I’ve been writing this blog for nearly six years now, posting a new story once a week. It’s been quite a labour of love, covering all manner of subject matter and I’ve loved every minute of it. However, lately it’s starting to conflict somewhat with my increasing interest in video. There’s a lot I want to investigate when it comes to video and I want to spend more time doing so. but video is a much more intensive task than photography, which has been the mainstay of my blog along with the writing. What’s more, I’m constantly aware that I need to be working on the next blog story and posting the latest one. A couple of times recently I’ve almost forgotten to finish or post my latest story, as I’ve been too intent on my video endeavours. So it’s becoming increasingly evident to me that I want to give myself more time for video learning and production, but also doing a blog story every week is really beginning to strain the brain cells.
Therefore what I’ve decided to do is reduce my blog posting to twice a month, which will give me more time for video. I don’t intend to drop my blog postings, but I don’t want it to consume my life. At the moment I’m finding video quite exciting and stimulating, but it’s also quite time consuming. What many non-videographers don’t understand is that for every hour of video recorded, it can easily take 10-30 times that amount of time for editing; a lot more time than it takes to edit a series of photographs. A recent wedding ceremony that I filmed resulted in an 11 min video, but it took 20+ hours to edit. Every time that I thought I was finished, I noticed some minor error that needed correction. I had to stop at some point and accept that the video was complete. It’s one of those things where you will never be satisfied with the end result and will always want to tweak one thing or another to get things just right which, invariably, it never will be ‘just right’. It quickly becomes a case of diminishing returns, much like blog writing.
The other thing that many don’t realise is that Hollywood movies are predominantly made in the editing suite, not the film studio. Not that I’m about to produce a Hollywood movie, I’m not even ready or likely capable of producing a simple short film, even if I wanted to do so. What I am interested in doing is producing documentary style short films about Gippsland, much in the vein of what motivated me to start writing this blog in the first place, but to do so via the moving image. Some stories I’ve written have come fully from events I’ve filmed; from them I’ve more or less created written stories with stills taken from the videos. It’s the time required for filming and especially editing that’s conflicting with the writing of my blog posts and something has to give. If I don’t devote enough time to learning about and producing video, I’m never going to become proficient. Then there’s the audio side of editing as well, another area that’s just as complex as the picture side. It’s an area that I’ve not given much time for at the moment and have been saved because of free audio tracks available from YouTube. But if I want to be able to record live audio, then it’s an area that going to need some time and effort.
I’m certainly not trying to become a dedicated YouTuber. or whatever one calls them. YouTube is the means by which I can post videos for general viewing as well as embedding in my blog posts; there’s no way that I could host videos through my ISP. It’s actually YouTube that partly convinced me that the constant blog posting is actually consuming my time and stifling creativity, because it’s started to control me rather than me controlling it. Let me explain. A little over two years ago, when I became interested in video, I started watching YouTube in earnest and especially a number of channels where the hosts covered filming/video techniques, with the occasional smattering of gear reviews. As these channel gained popularity, they have become almost pure gear reviews where the hosts are now seemingly beholden to the manufacturers that provide them with products to review. These sites have completely foregone what they originally provided.
I no longer watch these sites because there is little to no techniques discussed anymore and their gear reviews increasingly appear to be scripted by the product manufacturers. If you look at a recent example about the Edelkrone JibOne, you’ll quickly note that every review came out at almost exactly the same time and every reviewer followed much the same script. There are many more examples and these YouTube channels are clearly providing their hosts with an income but, on the face of it, they are completely beholden to the manufacturers in every way. This trend is so bad that some hosts of a channel, even when on a holiday, are seemingly compelled to do gear reviews as part of that holiday; one wrong step and they would be dropped like a hot potato. This is a sort of roundabout way of explaining how I and my blog have fallen into a similar trap. The blog has started to control me and not me controlling the blog. That needs to change.
I’ve been thinking about this for some time now and have finally bitten the bullet and decided to devote more time to video and reduce the time spent on writing stories. That’s probably a good thing as well, as I feel that the stories of late have been showing the conflict that I’ve been experiencing and have become less interesting. I want to continue the blog and there’s no saying that I won’t post more frequently, or perhaps even less frequently, but the last thing I want is for the blog writing to start feeling like full time work, which it kind of has.