20mm: I want to talk a little about text. You have said you’re not much of a writer, and I will politely disagree with you on that. You are a writer. You are a poet. While I love the video and the audio, I will tell you straight out that for me, the thing that set your work apart was the text, the writing that went with it. Tell us about that, how did you come up with the written word? Was it purely inspiration on a given night, or did it all come together in one sitting? Do you have a huge list of words and parsed out the ones that made it into the final version? What was the source for your thought and the prose that followed?
Brad: Hmm, the text. Well, the text is what had me worried from the get go. I knew I wanted to convey my feelings in words to go along with the piece, but I also knew it was going to be difficult. It’s not always easy trying to convey the feelings we have on the inside, but I knew the video would not be complete without it.
The words “came to me” over about 2-3 days. I would be at work thinking of certain scenes and words would start filling my mind and I would grab my phone and record my thoughts. The words were so poetic and I have never really experienced something like this. Nothing as “free-flowing”. It was exciting to hear words that truly matched my feelings and the images in the video.
I usually include the written word in my more emotional pieces, but this took on a whole new level. It was as if I had tapped into something beyond me. Of course, thinking of my Grandfather and how much I love him had a big part in all of it “flowing”. It’s not too hard to come up with the right words when your mind and heart are full of remembrance of someone so dear to you.
When I felt I had enough words to begin laying them out I powered up my PC and started putting the final piece of the puzzle together. Again, it all went together very smoothly. The words really bound the video. It felt complete. It was finished. Words are powerful. Than can either create or destroy. They bring forth fruit of Life or Death.
20mm: On the technical path, how did you decide on the font, the typeface you used for the text? it seemed so perfect for the theme.
Brad: Well, someone actually criticized the type font and it made me laugh because it just amazed me. You know the ole phrase you can can’t please everyone all of the time, but you can please some of them all of the time! Anyway, I chose the font because I wanted it to appear more like it was handwritten… to give it more of a personal feel. To be honest, it was the closest to my actual handwriting so I thought it was the right one.
20mm: Take us through a short course you did for the video, in order of difficulty. From raw video at air shows to using audio selections, to text. It seems overwhelming to me as a guy who points a camera and hits a red button. How many hours did you spend working and reworking the video, combining the audio and the text? What software did you use to achieve the final results?
Brad: You know, sitting back and counting the hours I’m amazed at how much time this all took! I mentioned the time it took to edit and render the video to be around 25-30 hours (and that’s being conservative). I really, really, get obsessed with my videos. To tell the truth, I wasn’t happy with the one I had posted. I didn’t notice all the little glitches until after it was posted and it was too late. There was nothing major, just some minor timing issues and effects issues that annoyed me.
I think if I were to count all the time including the filming, driving, editing, etc., I would have to say the video took well over 80 hours! However, they were all non-clockwatching hours!
As far as editing, I use Sony Vegas. It’s very intuitive and allows for some really fun creativity for your post production. Being that I don’t have the “good stuff” in camera equipment, Vegas allows me to clean up my messy footage at times. Hey, no one’s perfect! Right?
20mm: Tell us about AirShowBuzz and your interaction with those fine people. How it came to pass with the truck and the taxes and all of that.
Brad: Alright, this one’s easy! What’s not to like about ASB? It’s a site about flying! It’s great to have a site that is run by people who fly and by people who just love flying! I remember hearing about ASB from Rob Reider at Langley’s Air Show last year. I thought, cool… I’ll check it out.
I’m not a heavy hitter online poster, but I do like to lurk and it seemed like ASB was really trying to keep the site fun and clean!
As far as the contest goes, well there wasn’t any interaction until the semi-finalists winners were chosen. When I was told I had won and was getting a new camera I was so so so excited! Wow, for the first time I actually won a contest! It was a huge accomplishment for me.
When it was decided that I had won the Grand Prize, Stephanie called me a few days before the official announcement to let me know the truck was ours. It was so thrilling… so thrilling all I could do was laugh. I kept laughing and when she told me that they had upgraded the truck from a 2×4 to a 4×4 I laughed louder. Of course she wasn’t done yet, she then told me they decided to buy the truck locally and had paid all the fees/state taxes/etc… I laughed… laughed until we (my family and I) all began crying.
I got to talk with not only Stephanie, but also got to talk with Deb Mitchell, Jesse Shipley, and Ed Shipley. They were all very kind and expressed how thankful they were with everyone taking part in the contest and helping them with a great first year! To think I was a part of their first year, their world, that really does make it all the more sweet!
Oh and I need to mention this one more time… Ed Shipley called me personally from L.A.! How freakin’ cool is that? He was out there getting ready to start work on the AirShowBuzz web site updates.