I finally got around to editing all my video footage from April 2019. It really only needed 3 videos to cover the trip but I wanted to do the week-plus spent travelling with the Calgary Yacht Club as a separate video, so I ended up making 4 with the last one mostly just a round up of the last week, easing back into the real world and cleaning up.
I also thought I would publish a bit of background on the vids themselves. Some of the online forums I participate in are filled with curmudgeons that insist that YouTube is filled with freeloaders and people with no, or bad, work ethics. If the amount of effort I put into my — admittedly bad — videos can be taken as a measure, then those who weekly produce high (or even medium) quality videos for their sailing channels are in no way suffering from work ethic issues.
All 23 of my videos can be found here on the Never for Ever channel. It has a whopping 21 subscribers, half-a-dozen likes, and 6.8k views lifetime. The most views at 1.7k is a short, mostly unedited video of our second solo transit through Dodd Narrows on a Bayliner 38. I guess people just want to see what all the hype is about? The least amount of views (not counting the new ones) is 62 which is Part 6 of our 2017 trip to Desolation—I guess people were getting bored by then as Part 1 has 222 views.
For those who have never been to the channel, here is a summary of what you will find:
- 1 early and long video of a flotilla trip to Broughtons — 2014
- 3 short Broughtons’ videos — 2015
- 3 test promo videos for NYCSS
- 7 medium-length videos of Desolation Sound — 2017
- 3 long Broughtons’ videos — 2018
- 4 medium Desolation videos — 2019
Why do I make these? Successful YouTube channels have a hook or theme—something to attract and retain viewers. Me? Not so much. I got to thinking about it during the last round of editing and realized my imagined audience (the enormity of sadly ignorant people who really should come to know and love the PNW) and my real audience (family and friends) were worlds apart. Given the videos I do create, I would guess my subconscious realizes this, as I would definitely characterize them as a “travel log” for people who know us.
To expand the channel by any degree I think I would have to make the leap to official travelogue. This format has a long and storied history in the world of television but it would take a bunch more research and filming to really show the essence of places we visit. And it’s not really feasible for me to move into the vlog world. At the very least, that would take a more cooperative (and less camera shy) partner and a lot more talking to camera…or even any talking to camera. Hmmmm…
And there is no way we could really be a true sailing channel — not with all the motoring we do :-) I can just imagine the scathing comments.
One of the main reasons I make the videos is to practice and sharpen my software skills. My “Map” is a perfect example of this. I needed a map to display routes and rather than steal (and it actually is stealing) one off the internet I decided to make my own based on various sources. I traced a detailed outline into Adobe Illustrator and then modified and added layers to it. This was then imported into Adobe After Effects, routes added and animated and finally placed into the main Premiere video file for integration with the rest of the footage. It is labour intensive and complex and I end up learning something new every time I attempt it. Good practice, lousy efficiency.
The 3 videos I did to promote Nanaimo Yacht Charters were very much done for practice and proof of concept. It started when Water Dragon, a 2017 42 Lagoon, was going into charter and had done some videos to promote the boat — and I really hated his splash screens. So I volunteered to see if I could add something to it.
Then I redid an interview video he had done, tweaking the audio and lighting and played with a sample cruise itinerary of the Gulf Islands, which incidentally is my second-most viewed video despite the fact that it is beyond horrible.
I have also discovered subtitles recently. When I took my one brother for a tour through the Broughtons I checked to see if YouTube had CC (closed caption) capability (he’s deaf). Turns out they have an automatic captioning tool that, like most “autocorrect” type features, produces some awesomely funny results. Fortunately there is an ability to edit and add your own captioning, so I have started to add that to all my videos.
Hardware-wise I mostly use my iPhone 7 (or iPhone 5 in past videos), a Nikon Coolpix L80 with 28x optical zoom for long shots, and an SJCam (which is a cheap GoPro knockoff) for wide angle, timelapse and underwater shots. I long for a drone but keep talking myself out of it. At home I use my 2015 Macbook Pro to edit and last year invested in a 32-inch Samsung monitor after my old 21″ burned out.
As you can see, one of the “hardest” things about cruising is giving up all that delicious screen real estate for the puny 13″ monitor on my laptop. ;-)
I am lucky enough to have the full Adobe Creative Suite so I use After Effects for animations and titles, Audition to prep and balance the audio and Premiere to put it all together. This year’s videos feature a lot of colour grading, which is a new skill for me, and a little experimentation with 2.33:1 anamorphic aspect ratios. I will usually open Photoshop and Illustrator at least once during a project to tweak an image or build some sort of graphic like the compass rose.
I had originally meant to say something about time invested and work ethic, but I think I have blithered on enough. Suffice it to say I shot these videos in April and it is now December. The rest I will leave for a future post. So, without further adieu, here are the four 2019 videos.
Part one is YEG to Lund.
Part two is Desolation Sound: Lund to Shark Spit.
Part three is a loop through the Discovery Islands with my brother and the Calgary Yacht Club‘s annual flotilla and our return to Smuggler Cove.
Part 4 is just our trip home from Smuggler, and encounter with the start of the VanIsle 360 and cleaning up.