaking! What a blessing to be a part of it.

While filming is almost done, I still have 10 Terabytes of data to process and edit. (For an understanding of what that is, a lot of today’s phones hold 16-32 GB. 1 Terabyte is 1,000 GB.)

What then have I learned and what can you learn from it?

If you were looking to chronicle something of what you do, here are 10 of my suggestions:

1.  Have a clear idea of what you want to end up with. Like anything, planning with the end in mind is what assures finishing with the end in mind! Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to accomplish? What is the purpose of this video? This will help you guide your shots and the equipment you buy. If you want to record an hour seminar, don’t buy a camera with a 10 minute limit! If you want to teach people to do something as your end goal – don’t forget to speak through what you’re doing or get close ups especially of the confusing parts. Think, “if I were watching a video someone else did having the same goal I do, what would I expect to see and hear?” Then film THAT and save your time on shots that’ll never make it into your film. This leads me to #2. ( See why Legendary Escapes wanted a video chronicle and what to expect:

2. Edit BEFORE you edit. I mentioned before, I have TEN TERABYTES. That’s 10,000 GB. So far. I have to go through it all to tell a coherent story. At the beginning, I was filming everything, not sure what exactly to get to accomplish our goal of authentically showcasing  a “Legendary” experience while having a Legendary Escape being made. As I edited it, I realized I didn’t need 10 various shots of X when I only used ONE shot – the best one. If I set up my shot and got ONE, the one I’d use, I’d save myself the time shooting and then LOOKING through all 10. Edit before you shoot- take the time to set up the shot exactly as you want it, or edit before you edit and delete a shot that you took but didn’t work out or KNOW you’ll never use. On that note, if something is happening that you know you won’t include in your chronicle, don’t feel you have an obligation to shoot it. It can be frantic thinking you have to capture EVERY MOMENT. But seriously, you’ll only use a VERY small fraction of what you capture, so maximize what you do by focusing on the good stuff.

3. Saving time while shooting – if you’re getting mostly okay shots and awesome shots (but not god awful ones- I hope you deleted those), save yourself even more time by taking notes. I created a record sheet and each day checked off the list of setup to-dos (to make sure I’d do them) and would write down what I wanted to accomplish and all the things that happened.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

If someone fell, I made a note of who/what/when/where. If I captured something particularly beautiful/cool/fun, I’d write it down. I highlighted the best parts or relevant parts or even an overarching look at the day for easy reference for when I have to go back later and edit 120 days of content.

4. Now I’m going to sort of contradict all that I said above, so bear with me. You know what you want, yes, edit before you film and yes, save time with notes, but also, don’t be afraid to set up a camera on the action… and leave it. For hours.

I’m serious. You will not use 8 hours 59 minutes and 55 seconds of your 9 hours of footage – nor should you give serious consideration to that footage unless inspiration strikes, BUT. The point of this “standby camera” is to capture those five PRICELESS seconds. In our cast, the standby camera has captured a piece of wood hitting me in the face, my dad dumping concrete on his head, my uncle Rick falling off a truck, my cousin stepping in a bucket of water, my sister nearly falling off a waterfall, my aunt ungracefully crossing a barrier, my dog making an awkward move and more. This camera is NOT for watching all 9 hours of every day. It’s to be there in the event that something you think is interesting or noteworthy happens. It also serves as good filler if you didn’t actually get the shot you wanted of something specific for one reason or another. This system has helped me immensely – how often does the funny thing happen WHILE you’re actively filming? This way, you don’t have to feel regret for not having caught it on film – instead, make a note of what and where it is. Be prepared for a lot of hard drive space. (Side note – we also put external microphones on everyone – not to listen to them curse to themselves but to pair the audio of those 5 seconds with the accompanying video if necessary)There was concrete all over his head and back from this

My dog is a klutz
These are just a few of the captured funny moments

5. If you get inspired by something on the spot – a fun spoof, a good short, a story worth telling, yes start shooting it. But also, take a moment to think it through. Watch the skit in your head and shoot all of what you see. It would suck to get back to edit AFTER everything is done and realize you don’t have a crucial shot and all your work was for naught.

