Sunday, July 09, 2006

On the subject of droughts and finding the spring within.

When I walked out of that arena in Pensacola, Florida last December, the fact that I wouldn’t see him again for probably another nine months never entered my mind. Seriously, why would I have even given that notion the time of day? I mean, nine months???

Sometimes I think there is wisdom in the fact that we can’t see into the future because if we could I probably would have wanted to stay in that arena forever. And trust me, I couldn’t wait to get out of that arena…

I’m sure we all thought we’d be out on the road again, meeting up with each other come May… or at least July. Because for many of us home had pretty much just become the most convenient place to toss our underwear into the wash, letting it air dry off the antenna on route to the next venue. But nine months???

Do you realize how much underwear can be dried using the conventional method in that amount of time? Heck, mine were all dry by the second week of January.

The Drought of ‘06

It was a time of unoccupied minds. There was little happening to keep our minds off of real life or to distract us from all those pesky little household chores. Let me rephrase that, there was nothing happening… nothing at all. Nada.

And how many times can you clean your house anyway?… and does it really even NEED to be cleaned in the cosmic scheme of things? I mean, afterall, it’ll only get dirty all over again and then you have to waste your time revisting that redundant task. Besides, I’ve discovered that zero velocity = zero dust, and in the past a bottle of glass cleaner and a dust rag near my computer table have pretty much sufficed as my housecleaning supplies anyway. I was hoping to keep it that way. But with not much to work with I knew I was gonna have to get creative.

Getting Creative

By the end of January I had pretty much figured out MySpace. I realize now that it’s not that difficult, but at that time I think I was probably still struggling with paragraphs and wondering why all I ever got were little red x’s every time I’d try to post a pic.

I’d always wanted to learn how to make montages. I’d gotten through many two and three month "droughts" in the past by enjoying the creations of some of the more technically savvy folks and I had some ideas, but seriously no clue. And then one day, purely by accident, I discovered that Windows Movie Maker was installed on my computer... and my house hasn’t been cleaned once since. But like I said… it hasn’t needed it.

Making Montages

Over the course of trying to make them I’ve discovered many things:

  • Making them is NOT EASY. Oh, the program itself is easy enough to figure out and once you’ve made one… you’re pretty much a champ. But that’s just the tip of the iceburg.

  • Finding a song is the easy part. Coming up with a concept and creating a “feel” for your montage?.. not so much.

  • Just because all those video effects, transitional doohickeys and fancy fonts are available to you doesn’t mean that you have to use every one of them. I am guilty of this, but only because it was so much fun.

  • Once you’ve finally come up with a concept and have pinned down in your mind all the pictures and clips you want to use, it doesn’t serve you to your best advantage time-wise if all your files are labled "Eeeeeee" and "HottPicsofClay" and "OMG!" Organization is key.

  • Even though looking at "pretty" and "hott" pictures of Clay is preferable to doing housework regardless… picking them randomly out of a hat is still probably not the preferred method in this case.

  • "Writing is rewriting." Same concept.

  • A good montage cannot be created over a lunch hour. In fact making one can save you a week’s worth of grocery bills.

  • Sometimes the end result will elicit rave reviews from dozens and kudos from your closest friends… or sometimes maybe just one nice comment from someone you don’t even know, who took the time to tell you they enjoyed your effort and how it touched them somehow.

  • And sometimes… a labor of love can be it’s own reward.

  • It’s all good.

Rave Reviews and Kudos

There have been so many incredible montages created during this drought from all levels of expertise. I’ve enjoyed each one of them immensely! I wanted to choose a couple to include here and it was difficult to pick my favorites, but I did anyway. Each one of these moved me in a different way, but mainly by the creators’ abilities to combine visual and audio in such an effectual way as to make me watch them over and over and over again, just to make sure I really loved them as much as I thought I did…

There are FIVE… and they are listed in no particular order. I just did what any card carrying Clay Aiken fan would do and drew their order at random... out of a hat.

    "Beautiful"... montage by MrsLoki... sung by James Blunt

    "All Will Be Well"... montage by Good Baby Brush... sung by The Gabe Dixon Band

    "All Time Love"... montage by Sylvie... sung by Will Young

    "Back For More"... montage by Cate... sung by Clay Aiken.

    "Life Uncommon"... montage by HockeyDonna... sung by Jewel.

And please feel free to check out some of Mine too!… :)


Princess of Power said...

Hello Chardonnay! I assume you are the same Chard from the CH? If so, I have been reading your posts for quite a while!

Oh I love to make montages but I get very crazy about them so I have only made 3. The newest one just a day or so ago. Ha! I was so inspired by Justin Timberlake's new single that I had to make a Clay montage using it. Gah!

I love your posts and thanks for the comment the other day!

Sarah Joy said...

Thanks for the montage making tips. I haven't dabbled into that yet, but I actually have seriously been considering it recently. I might just have to start one this week!

Oh, and the picture saving thing - hilarious, because I do the exact same thing. I have HOT1, HOT2, HOT3, and son on. And the same with OMG, WOW, and so many more! Yeah, I need to organize!

Love your blogs! BTW - loved the wedding pics and such, beautiful daughters you have. With beautiful voices, too!

Danielle said...

I love the Will Young song, and the Gabe Dixon Band song is fantastic - I've never heard of that band before. I should check these montages out more often for new music!

(and the Clay stuff isn't too bad, either ;) )