Creative: Shifter Vlog Test

This is a test. This is only a test, of the Emergency Vlogcast System. If this were a real emergency you would be in deep s%$#.>

I know, I know. The depths of my hypocrisy are considerable, but there is a reason for my madness. And remember, this film is ONLY A TEST. You will have plenty of time to judge me, so just relax. Take a deep breath. Think about puppies. This is basically me just sitting there talking at you. Again, I’m working out a few bugs and I thought I would share the process with you. Don’t get your hopes up. Have a few drinks first. Take a tranquilizer. Sit in lotus for an hour. Think Gandhi. It’s just ONE angle, one view, one crop, one take. It’s a test people. Okay, now watch.

Shifter_Vlog_Test_Short_ from ShifterMedia on Vimeo.

As you will see, I have a reason for doing this and doing this now. It’s my job. Sorta. I’ve committed to learning, editing and delivering short motion segments for Blurb. I’ve attempted to do this before, but it was never an official part of my goals until now. What has typically happened is that I turn the camera on myself, make one recording, look at said recording and say “Oh, no way in Hell I’m doing this.” Then I delete it all and go back to what I was doing before, which by the way is a lot of stuff. It was not like I didn’t have anything to do and then decided “Hey, motion seems easy, guess I”ll do that.”

Why am I turning the camera on myself? Simple, because I don’t know what I’m doing. Yet. So, if I wanted to profile a Blurb user I would waste their time, and my time, and would probably end up with something sub-par anyway. But with myself, I am free to make mistakes, waste my own time, etc. It had to be this way.

Filming myself isn’t natural. It feels wrong, at least for now, but I’m hoping I get used to it.

My setup is a mess. Fuji XT2 for “rock” shocks, or tripod mounted footage. Canon G7x on Feiyutech gimbal and GoPro Hero 6 for action footage. Why this? Because my life and my job are one and the same and have been since 1993. For the last ten years I’ve worked for Blurb, the best job I’ll ever have, and when people ask me about the job I say “My job and my life are the same.” I don’t punch a clock. So all my climbing, hiking, cycling, paddling, fishing, etc. are just as equal as my photography and publishing projects. Did I tell you about my new photography project? How about my two new publishing projects? Well, then stay tuned because you are going to get to SEE them unfold.

Oh, speaking of my setup, check out this article about the Fuji gear in the latest issue of Pro Moviemaker.(My wife subscribes.) I had no idea Fuji even had cinema gear. And yes, my firmware probably isn’t up to date. Color me clueless.

“For What It’s Worth,” is the title of my new Vlog. Why? Because it’s vague and allows me to cover whatever I feel like covering, and believe me, people, I’m going to cover it all. Politics, people, photography, writing, publishing, adventure and whatever else I feel like covering.

Here is my luxury. I don’t have a motive outside of learning motion, so having to cater to build following isn’t something I have to worry about. What that means is you are actually going to get…me. The real me. Which might scare a few of you off. That’s okay.

Now, the full version of this video is too long, seven minutes, and it’s not engaging enough, but it was strictly a test of my motion/audio setup and a first test case for Premiere, which is a tad bit complicated. When I went to export this first vlog test I realized there must be at least one hundred different export modes. At least. 480,720,1080,4k, not to mention the endless choices like H.264 and the myriad of options under just that ONE setting. What did I do? I winged it of course. My laptop got so hot I had to prop it up and open the windows. It sounded like a Harrier jet taking off.

I’m very, very late to this game. YouTube teeters on the brink, no one under twenty-five seems to have heard of Vimeo and LinkedIn is becoming a player in motion. NONE of this makes any sense but here I am.

I apologize in advance for what I’m about to do to the medium.

24 Comments on “Creative: Shifter Vlog Test”

  1. I like what I see so far, looking forward to more. And I hate gear-centric questions but am curious about the little tabletop tripod.

    1. Joe,
      They are made my Canon actually. Small, metal, SUPER strong. You could put a horse on this thing.

  2. Beer and chips are on standby! That X-H1 is damned nice for hand held filming with your current lenses I gotta say. That stabilization is very, very nice indeed.

    A short slice of a slow pan at an awkward angle here:


    I just had the camera in my hands with the 35mm f2 on it, on a windy evening. Footage is straight out of the camera – no sound levels adjusted (you were warned) and it’s really grainy as I was shooting at 10,000 ISO or higher. I rate it. Certainly quite amazing to be able to hold a camera and get footage that’s stable enough to use. Shame I had to give it back after a couple of weeks!

    1. C,
      I got to hold one at the PSPF. It was really nice, and something I’d like to have but am not going to upgrade. Am going to use the Canon on gimbal and my GoPro for movement and stabalized work. For now…

  3. Daniel cool new development. Thank you thank you for not adopting a phony Youtube voice….and your talking like a normal human. Yeh one of my pet peeves and I have a lot of them 😉

    1. Jim,
      I wouldn’t know what a YouTube voice is, but I’m sure I could fake one. Or not. I’m not normal but you will find out soon enough.

  4. Dan,

    This is going to be great!
    Obviously you’ve been hiding those Patogonia Catalogue good looks of yours from us for far too long. Tell your wife, she’s just gonna have to share. The voice can always be improved with smoking and drinking to polish it up into a radio show host/rock star timbre. Vlogging and clean living don’t go hand in hand Daniel; the stress of the lifestyle is too much.
    Seriously, the road you have started I (and perhaps many others) have tried and really not gone far with, for all the reasons you mention. Motion takes some planning and discipline, plus a decent amount of time for the edit. You need to actually have something to say…I’m generally finished before I’ve even started. Props to you for taking it on…of course being a polymath like yourself, I have a feeling that in a couple of weeks these things will grow from the obvious starting point of “stilted teenage” phase footage to something of a Ridley Scott directed masterpiece; a polished product with dramatic tension, gratuitous action and great character development. No pressure. 😉

    1. Aaron,
      I’m attempting to avoid looking at whatever anyone else is doing. I know what I want, but am a long way away. No rush. Just gonna play around until I find my recipe. I heard Ridley Scott is doing the Don Winslow book, The Cartel. Should be good.

  5. I love the look of black and white digital video. It looks like nothing else on God’s blessed earth, but it looks good.

    Love the hair, man! Practical, too, in the heat!

    1. AM,
      That’s called a “high fade with hard line,” which is what happens when you got a strange barber shop and let the people waiting dictate what cut you get. I like it too. All of my vids are going to be black and white.

  6. No opening schtick? No crazy “WASSUP MY PEEPS”? C’mon man. Not sure I can watch if you’re not going to be hyped up on coffee, Red Bull, Monster and 5hr Energy…

    Btw, I’m sending you some stuff later. We may need another date besides the end of this month but I’m going to try and get stuff organized this week. Even though I was technically ‘working’ last week, I tend to check out when I’m in Telluride…

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