Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Tolkien’s Oxford: the video

 Isn’t it nice to have constructive advice from a grandchild? And to act on it. My writing activities have entered the doldrums this year. Two books that I intended to self-publish have been hanging about like abandoned children with no home to go to for some time now, and my book on South Asians who attended Oxford University ... well, I could write another book on the ups and downs of its long trail to publication. But there is light at the end of that trail just now so I’ll save that for a future blog.  Then we had Covid which caused a welcome regression to my smallholding days and a cessation of my Oxford guiding. And then what?

I think it started with an attempt to make two videos on the streets of Oxford: one a trailer for the aforementioned Indian book and the other for the Guild of Guides. Both were failures to my mind, partly due to traffic noise, wind noise, ineptitude and poor equipment. Then I began to think about all of the film sets I had seen in Oxford over the years: Morse, Harry Potter, The Mummy, Brideshead Revisited and so on and on. Some of these interfered with my life: on one occasion I could not purchase a puncture repair kit because they were filming an episode of Endeavour in the bike shop! Often whole streets were closed and a vast crew employed, some of them ordering us to be quiet at key moments. How could I compete with that? My asset was my knowledge of Oxford; my weakness was the wherewithal of professional filming.

The noise problem was simply solved: film all commentary in a quiet room and back it up with photos and silent motion clips. That said, I then need a video editor to bring it all together. I chose Shotcut as the package and me as the operative. The learning curve was long, often frustrating, and yet strangely rewarding. I still have a lot to learn but, frustrations aside, I like it. It’s creative.

Then the subject. This is where my grandson came in. Robin is an internet entrepreneur, he is very young but already has a team of more than ten and a YouTube channel subscriber base exceeding seven million. Out of his advice came Tolkien’s Oxford, honed by comments from good friends, including the excellent musical theme contributed by one of them. It was released this week on my YouTube channel which is called Rob’s Oxford. It’s free but I do need you to subscribe so that I can reach my aim of at least one thousand subscribers and after that to catch up with my grandson (some hope). So have a look, click on the links above: enjoy, comment, like subscribe.

Oh, and if you want to see what Robin does here’s his channel. Subscribe to that too. You’ll be in good company.

 

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