6. Of course, all is not necessarily lost just because you don’t have something you had wanted. Say you filmed and DID miss something crucial. Time has passed and you can’t get that moment again. What do you do? It’s time to be creative. Can you shoot a voiceover for missing audio and use the visuals you do have? Can you get a shot that is timeless and LOOKS like it could have been at the same time? Close-ups are great for this! Getting only the thing in question, we don’t focus on all the differences in the background. Can you maybe add a cutaway animation? Can you change the original intent of the video slightly where you don’t need the shot you missed but can use others you did get? The magic is in the pre-production, but with some creativity you can make up a lot of magic later.

7. Be a stickler about your audio. If you don’t know how – LEARN . Learn what equipment to buy and how to monitor audio levels. I’ve made too many mistakes where audio sounded horrible or the mic crapped out and I didn’t know. It sucks when you go back for audio and you realize the mic wasn’t on because the batter had died. Just be diligent. Like anything, there is a workaround, which is to put on subtitles for less than stellar audio, but if possible, the 1 minute inconvenience of checking the audio (before AND after the shot – in case you need to reshoot) is worth the frustration and 10 minutes or more in subtitle writing to only “sort of” fix it. Especially if even YOU have no idea what they’re saying.

See all that red? If you were to listen to it, it would hurt your ears!

8. Every day of filming, push yourself. It’s actually this concept that has led me to a new series I’ll be starting (stay posted, it’ll be the next blog out). I had to ask myself often, “this shot looks okay, but how can I make it stellar?” Out of focus into focus? Up close? Wide angle? Use a drone? Do a slow-mo? Zoom in? Zoom out? Pan? Film a reflection? Etc etc. Of course, we need the standard wide shot to establish what we’re doing but a lot of far away, confusing action shots without much variety is not super interesting, no matter how cool your project or service is. Alternatively, with some cool shots and thought, you can turn a potential boring subject into something neat. Yes, we will still watch that master shoot of you doing something amazing, but thinking a bit harder and doing a bit more camera work can turn an average video into a Legendary one.

This shot is probably not worth filming. I won’t be able to use it. There’s too much movement and even if there wasn’t, we’d get bored quickly. I mean, what is he REALLY doing?

However… these two shots take a little more thinking but they add something cool to the story!

9. Be consistent about storage!! I cannot stress this one enough. Everyday while carpooling, I would transfer the 100-200 GB of data from all the equipment (time lapse cameras, my Rebel, my 70D, the XA10, the XA30, six external microphones, the drone, various phones, the 4K camera and/or the go-pro) into folders with those names under a bigger folder of the date it all was taken. You do NOT want to end a video chronicle having lost footage you THOUGHT you imported then deleted but didn’t, or have 5 days of hodge-podge material that you imported after 5 days of not importing/sorting/deleting. Terabytes of footage is daunting enough. Don’t make it worse by not having it where you can easily find something. It IS annoying to have to transfer byte by byte over and over again, but it will ultimately save you. With the editing I’ve done so far, I’ve been so grateful for the breakdown in conjunction with my notes. Taking this a step further, after importing everything from all equipment, do NOT clear your SD cards until you have copied the full folder of data to a DIFFERENT hard drive. Have backups on backups. Maybe you have one set of data on your computer and one on an external hard drive- that’s fine. But heaven forbid you only had one copy and that hardware crashed… it would be horrible.

10. Pace yourself. Don’t expect that you can create a masterpiece, film said masterpiece, and edit a masterpiece of the original masterpiece in the time it took me to write this sentence. I will admit that I thought I could do just that. I thought I could film, help out on the project, transfer data AND edit all of this consistently AS it was happening. What I joker I was! This turned out to be far too massive a project for one person to do both well and timely. I’m a little ashamed that I’ve had to sacrifice a bit off both ends so I could at least get some content out. Even still, there is so much more to edit and more to learn! If you expect too much out of yourself, you will get frustrated and probably give up. Have realistic expectations, set your goals and set time tables. It’s also okay if you go over time on these – we often vastly underestimate the time something will take. As long as you keep making progress and do honor hardfast deadlines (you told Facebook your video would be out by X date… get it out by X date), you will be right on track to creating your own documentary/reality/show/chronicle of whatever amazing awesome thing you do and life you lead.

