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how i move my head
february 1, 2010
I'm making a change beginning this month with my Latelys.
Whereas before Latelys consisted entirely of text, with this entry and moving forward, I'll probably do a hybrid Lately that is part text, part video each month.
At the end of this page, you'll find a YouTube link to this month's video.
I'm doing this because I have a camcorder now, and movie-editing software, and it just seems to me that if I'm visiting a writer's site, it would be far more interesting to me to not only read his or her words, but see him or her talking.
Doesn't that make sense?
I chose YouTube because it's the best, most convenient video-delivery system out there. I considered simply putting a link to the MPEG-4 file on my site, but then visitors would have to download a file that's usually over a hundred megabytes, and that's a lot to ask a visitor to do. This way, all you have to do is click on the YouTube arrow, and the video streams while you watch it. A lot more user-friendly.
Did I have any reservations about doing videos of me talking?
A writer, working with text, has the time to carefully polish what he's going to say over a number of edits. With video, you don't get that re-do opportunity. It's all on the fly. It's a close-up of you trying to find what your next word should be.
I do contemplate a hybrid Lately, text and video, because I think switching Lately entirely over to a video format would not work . For one thing, I have to limit my comments to under ten minutes. That won't always be enough time for me to discuss what I want. Also, I think some content simply works better as text, rather than talk.
Creating this first Lately video was interesting. I thought I had brought it in under ten minutes (the maximum length of a video allowed by YouTube), but in viewing it I realized it was in fact eleven and a half minutes long. So I had to go in and edit it. Cut out about two minutes.
Using my movie-editing software, Sony's Vegas Movie Studio, I managed to trim the video to 9:42 minutes. You'll probably notice the edits. In future video Latelys I might create a softer transition between edits, overlapping the film strips for example, but for this first one I just wanted to get it out there.
I also hope in the future to open up the video more, to where it's not just me sitting in a chair and talking, but scenes from our daily life. As it is, as happy happenstances you do catch a glimpse of Mary in the background of one scene, and our cat Lady makes an unplanned guest appearance (at least unplanned by me.)
I'm excited about working in this new medium. We'll see what happens.
British critic Peter Tennant published a list of "Some of the Best Books of 2009", a selection of ten books from 2009 he particularly wanted to commend, and I'm proud to say my short story collection, Remove the Eyes, was one of those ten recommended books (and one of only two 2009 short story collections commended.) So I'm very proud of that. You can buy a copy of the collection by going to Buy My Books.
And now…onto my first ever Lately video. The video was shot on January 14, 2010 in the early evening, up in my study. It's 9:41 minutes long.
See you next month.