Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The museum of shattered video dreams

Despite the video's title, it was, but now isn't going to be used. Every year I enter the Boating Writers International writing contest in the "Original Online Content" category.  This entry has required a 300 word essay be submitted answering questions about your journalistic standards, media forms you use and others. In the past few years I have done cartoons as my essay form. They are still 300 words, but the toons are more fun to do, and in many ways exemplify more adroitly what I'm trying to do with the blog. Dealing with work and tech, while having a little fun at the same time. The Rant is my real voice, and if you have heard me speak, there is no difference.  

Xtranormal, the software, and website that I used to create these went out of business on July 30 2013 with little notice. I still had credits, so I did this piece, and finished on July 29th. This is one of the last ones made. It was buggy software, and the computer voice spoke phonetically requiring some real gyrations at times to make it understandable. If I wanted a character to say NMEA, it would look like "Knee Maa." To make the voices clear required some tedious editing, and in this case it took about two days of mucking around to complete it.

But the contest doesn't close until December 31st you're thinking, why now? Well it got some attention the first time I used a toon, and I actually won third place. So if I won the second race at the track, by betting on the number two horse, why not try it again? I think I haven't won again not because of the cartoon essays, but maybe poor my choices in entry selections. I tend to pick the ones I had the most fun writing, which maybe aren't the most glowing examples of my writing skills, and perhaps lacked the gravitas expected of a professional boating writer. I had fun writing them though, and who else would tackle these subjects in this way? Senators all named after boils?

In the end I have to be fresh, new, and on the cutting edge, while still being slightly irrelevant. I have found it! Tech galore, stretching audio editing to it's very limits, and animatronics to boot. You will be able to see it right after the Miami boat show when the winners are announced. I can already see myself accepting the keys to the city while holding the first place plaque. I hate to waste work product. There's sort of a bartender joke along with some insider gaffs, and references. Here is the not to be used unused essay.