Friday, 19 March 2021

Videos, Books and Pubs

 


It’s interesting to compare making videos with writing books. There are similarities of course, particularly in non-fiction where having decided on a subject you begin to assemble the bits and bobs from which your ‘masterpiece’ will be created. For a book that’s the facts and photos that you need to build your book upon and it is much the same for videos, with the addition of clips – bits of videos from elsewhere. The web is a great source for both, but also provides a dangerous temptation to use other people’s work. Actually I’m mostly happy for other creators to use my stuff as long as they ask and they attribute, and I also find that many independents are more than willing to reciprocate. Problem is that the web is cluttered up with agencies such as Getty Images who tempt you in with bogus ‘royalty free’ offers and do not even water mark their stuff to prevent accidental use, and then set their vultures on you. Sigh!

Of course the mechanics of producing a book or a film are quite different, though both involve quite a lot of keyboard bashing: via word processors for books, and video editors for films.  Funny really, but the latter reminds me of my programming days. It’s not exactly technical, but it is quite complex and can be frustrating. I use Shotcut which is free: it’s created by enthusiasts. It has more capabilities than I have yet mastered and can be quite frustrating. It crashes, just like computer programs did in my heyday. And, of course, there’s no one to complain to when things don’t work. Fortunately there exists an enthusiastic bunch of users who are often willing to help when you do get stuck. 

Word processors handle words, formats and such. A video editor handles that plus sound and video via filters, timelines, keyframes and so on. There is also a fundamental difference between them. A word processor deals with a serial flow of words, the video editor has to deal with videos, images, sounds and more in parallel, that takes a heck of lot more computer power. It’s comparable in complexity to building a road versus all of the buildings, bridges, street lighting and services that lie alongside it. But hey, it’s creative. Some people are really good at it. I just get by.

And that’s a prompt to introduce my latest output: two more pubs. The Turf is one of the most popular in Oxford, especially with visitors. It is a hidden wonder crouching beside the old city wall and is the repository of many intriguing stories. The Wheatsheaf, the pub that I nearly took on some years ago, is central Oxford’s key remaining live music venue and even has a pool table. It is under threat: an application has been made to convert it to student accommodation! A fight is going on to save it. As I write I am anxiously awaiting my ‘Save the Sheaf’ T-shirt and hope that my video might help a little in the battle.

  

 

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