I’ll Take The Hint, YouTube…

 

I’m not sure why or when I subscribed to CGP Grey to begin with, but I know when I’m being told to maybe leave my room a little bit more today.

I’m in that post-semester, pre-summer slump – sort of productive, sort of blazingly lazy, all kinds of stalled out. Suddenly got a burning urge to get some fresh air into my lungs and make things happen.

So I’ll keep this one short. You watch the video, and I’ll be digging my Penny Board out from under the mound of crap that’s in my trunk.

 

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I’ll Take The Hint, YouTube…

Because I’m Woefully Indecisive At Some Things…

…I think the hardest part of making a video isn’t editing it, putting it together, or even grading the footage (although admittedly, I’m still figuring out that last bit).

It’s picking the damn music.

As most people who use the platform know, YouTube runs a tight Content ID system that flags your videos if you use any kind of media that doesn’t allow reuse or modification. You can still post videos that feature, say, carefully edited footage of your six year old trying to ride a bike set to the entirety of Psychosocial by Slipknot, but you run the risk of YouTube flagging your video for copyrighted content, and rendering it impossible for your video to be played in certain parts of the world, or even for you to gain any kind of revenue if you’ve enabled ad monetization on your admittedly weird little video.

Now, with less than 20 subscribers to my name, this really shouldn’t be an issue. Realistically, I might as well just play the numbers, use copyrighted music, and take the hits because 1) I’m not pulling enough weight to make any substantial money off ad monetization anyway and 2) For the most part, companies won’t wholesale BLOCK your video, and instead opt to place ads before it that they can monetize from.

But clearly I’m a sadist and like making things so much more difficult for myself, so I search for Creative Commons licensed music to use more often than not, immediately shrinking the radius of the space I can search for music that I think definitely fits with the vibe I’ve got in mind for a video. I’ve had whole projects go on stall because I can’t decide on music that’ll work well enough with the clips and edits and the vision of how I want this video to go in my head.

Using the SoundCloud filter on the Creative Commons Search site works well enough, but I’m really not into heavy electronica or any kind of EDM really, and while I like chillhop and lo-fi tracks, I can’t make every video with a mellow radio filter beat thumping in the backdrop. Sometimes, I just feel Bon Iver coming out through the cuts between clips, and I have to end up settling for a remix of one of his songs instead.

Granted, there are some good ones out there, but still.

Anyone else really nitpicky about this end of making content, or is it just me?

Because I’m Woefully Indecisive At Some Things…

Those Who Eventually Find The Magic

 

DSLRguide has been one of my favorite channels since I started messing around in YouTube. Back to front, you can really see the progression of his work as he’s continued to put content out there. He shoots a lot of his material with an entry level Canon T3i, and still comes away with some beautifully constructed and graded videos.

It’s not just the visual element I’m into, though. Most of his videos take an almost blog-like format, not a vlog as people know vlogs to be today, but more of an essay-like style, where he starts with an idea and tailors the entire video to explain it. The material ranges anywhere from How To Edit Videos (for Beginners) to not as simple as ‘follow your dreams’, and the variance is great – it means that I can keep coming back to this channel whether I want to pick up some new tricks or not. But he posted a great video recently on the struggle of inspiration and how artists constructively use discontentment to reach the gem in the rough. I’ve gone ahead and shared it above so you guys can give it a watch yourself if you like.

I feel as though artists and people living and working in creative circles definitely do have this funny relationship with discontentment. I think it’s important to step back from your work once in a while, take a look at what you’ve finished, and be happy with what you created. This end product – this poem, this video, this picture, this story – that’s you, condensed into a form outside yourself, rife with the emotion you carried through the process of creating, and here for posterity now. You made this. Be proud. But at the same time, that voice inside that demands that we express ourselves somehow almost necessitates that we not stay too long in that state of contentment – that we need to get out there and start making our next big thing. That we tear down our monuments and build something finer. That we shred stories because we can do it better this time.

It’s this beautiful vicious circle that leads you to better things if you choose to ride those waves instead of getting washed along with the tide.

So yeah. Do it.

Those Who Eventually Find The Magic

Still Trying to Self-Teach Myself Final Cut Pro…

…but it’s gotten a hell of a lot easier now that I’ve sort of gotten my head around the basics of color correction and color grading. I’m not a huge fan of the way that the interface presents itself in FCPX, with the color board and the knobs, but I’ve got a rough workflow worked out after messing around with the salvage of a video I ended up not posting.

Actually found this free plugin that allows you to create adjustment layers you can apply color grades to – something that my version of FCPX doesn’t really let me do. I’ve seen a lot of videos that incorporate Motion into the mix, but this is miles easier for someone like me who’s still rather illiterate towards this whole thing.

Here’s the link for anyone who’s interested: https://sellfy.com/p/Nxcc/

After you install it, you basically just drag and drop it on your timeline after you’ve finished with your edit and your primary color correction. Then you can just open up some color correction on your snazzy new adjustment layer, and apply a uniform grade to all your clips. It’s so much easier than individually grading each clip, and I definitely wish I’d found out about it sooner…

 

Still Trying to Self-Teach Myself Final Cut Pro…

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It’s been exactly a week since I hiked the Stairway to Heaven in Vernon, NJ. I’ve got a mess of footage backlogged on my computer, and I’m still not completely sure what kind of video I want to come out of it.

On the other hand, it’s been about a month since the FOMO video came out.

I keep going back to the process of making that video in my head. It was this structured (though completely chaotic) process that saw me with a script in my hand, a rough shot sheet laid out, and a somewhat cohesive end product when all was said and done. Before that point, my actual method for shooting a video was just to have a camera on me while I was doing fun things – the video would show itself as long as I had enough footage.

And I feel like I shot lots on top of that mountain in Vernon. The clips I’m trying to string together definitely feel the way I felt while I was up there, if that makes any sense at all. But I guess I sort of miss the clear direction that working on FOMO had me create.

I feel as though I’ve got to keep the quality of the content I produce for the channel moving constantly up, all while juggling this drive I’ve got to just put stuff out there – to have something to show for all this time I’ve got on my hands now.

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