What I Made This Week

Not much. It was the holiday, and I was visiting relatives. While I had great intentions, my actual output didn’t amount to much. Basically just a bunch of tiny bits that will hopefully develop into stuff:

“For When Your Soul is Dying” and “For Duke” — these are a pair of song fragments that I’m going to save to work any more on for February and FAWM. What I did on them might technically be cheating, but the earth will continue to spin, I think.

“Esther Jenkins, Senior Ninja” — a silly little comedy song that’s currently in my sights to finish quickly. There’s really nothing too deep about it.

“Whiffenpoofs”, “Hats”, and “Pregnant” — potential bits for season 2 of Three Legged Race‘s Weathered Adolescents. That’s a long way off, though.

“Moose Hunt” — this was originally intended to be a Weathered Adolescent bit, but I’m going to propose it instead as a standalone video. Mainly because I want to play a character different than the one that I would be playing if it is a WA scene.


What I Made This Week

An odd little amalgam of stuff happened this week. Not shocking, I suppose, considering the imminent holidayness, but… Here’s what it included:

* The Democracy Burlesque Holiday Radio Show, which I recorded bits for on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

* Wrote what I hope will be the next installment of Sciencey Vids, “A Field Guide to Physical Phenomena.” It will be, as you might gather, a field guide to some of the physics phenomena that you might find in the Western Hemisphere. (And funny, too.)

* Wrote a bunch of bits for possible inclusion in the next season of Three Legged Race‘s Weathered Adolescents web series, the first season of which will be released starting in late February, 2011. Topics include all-male acapella singing, hat sales, and pregnancy (as one of the actors from the first season is pregnant, and that’s just too joyous an experience to not use for our own purposes.)

What I Made This Week: Complicated edition

Here’s what I got done did, and the toughest parts of done doing them:

* Produced “This is a Galaxy,” the second of my Sciencey Vids. It’s a rhythmic songy thing about astronomy. With a few additional touches. Among them, Menudo. The most complicated bit: Tracking down photos.

* Wrote “Will Shortz is Slipping,” a video for Three Legged Race. The most complicated bit will be convincing the group to go along with something that’s hard to see. Oh, and timing.

* Planned the video for “Bob,” a song also written for Three Legged Race. The most complicated bit? Will be editing. There are about 40 shots that I’ve called for, which really shouldn’t be that hard to shoot (all are short and will be in only a few locations) but that much cutting will take time.

* Worked on editing Weathered Adolescents, a Three Legged Race web series. This is an odd entry; I did most of the editing quite a while ago, but now I’m going in and finalizing things like titles and scene transitions and sound effects. The most complicated bit: Details, details, details. There are a lot, and they need to be right.

* Some further work on the National Library Week videos for my actual job, although most of that was discovering that the free software package that I need to do some of the sound editing will work on none of the computers I have access to, for reasons varied and often silly. Today, hopefully, will solve that, through resourcefulness and plying a friend with beer. (That sounds weird; I just mean that he’s going to let me use his computer for several hours, and I’ll bring him beer for his trouble.) The most complicated bit: Well, it’s something for my job, which means that it’s inherently a minefield of horror, and there are several months left for previously unimagined stuff to crop up.

What I Made This Week

Last week felt more like a groundwork kind of week than a results one. I did:

* Finish “Bob“, the song that’s been in waiting for a year and a half, and

* Launch Sciencey Vids, my new… thingy… of offbeat but interesting videos on a variety of scientific topics.

* I also started, and possibly finished, the music for “This is a Galaxy”, the second Sciencey Vid.

None of those three things are really major parts of the week, though; “Bob” and Sciencey Vids were both mostly done before this week, and the music for “This is a Galaxy” really won’t be that involved.

My biggest project this week was something for my actual job. I don’t tend to discuss day-job projects here, for a number of reasons, but this one is worthy. I’m going to be making a series of videos promoting National Library Week, and I think that they will be cool.

Fairly time-consuming, too. This week I spent a lot of time pulling some excerpts from our video archives, which will form the basis of the new videos. I also found a number of music selections that may be useful for the project.

What I Made This Week

Finally, productivity. Thanks to the Thanksgiving break—two days of which I had no other demands on by time—I actually managed to finish a couple projects:

* Volunteer Vid. I made a video to promote volunteering at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (where I am a volunteer as well). I filmed it a couple weeks ago, but finally (thanks to the time and some figuring out of stuff in Final Cut) edited it on Thanksgiving. I’ll share it as soon as the museum posts it.

* North Pond Nature. This isn’t affiliated with the museum, although it was filmed around the North Pond in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, where the museum is also situated. This is a video about the wildlife that can be found in and around the pond, set to a soundtrack composed from the calls of local birds. It’s also the launch of Sciencey Vids, a new endeavor about which I’ll be talking more soon…

These both turned out to be really big projects. Neither is long – 2 minutes for the volunteer video and 1 for North Pond Nature. But both were complicated: 20-30 cuts for each, plus the soundtrack for NPN, which is something I’ve never done before.

* “Bob.” I’d hoped to record this this week, but it looks like that won’t be happening, since most of the rest of my afternoon will be occupied. (I’ll be working the PBS pledge drive with some other museum volunteers.) But I have been rehearsing it and I’m close to being able to record it, so that should be happening soon.

* And finally, the very beginnings of writing a comedy video for Three Legged Race. It’s a bit hard to describe, save to say that it’s about a fellow trying to do a crossword puzzle.

What I Made This Week

It was a busy and yet not productive week for me, at least by some metrics. I’ve been very diligent about exercise and eating right, which is great–but it takes time from things that might show up here. Much of the rest of my productive time was spent trying to work my way through some video issues — I’ve been dealing with a few different aspect ratio issues. I haven’t resolved them necessarily, but I’ve at least got a plan of attack.

Other accomplishments:

* Week 6 of Unicorn City. AKA, closing night. This show that has been the focus of so much of my time for the past 15 months is done. It is, I think, my biggest single act of creation to date.

* “Bob” is a song that I wrote lyrics for quite a while ago, but it sort of languished because I didn’t have the wherewithal to write the music. I’ve done so and am working on being able to play it well enough to record.

What I Made This Week

Or, more accurately, what went wrong this week. I was sick, which pretty much knocked me out for three days, and what I’ve done since then has taken a lot of time with little visible progress.

* Week 5 of Unicorn City. This was the last night for one of our actresses, who is missing our closing night next week because she got cast in Cats. Which means…

* Had a pick-up rehearsal for Unicorn City to work in her replacement. Who happens to be the director. And a different gender. This may be interesting.

* Most of the rest of my free time was spent working on a video about volunteering for the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, where I am a volunteer. I spent a few hours yesterday, and will spend a few hours today shooting video. (I’ll also be doing a few of my traditional volunteer tasks, which is running some of the programs.)

*Some incidental work on “Bob” (the song) and the novel that’s related to Unicorn City, although not really enough to count much. Hopefully I’ll get a good chunk done tonight, although time has a way of slipping away when you’re already busy.