As I get closer to done I will release a part 2 article for those interested, in the meantime, check out the episodes we have done of this Legendary Pirate Pool!

For advice for your own video chronicle, you can contact me through email or Facebook.

Stay inspired and keep inspiring. 🙂

 

Katie

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

I’m married! *gasp*

Last Saturday, in a flurry of activity and snow, I was wedded to my boyfriend of 5 years.

I’m married! Eeeek!

It was a wonderful adventure where my husband broke his glasses 30 minutes before showtime and had to tape them up in true nerd fashion (look below to and you can see it), our officiant asked me if I would take Daniel to be my wife, and we all braved frostbite in order to capture some Winter Wonderland photos. (For the record, I was going for “Elven Princess”.)

My mom and my family did amazing work turning a simple Pavillion cabin into a very official and beautiful hall, and I do think I managed to dance with every single person there. Granted it was only, like, 30 people but whatever.

Thanks Mom and Co!

Oh! And we went to the local Frozen Yogurt place and got some yogurt all gusied up. 

On that note, I want to give a big shout out to the magificent and wonderful Sabrina of Sabrina Leigh Studios who took our glorious pictures.

You can’t tell in these pics, but I’m totally wearing purple Converse as my wedding shoes. 😉

We’re too cute. <3

 

I meant to go Live on Facebook and chat with Sabrina, but I did not anticipate how much would be going on! You’d think I would, but there it is. Anywhere, if you’re getting married or having a fun event, hire Sabrina. She was super fun to work with, she’s willing to travel and she does spectacular work. Throwing that out there.

So we had the photography, now I’ll bet you’re wondering if the videographer got video! I already admitted to forgetting to go live, but yup. I took videos at my own wedding. I did not hire a videographer, not for this one but Daniel and I are having a big wedding celebration bash this summer (costumes required!) and there will be a videographer there.

Perhaps I’ll get around to putting something together with my video, perhaps not (they say the cobbler’s kids go barefoot!), but I wanted to update you all on my new status and let you in on the pictures because I am so so pleased with them!

And that concludes today’s Blogday Thursday!

Stay tuned and Happy Editing!

Katie

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Musings

photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash.com

Our assignment in my weekly Marketing club was to read the first chapter of Mike Dooley’s “Life on Earth”.

For those of you who don’t know, Mike Dooley is the master behind TUT.com and the inspirational Universe notes that we can get daily.

He is New-agey, but also uber positive, and when I read his reminders or in this case his book, I feel reassured.

I just read a passage where he talks of our “amnesia” in this life where we have forgotten how great we are. And we only need to “wake-up”.

“Prior to time and space, you had it all, but it was boring. Then you learned how to pretend you didn’t have it all, while still actually having it all… You just have to “wake up” and the spell will be broken. Even if this doesn’t usually happen until you die, at least it will happen, does happen, for all, in realms where the “amnesia” begins to wear off. No matter what happens in “here,” everyone returns to “grace” (not that you ever really left it) as more than who they were before it all began.” (Mike Dooley, “Life on Earth” page 6)

This made me think, what if this is all true? What if we’ve woken up in this life (were born),  and we had the selective amnesia that makes us forget our dreams? Only in this case, we’ve forgotten that we are mighty beings of love and unity? It’s an interesting thought. And really, it’s a much happier thought to think than some of the depressing theories of the universe and death.

Seeing as no one knows, we might as well choose to believe in something hopeful.

That being said, what is the worst that can happen from you posting that video you tried to make but thought you looked stupid? We are all magnificent grand beings and this life is only dream!

