Wednesday 24th May 2017
Creating the vlogs every day is a challenge.
Firstly there’s videoing the content. It’s about little things like bothering to take that camera into the diner with you as much as the large things such as remembering to video some event going on. The trick is to capture the moment and that’s difficult to do when you have a huge rode mic reminding people that they’re being filmed.
People tend to act to camera. You have their consent but still you want to make sure that you capture those personal moments without capturing those personal details. It can be a subtle difference but thankfully, due to what I’m doing, I don’t have to encounter that much. But still, I’m very aware of the invasion of privacy a camera brings and the ethical conflict (on the most minor level) that can arise.
There’s also the need for those pieces to camera that sets up future clips. You have to remember to film things explaining WHAT it is you are doing or about to do. I find those particularly cringeworthy but the me that later comes to edit the video really appreciates it.
Secondly, there’s editing the content. Once you have all your clips, there’s an amount of time needed to go through them and put them together. Just stringing every clip one after another doesn’t work. There’s too much dead space, there’s no narrative.
Instead, you have to take the clips and try and construct a story. Doing this vlog experiment has certainly opened my eyes to how masterful some visual storytellers are. This is where those cringeworthy pieces to camera come in and are worth their weight in gold.
Editing eats time. It’s time that you don’t have when you are up early to get to a target and then don’t check in until midnight. For me, that’s been the real challenge: to get things done. Because, you can’t just leave it until tomorrow or you’ll run into the issue where you’re eating into time needed for the next vlog.
But there’s a third challenge, and it’s the one that I hate the most. And that’s technology. To do this on the road, needs gear. You needs cameras, and laptops and software and a million and one other things that you’ve all seen me amass over the last couple of months. Alll this technology is there to ensure that I have as a smooth a ride as possible,
But technological challenges do happen, and today was that day.
I don’t like this hotel. I mean, it’s comfy, it’s certainly cheap but the WiFI is beyond frustrating. I ended up realising that to get The Climb up yesterday I needed to transfer the file to my phone via dropbox. It took 20mins to upload a 32kb file. The vlogs are around 1gb in size. Hence my frustration.
We checked back in here today. With hindsight, I probably should have told the others no. They would have understood but who’s to say that the beds at the other hotel aren’t crappy and the WiFi just as bad. I even went to the front desk to ask them to sort it. But, hotel WiFi is not high on hotel’s prioirities. Especially not this one. I even tried to use the hotel’s business centre, to find one PC broken and the other a crashed version of windows XP.
I tried using the Tepwireless device I hired. I’m really disappointed with it. I’m sure in a major city it would work just fine, but I’ve been trying to use it for the past 10 hours to upload the vlog and managed to get 12% uploaded.
It got so bad that this afternoon, I thought fuck it, and hit the fireball as I worked because I was so frustrated that I felt like throwing my laptop out the window.
What didn’t help was another memory card corrupting on me. I think it’s the make of SD card. Shannon thinks it’s the camera, but I’ve not changed any settings so it’s pretty much as factory reset as you can get.
However, it meant that I lost all the clips form the morning: our breakfast with other Canadian Chasers, the girl we found ‘passed’ out on her drive only to be perfectly OK, a piece to camera on vlogs. All lost. All wasting time where I try and recover data I shouldn’t have lost.
I’m just glad that I make a point of backing up all my cards every night.
We went to the Big Texan again tonight. One of the Canadian chasers was doing the 72oz steak challenge and we went to support. The food isn’t bad there but I think we mostly went for the company. It was kinda what I needed given the day I had. I had a lot of beer (on top of the Fireball) but didn’t get that bad that I was going to forget anything (or embarrass myself).
I probably needed it as well as today has been a very stressful day. I ask myself why I bother. Why not just sit back and enjoy the storms? Why document them? But I guess, given The Climb and everything else I do as a writer, I’m a natural documenter. In the same way some people are librarians and cultuvate information, I’m wanting to document things.
At the end of this trip, I’m sure these vlogs will be something I’m very proud of, but today was an incredibly tough day. I try and remind myself that nothing worthwhile was ever easy…. But heck, today has not been easy.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
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