Wednesday, November 5, 2008

YouTube and a nascent career as a film producer

My first experience with the creation of video was with my little camera, and an attempt to record a special event in 'Island of Happiness'. I was unable to do anything more sophisticated than 'point and shoot'. In fact, when I later wished to move my character while pointing the camera, I found that an impossible challenge. The poor guy smacked into walls, was bombarded with missiles and apart from anything else, looked like a complete prat...

I then moved on to a live subject, but while choosing photographs, discovered an option in Windows to 'Make Movie'. This led me to a programme that every teen nowadays probably mastered as a toddler but which had escaped my notice: the Windows Movie Maker. In this programme, you can create titles and credits, add music to existing video or photographs and insert any number of 'special effects'. I could envision a budding career as the next Jean Cocteau or Fellini.

Of course, it all takes time and time is limited in any world, as even in other worlds, it somehow is linked by an unseverable umbilical cord to THIS world. Nonetheless, I persisted in the job until I had created a brief video. I then tried to attach it to an email but AOL would not allow that for some reason.

Enter YouTube... Here, one can upload any number of videos either to share with the world at large or with a select group of 25 viewers. I duly uploaded my little nature piece to YouTube and at the prompt, added a few simple tags.

One tag was 'Viens, Viens', which was the name of the song that accompanied the participants in the action in my video. Another was 'Ashleigh Attila', the name of one of the fluffy main feline characters. Young felines are innocent creatures, if full of energy and mischief. They have not developed an interest in sex yet, although they are curious about everything that crosses their path.

It therefore was rather horrifying to find that YouTube had slapped two videos of a naked woman disporting herself over the little faces of the kittens, advertising them as 'related' videos! I had to remove THAT tag...

YouTube then very helpfully substituted another pair of 'related' videos, linking them to the name of the song. 'Viens, Viens' is an old song by Marie Laforet, sung to the tune of the more famous song, 'Rain, Rain'. 'Viens' translates as 'Come' but evidently is the word for 'vein' in French as well. The second group of 'related' videos was even more horrifying than the first: a pair of videos showing the dissection of a cat in gruesome detail! Obviously, I had to remove THAT tag as well.

I doubt I have the time to create many more videos, but I can see the allure of it, especially where combining music with visuals is concerned. I have 5 pending projects in my 'Movie Maker' now. One is a study of the god Dionysus... that will be a very ambitious project, certain to attract thousands of viewers upon completion, especially as the tag of 'Dionysus' or 'Bacchus' no doubt will inspire YouTube to link it to videos of orgies of various sorts.

It never ceases to amaze me, meanwhile, how people can be so quick to promote and publish themselves in the media, whether it is on a 'reality show', a 'talk show' or a self-published video on YouTube. Pride and dignity appear to lose out 99% of the time to a desire to be seen and known. 'Famous' and 'infamous' are perceived as one and the same in the 21st century. My own reclusive nature causes me to shrink even from the publication of innocent details of my life such as my present domicile. Having been the victim of more than one serious stalker in the past probably contributed to my attitude but even if I had not experienced anything of the sort, I would be reluctant to open the book of my life to dissection by the entire world.
To me, one of the great benefits of working with any art form is the ability to expose only those aspects of heart and soul that one wishes to share. One can reshape, redesign and perfect any aspect of life in writing, visual art or music. An artist can be defined more by his/her creations than by his/her often rather sorry existence in this world.

I believe in the absolute right to privacy, by the way, and even friends have been puzzled sometimes by my reluctance to ask questions of a personal nature. The 'right to privacy' is one that is recognised only by a few nations in law, by the way. I would argue in favour of extending its range. Why should a 'public figure' be forced to expose private details when he/she has committed no sin apart from sharing his/her talents with the world?

The 'web cam' that now has become an integrated part of every new PC and laptop to me represents a potentially invasive influence rather than a means by which communication is enhanced. Perhaps one day I will experiment with it, but dipping my toes into the shallow waters of YouTube publication is enough of an adventure for today.

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