Halloween in Cumberland – VloMo08, Day 1

Is this what Halloween is like everywhere in North America?

Madness.

Speaking of madness, it’s suddenly Videoblogging Month again. Already? How did that happen?

Last year it was called NaVloPoMo, but it’s (sadly?) just been renamed Videoblogging Month 2008 – VloMo08 for short.

Post one video every day in November. That’s all you have to do…

2007 was the first year, and it turned out to be an incredible collaborative experiment. Exhausting but rewarding. I hope this year is as much fun.

Actually, I think for me it’ll be *more* fun. Last year I just didn’t have time to watch enough. But then, between us all, we made over 1000 videos in 30 days.

You can watch (and JOIN IN) at our new Mefeedia channel:
http://www.mefeedia.com/channels/vlomo08

I can’t wait to see the videos start coming in.

Meanwhile, it’s now 2 a.m. – so you’ll have to excuse me. I have a *lot* of candy to get through before Amy wakes up.

Formats available: MPEG-4 Video (.m4v), Flash Video (.flv)

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Indecision – an interactive hyper-videoblog story

RAAAAAAAAAA!

I finally did what I’ve been meaning to do for about 2 1/2 years. I made a hyper-videoblog post.

You can only see it on YouTube – here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtQg_LCq_T8&fmt=18

The thing that finally spurred me on was YouTube’s new Annotations feature. All this time, I’ve been waiting and hoping that they would introduce something like this.

But at the moment, they only allow you to use it on their site – no embedded players yet.

There are six different parts to it – what path you take is up to you. Click the options at the end of each clip to choose what I do.

I really was feeling indecisive about what to do with my evening – and it proved the perfect subject. I made it up as I went along, and it took 30 mins to shoot and 90 mins to get the clips onto the Mac, onto YouTube and Annotated with links.

I’ve always thought that for my hypervideo dreams to become reality, hyperlinked video would need to be a) easy to use, b) easy to create and c) within a setting that people are already comfortable with.

I’ve been working on much more complex hypervideo stories, and if this quick slapdash bit of fun seems to work, I’ll start putting some together properly. Let me know what you think.

It’s been a good week for me with my old nemesis YouTube. Tumblr saw my High Quality YouTube Embed Generator (thanks to Wreck and Salvage) and implemented it as standard on all Tumblr YouTube embedded players. So I helped make the world a prettier place.

The future is now! Even if this particular part of the future looks a bit like a Choose Your Own Adventure Book from 1982.

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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:
http://ryanishungry.com/2007/12/29/food-not-lawns-no-lawn-left-behind/


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

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Ripen

Shot with the in-camera time-lapse setting on the Canon IXUS 860.

Music:
Roadrunner, by Gurdonark, via NegativeSoundInstitute.com

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Immigrant Video Diary – Episode 1: “And you may find yourself…”

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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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Amazing Rainbows! London Says Goodbye As We Emigrate

Click Image Above To Play
Or click here to play/download higher quality Quicktime (MP4) file

I hope this rainbow brightens people’s days all over the world. Please share this with any of your family or friends who’d appreciate a little magic in their day ๐Ÿ™‚

And I’m making films for the Nokia Mobile Filmmaking Awards at the moment, so if you like this film, I’d love it if you could rate it and/or comment on the Pangea Day channel to help me out, and I’ll return the favour on your videos/blog/podcast.

Of the 200 or so films that I’ve made with my phone in the last year, I think this is the one I like the most.

We went on our favorite London walk for the last time yesterday with our friend Lucy – along the River Thames at Hammersmith.

In two and a half weeks, we’re moving to Canada.

So I started filming a plane in the clouds with my phone, thinking about making a video about us leaving, and suddenly something magical happened…

…and kept on happening! Instead of fading, they got brighter, and more intense!

In mythology, religion, art, literature, music and film, the Rainbow is a powerful symbol – a sign of hope and life and new beginnings.

I grew up in Christian boarding schools, so usually the first thing I think of when I see a rainbow is the rainbow that God sends Noah after the great flood in Genesis:

“And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”

Yeah. It’s either that or The Wizard Of Oz.

