Bashing the Pinata
As our minds improve (cough) - alright, age - the experts tell us that there are things we can do to stave off the inevitable. Some recommendations are palatable enough, such as maintaining social contacts, staying active, and doing crossword puzzles. Friends and activities are easy enough and fun to boot, but puzzles....meh. I get the basic idea which is exercise for the mind, like mental barbells, but I have a much better alternative.
Some of you may know that I recently wrote a book....a Young Adult/Women’s piece of fiction entitled "Ednor Scardens" (she plugs shamelessly)....and one of the tasks I’ve recently tackled in conjunction with that endeavor was to create a book trailer. Just like the endless clips we not-so-silently curse while sitting in a theater, waiting for the movie we actually paid to see, it’s a video advertisement that is supposed to entice a viewer to want to buy/read the subject book.
But unlike the slickly-produced pieces born of bottomless wells of talent and cash that we’ve grown accustomed to, this is self-produced by an author with limited expertise and even less cash. I had no idea, so I ‘googled’ the topic. After wading through the hits, I settled on Windows Movie Maker. Alright, I really wanted the Apple iMovie program, but unless a lot more of you buy my book(s), I’ll be saddled with the former.
It looks simple enough: upload some pictures and music, patch them together, save and play. My brain cells snorted condescendingly and tied one arm behind their collective back in underestimation. Just look at the thousands of "Twilight" fan videos....how hard could it be?
Since copyright violations can cause serious complications, I opted to browse through my actual and virtual personal photo trove in search of suitable material. Hours passed.....and I closed the last one, still empty-handed. So I went online in search of ‘public domain’ pictures, and could have found a few suitable images if I had until 2015 to complete this task.. Finding music to sample was the only easy part, thanks to my bulging iTunes library. I knew what my own book was about, so captions were done in seconds. All that remained was putting the pieces together, right?
Enter the pinata. Just like the current automaker’s popular commercial, most of us have been to a birthday party where countless attendees whack away at a too-well-made paper mache creature who refuses to reveal its treasures. My technical pinata had been soldered so seamlessly that after nine hours, I have 52 seconds of video that I can call a starting point. Echoes of yesterday’s frequent, malevolent, ear-splitting curses still hang like a mist in my living room this morning.
Please pardon my grey matter as it sprawls on the couch, savoring the nugget of hard-won candy.