Jul 242006

James Barton and Trevor Bodogh do the riding in this video shot on May 7.

It’s 100 megs and about 6 and half minutes.

Download here:

Encoded in XviD and AC-3, you can get both in the K-Lite Codec Pack.

As always, compliments and criticisms are welcome. Enjoy!

I finally understand how much my camera work sucks, but I also understand how to make it better. I will go riding with Kevin at some point to film a video that’s awesome. There’s three three types of camera work: Stationary, pan/tilt and the camera itself moving. There’s also three main types of trials footage: single moves, a string of a few moves or a longer line. The key is to figure out the best way to capture the different trials moves as well as whether the emphasis on style or riding. For example, say I want to capture a person side hopping onto a rock or something. I can use a stationary camera and include the rider, the object and the rider on top of the object in the single frame. I can also use a tilt, that fill the frame with the rider and then move the camera up as the rider sidehops. I can also do something crazy like follow the rider onto the object (like hold the camera off the object at level with the rider and then the camera moves up as hte rider gets onto the object). Then there’s more experimental moves, like spinning the camera as you move the camera onto the object. The list, as you can see, goes from focussing on the rider and object to focussing more on style. You can easily tell that the object that rider is about to sidehop is about handlebar height in the stationary footage. You can also tell it’s about handlebar height in the tilt one. It’s much harder to tell the height of the object with the moving camera, though. However, if it’s simply a stationary camera than the viewer will start to get bored by it (unless/even if the riding is crazy good). A moving camera tends to keep the viewer interesting. I think that’s the reason AndyT and WhiteRaven use fisheye lenses, because they tend to do more moving shots and the wideangle lens minimizes vibration and movement while keeping the rider in the frame. I’ve tried looking for tips on the interwebs but either I haven’t been trying hard enough or I just need to start looking for alternate sources to get this sorta information from. Probably people or books. I used to know a cameraman, hmmm.

I really enjoyed making the two animations at the beginning (I think the Trevor one came out BEAUTIFULLY). I intend to add more animations in the future. I also liked seeing the ISI logo in front of the movie. I get an inkling that this might be going places.

In general, I’ll be trying to make the videos more slick and professional looking. If I can start making videos that are professional in quality, it’s conceivable that I will become a professional.

Jul 242006

To write about a very odd letter I wrote today. It is the oddest letter I have ever written in my life and I wanted to share the experience and the reasoning with you all, in case you might want to write a similar letter.

A few months ago I was struck with the idea of writing a eulogy. Not just any eulogy, my eulogy. I wanted to write what I wanted to be said at my funeral. Not that I wanted it to be said at my funeral, but so I’d get an idea of what kind of person I wanted to be by how I wanted to be remembered. However, I never could get around to it.

Over the weekend, though, I had the idea that instead of writing a eulogy, I would write a letter to be opened in case of my death. I will attempt to revise and update it from year to year. This has been one of the single-most emotion filled activities I’ve done for some time. As I was writing messages for specific people, I found that I had many regrets about some people and none about others. Finding this out alone was worth writing this letter. I can now try to fix those regrets and try to establish a better relationship with those people.

While I had originally wanted to gain more insight about how I truly want to live my life (I may still have to write my eulogy for that), I gained something as good. I learned about my relationships with people and how I want to deal with them now by how I wish I had dealt with them if I was to die. I don’t want to die with regrets and this helps me figure some of them out now so I can fix them.

It also puts things in perspective. I have an issue with a person. They’re demanding something of me that I feel I don’t want to give or do, but writing about it made me understand they it’s very important to them and that I’m willing to compromise on that point because I would regret not doing so then. I’m willing to put in the time and the effort to make them happy because I don’t want that on my conscience

This is similar to a way I handle some situations. If I get into an argument with someone and we stop talking, I ask myself, "If I was to find out I’m going to die tomorrow, what’s the first thing I’d do?" and the answer is obviously that I’d resolve this issue with them. Oftentimes, after a day or two of not speaking, the original matter isn’t as important as the stubborness of both people, so we’re usually both pretty receptive to what the other has to say. This really does help me understand the value of time.

This letter also helped me to understand the value of time. If I was going to die a year from now, what would I do? What would I work on? How would I spend my days? These sort of questions do two things. 1) They help ground me in the present. If I know when I’m going to die, then I’m going to enjoy every moment. So why not enjoy every moment when I don’t know when I’m going to die. 2) It helps me to figure out what’s important. Obviously I have to be reasonable and practical but overall I can tell I’d rather be writing or making movies than crunching numbers.

I would recommend sitting down and seriously writing a letter like this. It does help to clear some things up. Take care.