Saturday, 21 June 2014

The End of #ESES2014

The past couple of days have been enormously stressful. I've not been active much, and I apologise for that, but it's been an enormously steep learning curve. I joined the ESES2014 team as a video editor on a single project - I was in the right place at the right time, and I spoke to the right person, and I did the thing I was supposed to do. And then I did another video. And then all of a sudden I was directing and shooting my own two minute video, and now I have about 8-10 hours of footage to review and edit. All of this footage is from cameras I positioned and was filmed by people to whom I taught everything I know.

Look in the other end. Point. Press the red button.
I didn't know an awful lot about this when I started but - there's an enormous benefit to having all the knowledge of the world at your fingertips. Of course, that means that the world has all the knowledge of you at its fingertips, but it's a trade-off. After all, what could possibly exist that could embarrass me?

That picture has absolutely nothing to do with the above statement.
I just wanted to remind you that I'm fantastically good looking.
Learning theory the night before and then getting to apply it the next day is an amazing opportunity, and one that I wouldn't get the opportunity to do anywhere else. The fact is that while I absolutely want to do my best and create a finished product that everyone can be proud of I, like every other member of the team (save one, who saved everyone at the last minute) am not from the discipline in which I found myself.

And yet we still threw ourselves into the approaching storm like spawning salmon, ignoring the enormous great grizzly bear of failure in the hope it would go away if we pretended it wasn't there.

And weirdly...it worked.

If you're actually a salmon, this may not work. It's a metaphor.
Also, thanks for reading. Even though you're a fish.
The whole thing came together. Don't get me wrong, there was one point when I thought I'd misplaced 32GB of footage and very nearly swore. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but there were more microphones than there are normally around me and while some readers - some dear readers - find it charming to hear cursing in an unnaturally English accent, I rather suspect it would have put a dampener on the whole thing.

In any case, I've now got a totally full hard drive and a totally awesome amount of work to do. I can review the footage, I can find out if any of it's useable (please, please let some of it be useable) and I can jam it together with the sound my colleague dutifully recorded and I can watch the sessions I couldn't be in, owing to the fact that while my electrons exist in a quantum superstate I, unfortunately, do not.

This is a nerd joke. Carry on.
But the sessions were great, and a lady from the UN did what everyone from the UN does to me - inspired. I'm sure I wasn't the only one in the room who felt it, which is going to make going for the jobs there even harder, but hell - what a chance. What an opportunity.

There was also a session on nuclear energy and, while I can't show you it (as the footage is not really mine, and I'm doing this work for someone else, and so releasing the footage is really not my call) I made a brief speech in support of nuclear energy that was light on figures but heavy, seriously heavy, on pathos. If I do get a chance I'll show you, but I'd like you all to remember that the camera adds pot bellies. This is a true fact.

In conclusion, then - what have I learned? Plan well ahead. Buy more SD cards than you think you'll need and buy the hard drive that makes you go "What? This much space? I'll never use this much space. Never."

Because if you film something, you will. Because it gets in your blood, and soon you're filming everything...

and that, kids, is how I became head of CCTV.