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things I’ve learned about filming

So, today was our second day of filming for WinkyFace. It was my turn in front of the camera, and yes, I was nervous. I thought I would be most nervous about the acting (and I was pretty nervous about that; I’m type-A and self-conscious to boot!).

But as the process continued, I realized that the part that freaked me out even more than being on camera was not having control over what was happening. I couldn’t see the shots through the camera view finder. I didn’t know if things were level, framed properly, conforming to “my vision.” (Yes, I know what you’re thinking. I am a control freak. Yes. Yes, I am.) It was hard to cede control of the situation to Laurie, Brig & Mac. But, I learned a couple of valuable lessons in the process.

1) I need to be learn to be more trusting of my partners. They can handle things.

2) It’s OK to be a little un-trusting, too. It means your head is in the game and that you’re thinking about all that’s happening around you in a critical way.

3) We all needed to be a little more prepared. Day 1 we were really on top of things. Day 2 got a little lax, it seemed. I didn’t have key props ready. There was a LOT happening in my small office space. And, there were too many distractions (people, phones, equipment, etc.)

I spent the last few nights looking back over the footage we’ve accumulated so far. We’ve done some really neat, creative things. But, it’s clear that we’re novices at this. That’s OK. This is a learning process, and I honestly can’t believe how much I’ve already learned in such a short time. There’s stuff we’ll need to re-do, re-think, re-imagine. But, that’s where the good #learningcurving happens. I’m excited about Day 3.

Until then, I’ll leave you with some of the outtakes of our first two days of filming. If nothing else, we had some fun.

now panic and freak out!

freak-out

OMG! Just six days until the spring semester starts!

That pretty much sums up where I’m at right now. The spring semester starts in fewer than six days, and I’m nowhere near ready! I’ve got syllabi to revise, assignments to prep, reading to do.

I’m expecting the semi-annual nightmares to begin soon… You know, the ones where you walk into the classroom on the first day only to realize that you’ve forgotten to prep your syllabus and have no lesson prepared. The students revolt (not sure where that comes from, cause students would not revolt; they’d just be jazzed about getting out of class early). It only gets worse from there.

Hey, I think there might be a video there! (Not saying any more!)

But, I’m really excited to be getting started with the production of EIGHT, yes, EIGHT, WinkyFace videos this spring! If all goes according to plan, our first video will go live in mid-February, so stay tuned! We’ll be working with two awesome production assistants, Brigid and Mackenzie, and I have no doubt they’re going to keep Laurie and I on task. Don’t worry, we’ll introduce them soon!

In the meantime, if you’re looking for me, I’m somewhere at a computer panicking and freaking out! πŸ˜‰

Blogging well takes work

So, as you may or may not have noticed, I’m late with my weekly blog post this week.

The short answer to explain this is that it was finals week. I was pulled in a number of directions with giving and grading final exams and wrapping up the semester with parties and whatnot. ‘Hard work,’ you’re thinking. I know. Excuses.

But, the more thoughtful answer is that blogging well takes work. The truth is, I knew that I needed to write a post for some time. And, I had all kinds of thoughts on what to write about. First, I thought about writing about hash tagging after I saw this video.

Laurie and I were talking about creating unique-to-us hash tags that we could use on our Twitter feed. I thought initially that this would be something neat to blog about, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn’t have anything really profound to write about it.

Then I saw this YouTube Rewind 2013 vid…

… and I got to thinking:

1) how cool it was to see some of our fav YouTubers (Jenna Marbles, Ryan Higa, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon) featured in the vid.

2) how cool it would be to someday see WinkyFace in a YouTube Rewind vid. I mean, come on. If the Prancersize lady can make the vid, surely Laurie and I can create something that will capture attention in the YouTube community.

But, neither of those initial thoughts were good enough to warrant a whole blog post.

