JOURNAL: DriftRoot (Lauren C.)

  • 70 hours of editing under my belt in a week and a half! 2014-07-19 11:37:12 Just not on MY video, this one's for work. -_- I'm planning to work on my own this weekend, there is a deadline I want to meet and things are getting down to the wire.

    More than a few people who make AMVs probably toss around the idea of working with video for a living, or otherwise put their skills and talent to more professional use. That's not a bad idea, per se, it's just got to be tempered by a hearty dose of reality.

    In my case, AMVs are (in theory...) a creative outlet, where I can create what I want, exactly how I want to, with no one but the faceless masses to please (should I care about them). I can start a project whenever I want, spend as much (or as little) time planning it, gathering materials, experimenting as I want, and then drop it entirely for any reason, at any time. No deadlines, no committees, no branding or key assets to worry about.

    There's also no one telling you "it's good enough" when you know (and want) to do better because the end product isn't something you're terribly proud of. For me this is a biggee, and while it's far better to be laboring under this kind of criticism than the opposite, (namely your boss being disappointed with your best efforts), as someone who shares their creative work with the Internet masses, I'm USED to being ignored, getting criticism of all kinds, disappointing people. It's not fun, but it's not unfamiliar territory, and at least there's always the fallback that as long as I did my best on my AMV, that is ok. If your best isn't good enough in a professional setting, that is NOT ok, but sometimes a lot less than your best is all that's acceptable (for reasons of money, time, conflicts of interest, etc.). If you can't take criticism of your AMVs and lack a passion for learning and growing as a result of critique, professional work is going to be tough.

    There are also a lot of people out there with huge amounts of skill, talent, training and experience which blow any few hundreds of hours of self-taught AMVing out of the water. Yeah, you can mention your Premiere/Final Cut software skills on a resume if it makes sense, but don't go out and sell yourself professionally that way if you aren't a professional.

    Ugh, I think I'm getting into this because I've been looking at a lot of resumes lately.

    PRO TIP: If you're applying for a creative position, don't proudly list - in giant letters/graphics taking up a quarter of the page - your thinly sliced novice/beginner/advanced beginner/competent/proficient skill levels with every Adobe program. For one thing, I don't care what YOU think of your level, except as far as it demonstrates how realistic you are about your capabilities. For another, your portfolio/past job experience should tell me all I need to know. Never designed anything but a 3"x3" coupon for the local newspaper? You're not a 7/10 on the ad creation scale. Lastly, that's a waste of space and poor choice of emphasis on your resume, and a good designer would never make it look like that.

    And another thing, if you're applying for any type of job, tailor your resume content and design accordingly. Please. It's lovely that you're a skilled illustrator, but the marketing position you're applying for has zero need for that. And you do you really think that submitting a block-lettering red and black resume I can barely read and a portfolio of grunge band posters is going to get you in the door for an interview? Common sense, people, common sense!!

    If you do not have a variety of professional, paid work to showcase, then take the initiative and create things on your own! Look around town, find a really horrible (or mediocre) brochure/ad/flyer or something and redesign it (changing names as necessary to protect the innocent). It's not that hard. Find a design school program, take a look at what the students were asked to create, and try your hand at those same projects. Ask for critique and feedback, keep refining your work and don't call it done until it's "done."

    Sorry for the long post...it's been a while, eh? 
  • Lots of video editing accomplished this past week 2014-06-14 19:02:34 just not on my AMV. This hobby is once again interfering with getting drawn into my professional work, in that I'm the go-to person (self-nominated) for getting videos made in our marketing department. This particular project couldn't have come at a worse time, though - I'm in the middle of a five-months-in-the-making, 194-page catalog and really don't have any extra time for things like this.

    Most people just have no idea how much time this stuff takes, particularly when you have no live action scenes filmed and have to create every single scene in the video from scratch, from images which may/may not already exist and may/may not need to be animated. Throw in the problem of working with technical images which have to be portrayed accurately, and there's another layer of work. I can't just show the parts on screen, they have to be shown A-part, then being properly assembled (in sequence), then properly installed, and all in time to (of course) the dub. Yes, timing DOES matter!! That part has to be installed in sync to what the narrator is talking about!

    Reminds me of one of the first time I showed AMV Hell 3 to my sister, she didn't think the opening sequence with what's-her-name-with-the-boobs was anything special. I said "That wasn't just a scene set to the music, you know, the editor cut and timed all of that to sync up." I got the most withering look of disbelief you can imagine, to which I burst out "What, you think all of that synced up BY COINCIDENCE?!" Best argument ever
  • More cucumber vodka, please. 2014-06-08 19:26:37 HID
    Pre-Production: 14
    Editing: 17
    Post-Production: 0

    The Good: Still interested.

