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Fiend on Film

Fri, 31 July, 2020

You might have seen – hey, you might even have subscribed! – that I’ve joined the tribe of YouTubers. I’m making movies! I’m in the movies! Well – my food is because I try to limit my presence on film as much as I can.

I did claim and foreswear that I wouldn’t go near a video camera, nor let my dishes. I thought there was skill in writing recipes so they can be used by even uninitiated. I’d say I detest those picto-instructions you find on appliances everywhere because I can never understand them. I’d insist words are the best means of conveying instructions.

But since only a donkey doesn’t change his mind, I’ve evolved. A friend infected me with the concepts of time blending, frame lapses and slo-mo remapping (or similar), and we spent a lovely week together arranging cherries into a pile and taking them away one by one.

We set up a rocket-science complexity grade structure in front of my oven to provide light environment fit for bread baking time-lapse. Of course, as it would, bread turned out super-wonky and the clip completely dark.

Inspired by my friend I took it forward on my own. At first I fancied myself a Nigella, chatting and gurning to the camera as I interminably cooked. That concept was quickly abandoned as no one in their right mind would want to watch ten minutes’ long clip of twisting pretzels. And I could not stand to look at myself or listen to my voice.

I bought a tonne of not always useful gear: lapel mic, gimbal, several tripods and even more adapters as I didn’t pay attention to details like thread size. I spent days researching YouTube video making on YouTube. I battled with several video editing applications and despaired I’m a/ too old to learn new tricks or b/ not clever enough: probably both. I kept pestering my savvy friends and daughters with basic questions and demands to proof-view drafts of drafts. I threw in the towel about twice a day.

Then the curse of video kicked in: my first dishes cooked on film were successful, until they weren’t. Bread especially didn’t want to play ball, refusing to rise or exploding into a massive air bubble in the oven. I’d forget to add chicken to my paella. My intricate overhead camera structure went crashing into bread dough halfway through kneading.

But hey, if you don’t find new things to obsess about, you might as well be dead. I’m still learning; my YT channel is a massive learning exercise at the moment – but if you have some sympathy, and wouldn’t mind seeing more of my efforts, please subscribe.

 

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