In the past week, Laurie and I have been doing a lot of projecting and planning to make sure that as we move forward, we have a clear sense of direction and purpose for this work. We’ve been thinking about everything from a video production schedule to a scholarship schedule. We’ve been making plans for future production assistants, research assistants, and even possible conference and book proposals. All are longer-term goals. But, I guess we haven’t been doing a lot of thinking about the immediate, outside of worrying that our grading is completed on deadline and the Christmas presents are bought and wrapped before Dec. 25.

The pressure to produce a thoughtful blog post really made me realize that I need to do a bit more thinking and planning for the short term, especially for Margin Notes. Great blog posts don’t always just materialize. When they do, it’s completely awesome. But when they’d don’t, well, it’s rough.

So, note to self: Make a monthly blog plan. If the plans change and one of those amazing blog posts does materialize from an interesting conversation or happening, then so be it. But if not, then at least I’ll have something in place to prevent the panic. As a communication professional, I know that planning is good practice. I guess I need to practice what I preach! πŸ˜‰

WinkyFace in perspective

I’ve been thinking about WinkyFace a lot this week. I’ve been thinking about:

–Laurie’s most recent post on the role of WinkyFace on the planet, a planet that frequently must deal with much more important things than silly YouTube videos

–My seemingly always-growing/never-ending to-do list, which includes many, many non-WinkyFace tasks

–Recent references to The Winky Face, or just winking, in popular culture that have made me laugh or smile

Examples of the latter:

  • “Are you kidding me, a winky face? That’s like Emoji porn!” –Morgan from The Mindy Project in the episode “You’ve Got Sext.” I have been searching to no avail to find you a clip. It just doesn’t exist on the Internets. I’m losing the faith. I did find this…

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  • Elizabeth Banks, who plays Effie Trinket in “The Hunger Games,” was interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday night, and she spent a significant portion of her interview discussing winking and how she’s not very good at it (neither am I!). She and Jimmy laughed throughout the entire conversation.

How do all of these seemingly disconnected ideas come together to inspire this post? Well, I guess I’ve been thinking about the role of WinkyFace not only in the broader world (how it might impact YOU, our viewers), but also in my own personal world (how will this impact me?).

Laurie’s right about the role that humor plays in our lives, even in times of tragedy. If we don’t laugh, we’re likely to cry about some of the really crappy things that happen in our lives day in and day out. Having fun and laughing are important, and I’m certainly guilty of not taking enough time to do more of both.

From the start, I thought that tackling this project would be something that would challenge me and help me to learn new things. But, what I’ve been discovering is that it’s also been something that’s really, really fun and energizing.

As Laurie also mentioned, we’re both working professionals. WinkyFace certainly isn’t priority #1 on the to-do list, though it’s definitely in the top 10. And, as time has gone on, I find myself moving it closer and closer to the top of the list because it’s something that I look forward to working on.

A lot of my teacher work is time-consuming. Much of it causes me stress (even if it is stress I bring upon myself!).Β  WinkyFace is a project I really look forward to working on every week because it’s a change of pace from my everyday routine. Laurie and I have a designated “WinkyFace” meeting time–Thursday mornings in the library. And, every Wednesday night, I find myself anxiously anticipating Thursday morning. I feel so energized by this project.

They say that when you do what you love, it’s not work. Well, that’s only half true. I love teaching, but it’s a LOT of work. I love WinkyFace, but the reality is, a lot of what is required to take this from an idea into a reality is work–work that requires time, effort, and some serious thinking. But, I’m determined to keep WinkyFace in perspective and never to lose sight of why we began the project–to learn and to have fun in the process. When WinkyFace stops being fun, it’ll be time for us to call it quits.

In the meantime, I look forward to having fun with WinkyFace. I can’t wait to get started on producing our first videos. I’ve got the energy. Now I just need someone to add about 10 hours to the day so I can spend more time working on WinkyFace.

Tell us: If you had 10 extra hours in the day, how would you spend them?

πŸ˜‰ Lindsey

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