Post the video where you mis-said that silly thing, you are human. I am human. I appreciate your vulnerabilities.

Do the thing you love. Be the person you want to be and know that whatever “mistakes” you may make in this life, they are inconsequential to you living a life of love and connection.

And sometimes, it’s the mistakes you make, the oopsies you do (in social media, marketing, OR real life) that make the connections all the sweeter.

What would you do today if you knew this life was only an experience your spiritual self chose to have?

 

PS. My friend Tom Hoffmeister of Elder Fire Lodges has actually said that his blooper videos get the most interaction!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Too much comfort, too many expectations, too little happiness

photo-1442512595331-e89e73853f31

I find that I am the most happy when my joys are small, and somewhat infrequent. That sounds strange, doesn’t it? In this age of abundance to excess, why skimp if we don’t have to? Let’s take advantage of the cornucopia of desire fillers, we think. But what start out as desire fillers become desire fuelers.

Have you ever noticed that you buy an expensive toy (a car, new phone, new tv) etc, and while you are excited and giddy at first, the happiness flatlines? You’re on to the next purchase, next toy.  We become accustomed to our surroundings. We acclimate. We adapt. Science shows that our happiness returns to wherever it was before the toy, before the change. We see this quite profoundly in those who get a windfall, such as winning the lottery.

Whatever the change, We forget about it. We take it for granted. What once brought us joy is now our entry point, something we come to expect, when it’s there, we’re not necessarily happy, we don’t notice it.  But here’s the kicker, when it’s gone, we get upset.

I was on the job one day, and had to do something that didn’t allow me to listen to my audiobook. In my head, I started grumbling… AS IF, it was my RIGHT to listen to my audiobook on the job. My RIGHT. I DESERVED it. And it’s lack caused me unhappiness. But I didn’t and don’t deserve it; it’s a privilege, something I obviously started taking for granted. And this at first, was a thing to be thankful for,f became something that was owed to me. And it’s lack was unhappiness whereas its existence was expected.

I purposefully DON’T listen to my audiobook all the time. I restrict my comforts in order to let them keep the joy and help me lose the sense of suffering. I don’t listen to my favorite songs all the time either, so I can keep each listen special instead of thinking I need music to function. Food. I know things have gotten out of hand when buying frappucinos from Starbucks or Blizzards from DQ or any number of things feel commonplace and not like I’m getting a small treat. We know that is dangerous because it leads to weight gain and health problems. But beyond, it leads to devaluing these delights. And EXPECTING them not only to be happy, but to start to feel anything at all.

In psychology, with drug addicts, it’s called habituation and in that, more of the drug is needed for a standard state, even MORE for a positive one. What first made you high is now the requirement to feeling normal. We are our own drug addicts.

Do you find yourself miffed if you’re used to AC and somewhere does not have it? How about if you’re not able to watch your tv show when you thought you could? When the fast food restaurant is out of what you wanted? Using AC/watching your show/ or eating a Big Mac might not be situations where you notice joy, it’s just something that is – but when it is gone, it is something to be remarked on.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t enjoy what this life has, we should! It’s just important to remember that all of these things, we don’t DESERVE. They are pleasures that should be remembered as such. You don’t have to cut back. If you want to, it does help.  But what also might help is to remember to be grateful in every little moment because there is always something to feel gratitude for. Feeing the lack of something is the perfect time to turn your attention to how blessed you were when you had it, and what you are blessed to have right now. Not to bemoan, but to smile. Recognize your expectations, and do away with them, or at least be aware of the discord in how you think the world should be, and how it is.

I get asked often, how I can be so happy, so nearly all of the time. It’s in this. Either I keep my joys small and prized, and/or I remember to be thankful for every moment, recognizing that pain doesn’t need to lead to suffering. Eliminate deserve, expect and fair from your dictionary, and from your mind. Fill all those holes with gratitude and you will be happy too.

