I’ve been doing something pretty exciting this summer, I’ve been filming in HQ. Yes dear little HQ has been transformed into my very own mini TV studio as I filmed, wait for it, guess what (no, no, not the next version of Harry Potter – I wish) – So Easy Herbal the video series!
Can’t tell you how excited I am about this.
Oh yes I can! Oh yes I will!
I loved writing So Easy Herbal, loved setting up all the photos, loved working things out for the recipes and crafts. Loved it so much I wanted to do it again, but bigger and better, oh and moving and colourful (whoops getting all Stephen Spielbergish here), anyway I saw the book as more, much more.
I’ll be honest here, it took the encouragement of a friend and mentor to get me going on this. To get me to actually pick up the threads of the idea and start laying them out (bit like making a quilt), then to sew it all together. You see the idea was fine (and I’m sure dear Mr Spielberg has the same feelings sometimes!) but there was just this huge ‘How To’ wall in front of me. How the hell could I (‘lil ‘ol me) make a video series?
‘Simples’, (as a certain Meerkat is want to say), you just make a start, any start and take those itsy bitsy baby steps and learn along the way.
Boy have I learned.
You know having a Cunning Plan is all well and good. Being the Great Adventurer is fine. But hell’s teeth, when you’ve got to muck out HQ completely and clear the damn place up before you can even start, well that’s going too far. It certainly felt like it. There I was all fired up with this idea and inspiring back-up from Bob but alas I still had to get down and dirty and do the nitty gritty cleaning stuff before I could even start.
I did it and HQ looked great. Cleared of all crap and tidied up with props and supplies on shelves, old emergancy cooker (you need one of these when you have a pet Aga to cook with) in place and the floors all cleared completely.
Enter the ‘set’. Yes I made my own demo table – knew those months of filming with STV doing The Hour would pay off. I knew just what height I wanted my work area to be, had to be covered at the front and have a big shelf underneath for me to produce stuff from, a la Blue Peter presenter mode – “Here’s one I prepared earlier”. You need lights to make a video. Enter the lighting set up – the light cell soft boxes that required the aid of a You Tube video and a degree in engineering to put together. There was a bit of swearing around this point, I persevered.
So the stage was set for the filming. Oh boy I had no idea that filming yourself would be so much more difficult than standing in a studio and having a full team of experts dance about in front of you making it all happen for you. Where was the sound man to step in and ‘mike me up’, where was the floor manager to get the placement right, where was the bloody camera man? Nope, nobody about, it was all me, lights, camera, sound, props and action, eeeeekkkk!
You know how you laugh at those TV blooper films where the presenter fluffs her lines again and again, and you begin to think they have to be doing it deliberately, nobody could be that thick. Hmmmmm well I’m here to tell you that YES THEY CAN. I have no idea how many times I have fluffed the lines, knocked over the damn prop, dropped the herbs, picked up the wrong bloody herb, tripped over the set and even on one momentous occasion stood in front of the camera and just grinned inanely for five minutes because I couldn’t for the life of me remember what I was there for.
Oh yes filming my own video series has been a learning curve.
But it has been nothing, NOTHING compared with learning how to edit the damn things. Boy oh boy, have I learned some things about technology in the past few weeks. I have gone from being someone who couldn’t and wouldn’t download a programme for fear that the computer would throw a hissy fit and keel over dead, to this cool babe who can sit in front of a monitor armed with headphones, jingle track, titles, end pages and a mug of coffee and spend many a happy (if often frustrated) hour panning in, zooming out, cropping, tweaking and generally making my own movie magic. It has been a journey of ups and downs, twists and turns, and many an email and skype with Bob to get me over the techno hurdles, but hey, I’ve done it! Okay so Mr Spielberg doesn’t have to look to his laurels (yet!), I am in no imminent danger of becoming the next top movie producer, so what, I’m actually having FUN doing this.
I can’t wait to show you some sneak peeks. In fact I will very soon, promise, within the next two weeks in fact.
So it’s back to filming and editing for me today. Kettle is on ready for the first coffee sustenance as I head out to HQ and the land of moviedom.
In those imortal words from the Antarctic – “I may be some time”………