See you on the other side ๐Ÿ™‚

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Mrs Patel

Shot and edited on my Nokia N93 phone – excuse the lip sync – combination of the phone editor and Ovi’s flash video conversion.

“The next person to inspire me”: Mrs Patel from our local Post Office, about to be closed down by incompetence and greed in government and the privatised Post Office. After 35 years of service to our community – what does she get? An OBE? No. Termination.

This is today’s entry for the Pangea Day Nokia Mobile Filmmaking Awards.

The brief is to make 2 minute films about:

– The next thing that makes you smile.

– An act of kindness.

– The next person to inspire you.

– The best part of today.

They don’t stipulate in the rules that it has to even be shot on a phone, never mind a Nokia, but I’m doing what I always do and shooting AND editing on my N93. Hopefully that’ll give me extra brownie points with the judges! (if I get that far)

Please go here to the Pangea Day channel on Ovi and give me views and comments and favorites to help me out. You need to sign up for an Ovi account to comment, but if you have a spare two minutes, *please* do (also, you should upload your own)! It’s only the most popular films that will get a chance to go in front of the judges.

I should say that aside from the main competition at Ovi, the remarkable Mr David Howell has been appointed by Nokia to run his own Pangea Day competition at http://davidhowellstudios.com – post a link to your film in his comment section by May 2nd.

ANYWAY, enough selling

as for today’s film…

The Government are currently engaged in a disgraceful act of cultural vandalism. I believe that in 10-20 years – and beyond – they will be remembered for two things: The Iraq War, and the loss of the Post Offices.

For the sake of a mere ยฌยจยฌยฃ200m per year, they are closing the last remaining centre of community in thousands of towns, villages and urban neighbourhoods. This is a brief interview with Mrs Patel, who has run our Post Office for 35 years. Two posts offices within half a mile of here are closing. Seven in our Borough. (and of course thousands throughout the country.) We have a higher density of older and disabled people in this ward than anywhere else in the borough – people who will lose vital services.

I’m glad that I’m not going to be in the country at the next election. I’d be in a real dilemma at the ballot box. I couldn’t bring myself to vote Tory, but nor could I bring myself to reward the current bastards for everything they’re doing. Every day, more reasons to emigrate.

The Post Office issue is a classic case of everything that’s wrong with a) blind Privatisation and b) our party-based representative democracy. The local MP, Andy Slaughter, who lives opposite me, was fiercely against the closure of the Post Offices. But he couldn’t express that view in Parliament, where he represents us, or he’d lose his job. He was forced to vote for something he knew to be wrong, because his weak, venal party leadership had decreed it as policy.

Anyway, you probably came here to watch me making my usual arse of myself, not listen to my political opinions, so I’ll stfu and let you meet the lovely, inspiring, discarded Mrs Patel.

Original File: MPEG4 File

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Semanal #1: The Sound of Music?

This is my first post for Semanal

Post one video every week in 2008. That's all you have to do.

Five days after it was announced, there are already 80 people signed up!

Hopefully more will join throughout the year. (It's about the weekliness, and shouldn't be limited by whether people found out about it in its first seven days).

And this weekend in Brighton, Beth Tilston has organised a screening of films from Navlopomo – our month of videoblogging every day in November. Ryanne and Jay are visiting from America, and they'll be joining us. See more details about the screening here.

Semanal is continuing the spirit of Navlopomo, with a long-distance challenge instead of a 30 day sprint.

I expect that the cool things about Navlopomo will develop much further – the sense of community, the inspiration and the way that people replied to, referenced and remixed each other in their films. And we'll meet a whole load of new people from around the world.

Viva Semanal!

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The Big Shave

I started growing my beard a year ago today. It’s my beardiversary. Randomly, a friend emailed me this morning and said “Love the beard” as a sign-off.

Like the N93, it was just supposed to be a brief experiment. I even shaved it off after 2 months to make one of my first proper little films with my phone (and as a tribute to Scorsese for finally winning his Oscar). I used the same music as his amazing 1967 short The Big Shave. I posted it on FatGirlInOhio – it was pre-Twittervlog. So lots of you won’t have seen it – and really, it also belongs here.

And the original, so you can compare and contrast:

Alternative formats:
Quicktime / Flash

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