    The Bad: Still learning. Let me explain: back in the day when I was a teenager who - despite my better judgement - was very MUCH aware that I didn't "know everything," I observed an interesting fact about my creative skills: they were ok, but in 6-8 months I'd look back on my work and think it was bad, which meant I'd gotten enough better to recognize its flaws. This was very encouraging (for a glass-is-half-empty-DAMNIT-kind of person), and something I've kept an eye on over the years. Nothing makes me more worried and depressed than evaluating my creative work and failing to come up with flaws and things I would - given the chance - do better.

    AMVs are right up there, as far as this creative evolution goes. I'm not gunning for the rock bottom like I once was, getting away with stuff by the skin of my cheeky, insubordinate little teeth. Nope, not really interested anymore. Why? Because the cheeky, insubordinate teeth now want to bite off more than they can chew, which only leads to choking b/c I don't have the necessary skills to properly masticate my AMV ideas (good lord...what an analogy). Instead, I'll dabble with other types of challenges and see what happens, namely my dreaded arch enemy The Action Sequence. *shudder*

    The Ugly: Case in Point! I fussed long and hard over a mere 5-seconds of this video until the timing, the content, the concept, the perfect twitch of Harlock's eyelid all fell into place. VOILA! It's great! But not in THIS AMV, oh no, it's just not appropriate. I need to lighten up, loosen up and *gasp* just stick stuff on screen that doesn't make a lick of sense. It's quite liberating, in a way, but really like pulling teeth.

    p.s. Space Pirate Captain Harlock is a flop of a film. I've developed several explanations for this, one of which I will share now: It's a movie that plays out like a 56-episode shonen anime series, jamming battles, characters, ludicrous plot devices, betrayals, reverse-betrayals (and counter-reverse-betrayals) and power-ups together as no movie ever should. I've got a little hidden agenda going on with this AMV of mine which takes aim at this, but it's only going to work if the AMV works. 
  • Rollin' rollin' rollin! 2014-05-18 12:01:44 HID
    Pre-Production: 14
    Editing: 14
    Post-Production: 0

    The Good:
    Inspiration: CHECK
    Motivation: CHECK
    Computer Cooperation: CHECK
    Captain, prepare for liftoff!

    The Bad: Um...my toes are cold.

    Let me backtrack a bit... the forecast for this weekend called for heavy rain, clouds, etc., all in all excellent editing weather. I was really looking forward to holing up in my office, cranking away at this AMV, because when it's nice out, I tend to spend all my time outside enjoying nature (particularly after a long, hard winter). Image my aggravation when I wake up Saturday morning to glorious sunshine, soft breezes and perfect temperatures! DAMNIT! THIS is why I don't usually make AMVs in the spring/summer! It's too nice to be inside!

    So I spent the whole day happily (but irritatedly) outside, and this morning I've logged a few more hours on this video, even though it's just as nice today as it was yesterday. I'm wearing sandals, however, 'cause it's soooo nice out, and since all the windows are open and I haven't moved much lately, my toes are cold. :(

    Er hem, yeah. brrr. No I will NOT put socks on!

    The Ugly: Making AMVs (for me, anyways) is always an interesting exercise in trying to go with the flow while controlling the ever living hell out of my video. It requires micromanagement on a macro level, or perhaps macromanagement on a micro level. This is just how I do what I do, and no wonder I don't find it all that fun. When it works, it's great, but holy cow it can be a struggle to get to the point where something "works." Most of my progress on this video has entailed experimenting like crazy with stuff, saving bits and pieces, decided 20 times to change what I'm doing and then kicking myself because I'm screwing up the "big picture" with my perfectly constructed 5-second sequence.

    Still - as I've said before - one thing I do immensely enjoy about this hobby is not having anyone breathing down my neck, demanding I work faster, stop being such a perfectionist, do things "their" way, etc. etc. You know, everything that happens when you're professionally paid to be creative, but only within reason 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. I will make my AMVs as good as I want them to be, the WAY I want them to be, and I don't care that much how long it takes!

    p.s. No special effects so far, and I don't know yet whether any will be required. Some lip syncing most likely, but if that's the only thing I have to do, I'll be a happy camper.  
  • Woooo!!! Wait wha--- 2014-05-04 18:19:11 HID
    Pre-Production: 14
    Editing: 7
    Post-Production: 0

    Yep, this thing can definitely happen - odds of success are now 85%. I am thrilled to pieces! Now, if Premiere would just stop crashing on me, everything would be really great. Really, really great. :| *Attempts to recover last auto-save project. Again.* 
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