Week 28: UglyGirl37’s Straight Talk Vlog

Better late than never, right?

Man, I swear it seems that Apple wants 50in50 dead.  Between the initial death of my logic board, to their unnecessarily wiping my hard drive (after telling me they wouldn’t), to going back and forth with their customer care for weeks trying to get them to replace some of my lost programs, to shooting this episode with my computer’s iSight camera only to find out that the videos it shoots will not sync correctly with Final Cut Pro (which Apple also makes… figure that one out), well… it’s been a time.

This should have been a simple edit, but it wasn’t, due to the above sync issues I mention.  I can’t speak with 100% certainty about what the problem is, but it seems that when recording iSight video via quicktime it uses some sort of variable frame rate, presumably to adjust to slight changes in light.  That means the frame rate can change several times in the middle of the shot.  The audio, however remains a constant.  Quicktime will play the movies back fine, but when you import them into FCP (or even iMovie)  it freaks out because FCP only wants there to be one frame rate in a sequence, so it picks one and locks it.  When that happens everything goes out of whack.  It’ll be in decent sync for about 10-15 seconds, but then it’ll start to slip.  The longer the take, the farther away it slips, and because it’s an inconsistant change, you can’t just stretch the audio across the take to make it match.  Cassie’s NASA rant was seven and a half minutes long, and by the end of it, the video and audio were more than ten seconds off!  Maddening.  What I ended up doing was breaking everything into shorter segments, breaking the link between the audio and video, and every 15 seconds I would slip the image a few frames over.  This resulted in it never really being totally in sync, however, given that this is supposed to be a cheap webcam video, I was fine with that, because it worked for that aesthetic.  It was just a pain in the ass.

(UPDATE: Now it’s giving me some random error as I try to export it.  Awesome.)

Anyway, let’s talk character real quick.

For this one I watched hours of girls’ vlogs (that’s “video blogs”) on YouTube.  It was a grueling experience.  Again, though, truth is stranger than fiction.  I would watch video of these girls rambling on and on for twelve minutes about something they clearly had a sort of vague understanding about.  It drove me mental.  Then I would click their profile and see that they had 110,000 subscribers!  That’s not an exaggeration.  Perhaps my finger is not on the pulse of mainstream America (it isn’t), but I find it curious that the most popular videos on YouTube are generally A) Animals doing something cute, B) Kids/babies doing something cute, and C) Cute girls spewing inane bullshit in their video blogs.  Americans like cute, I guess, and apparently, we’re very patient with bullshit.

One last thing about this video, Cassie’s thoughts, in some ways, do reflect my own when it comes to the whole NASA funding debate… but she and I present our thoughts differently.  I wanted this to be an example (as I saw illustrated in the popular vlogs on youtube) of the concept “a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing”.  In real life, though, I do think it’s a tough issue.  I’m a huge space buff and few other things capture my imagination like manned space flight, and the cosmos.  That said, it’s still hard to argue that it’s more important than people getting their basic human needs met.  It’s similarly hard to make that case for arts funding right now, which is obviously something I’m a big proponent of.  We’re living in a time when there are no easy answers.  Like, n’ stuff.

I’m excited about next week’s video.  I hope you’ll check back for it.

Cheers,

Brent 2.6.09  6.21pm

P.S.  If you’re interested, this was one of my main sources of inspiration.  She has over 100,000 subscribers:

~ by 50in50 on February 6, 2010.

3 Responses to “Week 28: UglyGirl37’s Straight Talk Vlog”

  1. Ha ha ha ha ha! This is hysterical!

  2. Brent:
    C’mon bro this is complete rubbish. Why you trawling youtube for inspiration. You;ve done enuff quirky humor. Set the trajectory alittle straighter and do something worthwhile. Deviate from your SNL dreams to work your craft, fella.

  3. Since Brent is probably far too diplomatic to respond to the above comment, I’ll do the heavy lifting here….

    What’s wrong with having SNL dreams? To devalue the work that’s done on SNL is to sit on some high horse with an unyielding idea of what “art” is. To think that SNL is less worthy a pursuit than, say, performing HAMLET at the Royal Court just stinks of pretension. (And, by the way, those who study media will affirm the role that SNL played in shaping the 2008 election. How’s that for cultural influence?) (I should also add that, yes, I know that not all the work on SNL is of high quality, but I’m sure the Royal Court has mounted a few shitty productions in its time too.)

    Also, YouTube is an absolutely valid forum to draw inspiration for satire, which is what Brent has pulled off here. You may recall that satire is an art form that was practiced by the likes of Jonathan Swift, Mark Twain, Charlie Chaplin, and Stanley Kubrick.

    In other words, lighten up, bro.

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