Have a marvelous day, everyone.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Sometimes we have to fall, to fly

DCIM100GOPROG0165392.
Skydiving for Realz

Last Saturday, I checked it off the bucket list.

The Thursday before, I was writing in my journal, musing about my upcoming decision. While skydiving is fairly safe, 1 in 100,000 don’t make it, and those are WAAAAY higher odds than winning the lottery.

 

Thinking

“I want to be at peace with my choice. Yes, if I forgo it, I’m safer. But at what cost? Letting the fear win is NOT the answer.

This experience, skydiving, is symbolic. Will I fly, or fall? Will I let my fear consume me and back down?

I’ve been living in fear. Not all the time, not dramatically. But it’s there. The fear of failure, the fear of shame, of guilt, the fear of not being good enough.

It’s no way to live.

To live, truly live, is to be afraid, and push on. It’s barreling through the fears that serve no purpose and becoming experienced in rejection and failure, sheltered by your own strength to be able to continue on.

I’m scared. Of course I am. We don’t know what it’s like. Dying. Or what is after, yet we all must do it. If there was a time for dying, could it be any more fitting for me to go while skydiving? While we may agree that going quietly in bed is best, going out while living, really living, is… beautiful.” – Thursday June 23 2016

 

I didn’t know what would happen. Of course, the realistic part of me was telling me I’d be fine. There wouldn’t be a whole industry around it if everyone died while doing it. But still, that small part of me couldn’t help but add “if we survive” to anyone’s plans for us past our Saturday fall. It was a fear of the unknown. A fear of doing something insane, scary, crazy… and failing. Or in this case, falling.

I found that as I thought about it, and worked my head around it, this jump was significant, and symbolized more than just falling out of a plane at 14,000 feet. It was how I’d live my life. Will I not go big at opportunities because I was too afraid of failing? Would I miss out on my chance to fly? Even with really great odds, are we willing to go for it?

 

Falling

“Sam brought me to the opening.

It wasn’t what I’d thought it would be. I didn’t get lifetimes to consider my actions. I didn’t get to examine the wing, the sky, or how dangerously far from the earth we were. Standing on the step outside, feeling the icy cool breeze despite being in the heat of summer, I vaguely realized that Sam was rocking, and the 3rd rock was our cue to fall.

Holy s$$t.

And we fell.” – Monday June 27 2016

 

And we fell. Are you taking the metaphorical “fall” in your life? Are you trusting in your abilities, trusting in your odds, trusting in your acceptance of failing and re-doing enough to go for it, and survive? They say that “If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.” But most other activities in life, even those we consider risky, do not have such an expiration rate for failing. MOST things we do or actions we could take DON’T end in death, and yet we are scared of them all the same.

Why? Why do we let these fears control us? Why not put our minds to the wind, breathe the brisk air and and devilishly face failure straight up while trusting that we’ll be okay?

Sometimes we have to fall, to fly.

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Top 5 Reasons I love my Apple Watch

This photo was taken by "Crew" on unsplash.com https://unsplash.com/photos/rCOWMC8qf8A
This photo was taken by “Crew” on unsplash.com

It’s coming up on a year since I first took the leap and bought myself the Apple Watch. Albeit, I bought the cheapest model, but it has worked wonderfully for me, integrating into my life so well that sometimes, just sometimes, I forget how amazing and magical it is. I try not to let my wonder leave for too long though, and I always seem to be discovering new reasons to love my Apple Watch. I’d like to share with you just 5, (although my list could be ostensibly bigger).

1. The layout is really customizable

Force press your screen and up comes a lovely menu offering delicious choices as to the look and feel of your watch face. Scroll left to right through your options, and click “Customize” under certain ones to change aspects to fit your needs and desires. From changing backgrounds, to colors, to widgets, to widget locations, you really can have it all.

This is my favorite layout

I use this layout because I like seeing the date, time, temperature, battery level and my activity features. But I actually personalized this one; it didn’t come as is on the watch. I was able to change the color of the text and put those widgets on. How cool is that???

You can have a photo background!

