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Bureaucracy (elimination of)

Oddly, I’t not sure where the inspiration for this video came from. You’d think it would be obvious, but aside from a general weariness of dealing with bureaucrats of various flavours, there’s nothing I can point to and say, “This is the reason.”.

If the truth be told, my main motivation for making this video was to make a serious go at chroma key. This is the technique whereby you film yourself in front of a certain colour — these days it’s usually green — and then, at the editing stage, remove that colour and replace it with something else.

What’s actually behind me is a cheap, green paper tablecloth, which works quite well. Surprisingly well, in fact. The other ingredient is a camera that performs well in low light.

It’s not perfect, and I actually made a small mistake (look towards the right of the main studio set). Ideally, I’d need a proper lighting setup: two lights illuminating the green screen, and at least one other light illuminating me separately. The pros use a small backlight to give the subject a sharp outline, making it even easier to key out the background, but that would be the icing on the cake, really.

In any case, I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. This is the ultimate low-budget chroma-key effect, using a decent consumer-grade camera, a piece of paper and a fairly basic video editor.

How to make a funny video

I’ve long been annoyed by these “epic fail” videos where somebody doing something patently stupid — like riding a bike off a roof (I kid you not) — ends up inevitably crumpled on the ground; and then the faceplant has to be repeated multiple times at different speeds, just in case I didn’t get it. But it took actor Brandon Hardesty to make a video lampooning certain types of vlogger to spur me into action.

I now think I have the focusing right. This camera has a large aperture, which I suppose contributes to a very small depth of field in low light, but that does have the distinct advantage that I can throw the background slightly out of focus. I did this by drawing an X on a large sheet of paper and draping it over the back of the chair for me to manually focus on.

Ten vids I won’t be watching

This one grew out of a need to meddle with my new camera as part of a trial-and-error effort to work out the best settings (with thanks to my YouTube friends ebbixx and epontius for their invaluable advice). It’s a bit overexposed, and the focus appears to be slightly off, but it’s already looking infinitely better than anything done indoors with the old camera.

It’s surprisingly difficult to think of ten subjects for videos that won’t appeal to somebody.

Fun with cats

The interesting thing about this is how Clyde is first into the fray, but soon retreats and watches from afar while Bonnie exhausts herself in a fruitless endeavour.

The Bruce Willis impersonator

I remember a very long time ago hearing a review on the radio of a Bruce Willis film (I can’t remember which one). The reviewer said that while it was an entertaining film, the problem with Bruce Willis was that he had only two facial expressions: one was … and the other was …, which made for unusual, if not especially good, radio.