To prove the point I made in a previous post about how new digital tools make it easier than ever to quickly produce evocative movies that can be easily shared, I'm video-blogging my vacation. I put this two-minute clip together with my laptop on the airplane returning from Montana. I used a pocket Sony Cybershot 6.0 mexapixil camera, Windows Moviemaker, and inserted the theme music from the 1960s Western, "Bonanza."
Here's a clip from our visit to Yellowstone National Park, illustrating tourists' obsession and fascination with a certain furry, but dangerous animal:
To demonstrate just how easy video-editing can now be, my 10-year-old son Alex helped edit this (admittedly amateurish) clip on the Cody, Wyoming rodeo, with an excerpt from the goofy music, "Cotton-Eyed Joe."
OK, when looking at the blurry camera angles, remember that the camera is cheap and fits in your pocket, and this was a spontaneous moment. With the proliferation of online video, and the huge popularity of YouTube.com, we're seeing a blurring of the lines between amateur and professionall quality video. Sometimes, blurry imagery and shaky camera angles from average people are considered to be more "authentic" than too-slick, canned, predictable, corporate and mainstream media videos. An amateur video by a vacationer, for example, may be more compelling than a professional marketing video.
Here's our amateur video on the Blackfoot Indian Village.
And here's a brief clip on our whitewater rafting adventure.
Maybe Alex will share these videos with his fifth-grade classmates as a new way of producing the usually obligatory report, "What I Did On My Summer Vacation."
Not to get carried away with "the cult of the amateur," there's still a lot to be said for professionally-produced videos that place a premium on professsional-quality equipment, good lighting, good angles, and message development.
Checking out the new Google video offerings (http://video.google.com), I discovered this: "bill clinton in tel aviv opening the merkaz itzhak rabin. But look 40 children arab and 40 childrens jews and bill singing. Amazing."
Why shouldn't my first video blog via Videoegg be about my dog? Doesn't that make this like most other decadent, narcissistic American web sites or blogs with not much of importance or interest to say to the world?
OK, let me try here to glean some larger meaning from this exercise.
Washingtonians are thrilled to have a home baseball team again. Washington Cheers As Long-Sought Team Makes Winning Debut. (Great slideshow on Washington Post site.) Also, check out the home page for coverage of the Nationals on WashingtonPost.com. My eight-year-old son and I had the privilege of attending Sunday's game between the Nationals and the Arizona Diamondbacks at RFK Stadium. What a barrel of fun! The Nationals won 7-3. It was their fifth straight win. We sat near NBC's Tim Russert, and Democratic political consultant James Carville. I brought a video camera to the game. Here are a couple of video clips from our experience.
You can now watch Nationals baseball online -- the local tv blackout doesn't include the web. www.nationals.com
"The arrival of the Washington Nationals has changed...not just the way I look at sports, but more importantly, the way I look at Washington. For 15 years, I've felt like a resident alien here; now, a brand-new baseball team has made the city feel like home. " -- Steve Hendrix, The Washington Post.