Reflections of a Picture Taker & Movie Maker
Personal reflection on your experiences creating and sharing the video should include thoughts on: How can you continue to use video to enhance your blog? How do you think professionals in your future desired career – journalism, public relations, advertising, or any other could best utilize these sites?
In reflecting on the blog on your experiences this week, consider: What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the sites you’ve used for your topic area? How can you use photos going forward as semester continues to enhance your blog or website? How do you think professionals in your future desired career – journalism, public relations, advertising, or any other – could utilize these sites productively?
Due to how these two assignments are related, I decided to combine them and share my experiences on both in one nifty neat little blog post.
Creating a video for “tn liberty” was an interesting undertaking, to say the least. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure exactly which route to go. If I had been creating a video for this blog, I would have gone the funny route or the “a day in the life of” route – something that shows my personality. However, I was creating a video for “tn liberty,” a topic that is rather hard to define and even harder to show when put on the spot. It’s not like I can head out the front door and take a few photos or shoot some footage of “tn liberty.” It’s not a bird, a plane, a particular event, or even something easily defined. It’s a movement. It’s a cause. It’s a passion. So how do you visually represent a movement, cause, or a passion. My first thought was an event but seeing as it isn’t campaign season and I’m a busy little bee I didn’t have many options, here in Memphis, from which to choose. Then I realized that most indoor events are in a room at Jason’s Deli with beige walls and many people who attend those events are not all that excited about having their picture taken. Libertarians can be a bit odd and most aren’t exactly the #selfie taking type. Apparently, I’m an odd duck every where I go.
For the video, I finally decided on asking members of the Liberty Movement and contacts that I have made to explain in a short sentence or phrase What Liberty Means to them. For those who were not located in the Memphis area, I asked that they use their computers or phones to record themselves and email me the footage. It took a bit of begging but in the end, I had numerous clips from which to work. I realized that I also had footage from various events such as campaign rallies, protests, and other types of activism that I had taken in the past couple of years during my extensive travels across the state of Tennessee and that I could document the Tennessee Liberty Movement in a short movie.
As I began to edit the clips and footage, I realized I had embarked on a HUGE project and once I was in the middle of it, there was no turning back. I had to make the mini-documentary as awesome as possible no matter how many hours it took. And by hours – I mean days and days. Next, came the technical difficulties. My MacBook Pro is a very full Mac and even with a 3T external hard drive for all my files, the programs and necessities stores on the computer leave very little room for any temp files created by iMovie. As I was nearing the end of a 30+ hour editing session and could see the light at the end of the tunnel, my computer told me it was full. I moved a few things to the hard drive and added another transition to the movie. Again, my Mac was full. This process of moving, trashing, and adding went on for another hour or so and I finally closed iMovie and decided to rid my computer of all secondary and tertiary files of old emails (WHY does the computer keep multiple copies of emails from days of yore?) and duplicates of all my music (again, WHY does the computer and iTunes make copies of every file you add?). Finally, I had 30Gb of space available and that was enough to complete the video. Thank God!!
I completed the video, uploaded it to YouTube, embedded in to my topic blog, “tn liberty,” and then immediately began sharing it on every Facebook page of which I am an admin, in every Facebook group of which I am a member, by tweeting it on Twitter, and by begging everyone I knew to share it. Within one day of posting the video and sharing like a mad woman, I realized that I had gained hundreds of new followers on my Facebook page “Tennessee and Mississippi Leadership” and on “tn liberty,” as well as almost 200 views on YouTube. I had even gained a few new followers on this blog. As it stands today, the video has approximately 230 views on YouTube.
Next, I had to figure out what I was going to do about the pictures assignment. Capturing “tn liberty” was hard enough with video – how the heck was I going to capture its essence in a still??? So, I actually decided that I would go 2 routes.
First, I was going to take the end of the video I had just made (What Liberty Means) and turn the final section entitled “Faces of Liberty” into a series. I would cut “picture” portion of the video (I put a ton of pictures of people in the movement holding up campaign signs, at events, protesting, and the like at the end of the video in a slideshow-esque montage.) Most of these pictures were ones I had taken during the past two years and some were pictures that other liberty movement friends had given me. I now had several 30 second slideshow montages of “tn liberty” and added the first one to my topic blog. Due to the lack of time, I didn’t promote it all that well. It only has like 10 views on YouTube. However, there is always time to promote it later and I’m sure it’ll gain a great response.
Next, I realized that throughout my travels I had taken an extraordinary amount of tn landscape pictures. I have always said that nothing shows liberty quite like a beautiful mountaintop or bubbling brook in Tennessee. I created another series – this time just stills – called “Landscapes of Liberty” and placed it on “tn liberty” with a call for followers to send me pictures they had taken of TN landscapes. I also created a TN Liberty Flickr account and posted them there, with the hopes of adding to that as time goes on. Fingers crossed that I can get another job traveling the state of TN and organizing groups in the Liberty Movement!!
To conclude, I feel that moving forward, including pictures and videos in posts on this blog and on my topic blog is extremely important. People like pictures and people like movies. It’s a given. It also adds relevance to your topic and can show a “behind the scenes” look at events that I may be privy to and others aren’t. In addition, it can show the non-liberty movement people that we are human and normal – it gives your site a personal touch. I can say that the next video will be much shorter and less complicated. What Liberty Means is a once every couple of years type project!! In the future, I will also start to share the “Faces of Liberty” and “Landscapes of Liberty” series in hopes of gaining new followers and gathering new pictures from others.