If I didn’t like the features in the first photo so much, I’d make a photo background. I mean, how cute would it be to look at your watch and see your loved ones faces?

If you click the moon in the corner, the earth leaves for the moon

This is only one of many standard faces you can have. There is also a a time-lapse ( you can choose from Mack Lake, New York, Hong Kong, London, Paris, or Shang-hai) a motion face (choose from flowers, butterflies or jellyfish), a standard analog watch face, big text and more. If you like changing your screens around, you can click the “Add new” and create a host of faces you’d like to switch between.

You’re basically serving the Many-Faced-God. ( 😉 – Game of Thrones, for any who don’t know).

Add your favorite customized faces with this one

2. Ping your phone

Maybe it’s just me. It’s probably just me. I lose my phone. A lot. Sometimes it’s not really lost, but it’s not really found either. I leave it in my purse, or I put it on the book shelf, maybe it’s in the bedroom or maybe it’s on the charger. I don’t know, usually. And if I don’t want to search the whole place looking for where I’ve placed it today or make my fiancé call it hundreds of times, I use the freakin’ nifty feature on my watch.

Lots of fun buttons!

(Pull up from the bottom of the screen)

Bottom left, the phone that looks like it’s ringing? It is! “Ping” your phone and if you are on a connected network, your phone will make noise, alerting you from where it can be rescued. If it doesn’t “ping” because it’s not connected? Well, it’s either dead or you left it somewhere out of range – which is helpful information. If I get in the car and don’t know if I grabbed my phone or not, I’ll check to see that my phone and watch are connected, and if so, I know I’m good! A look at the wrist is so much nicer than a dig through the purse. Don’t know about you, but my bags end up like Mary Poppins’s.

3. Move your way to happiness

Of course I forgot I could take screenshots of my watch…

I’m in constant competition with myself. These 3 rings (located top left in the picture) have got me hooked! The red ring is for calories burned, green for exercise in minutes and the blue is if you’ve at least stood and moved around every hour. This lovely piece of technology pings at me when I’ve been sitting too long at my computer, tracks my runs as well as activities about my day. If it’s near the end of the day and I’m close to my calorie goal, you’re darn tooting I’m going to do a few jumping jacks to hit it. I’ve got stats to think about! And awards to win! Apple was smart in instituting this feature; it hacks into our competitive desires and gets us up and moving. I love getting my notifications throughout the day that I’ve hit my activity goals. Makes me feel less like a sloth.

4. Peek at your notifications

Aw. No one likes me yet, today.

I work in concrete. And my hands get gross. It’s not always feasible to check my phone to see if a text sent is important or not. However, when a text comes in, it makes a ‘ding’ on my watch, and without me needing to press anything, shows me what the text (or Facebook notification or email if I chose, etc etc) says. If it’s important, I respond, if not, I can wait until an appropriate moment. So nice! If you pull down the screen (when your hands are clean), you can see all of your notifications that you haven’t responded to, and take action on the watch (with pre-picked responses, or there is a talk-to-text feature).

5. It also does everything a digital watch does!

When you click “Timer” it looks like this…

 

but force click and up comes options in true Apple style!

Do you remember in “Spy Kids 2”, when the spies get watches that do everything but tell time? Not the Apple Watch! I have always loved using the features on my old digital watches and I still use the capabilities on my handy dandy newish technology. For reference, it’s really nice to use the timer for your laundry, or for how long you decided you were going to read or work on a project. The stopwatch is great for workouts you can’t log in the Activity app, or to test yourself with your time on something. Alarms for everything (and you get more than 1 or 2!) and of course, the time and date. Sure, your phone can do this stuff, but when it’s on your wrist, practically attached to your body, it’s more accessible.

 

I could go on! And maybe I will in another post. Still, every day I am reminded how blessed I am to live in this era with such amazing technology (BEST part about the Apple watch? You feel like a spy!!!) and even more blessed that it is affordable. If you have a chance to play with one of the watches, definitely take it!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube