My wife offered the first review of my recently released YouTube feature, Walk in Oregon windstorm. “The dramatic mood of danger is undermined by Serena wagging her tail so much,” she said.
True. But such is the challenge of cinema verite. I show what it was actually like to walk through our south Salem woods in the late afternoon of Thursday, December 14, 2006, as a major windstorm was blowing in.
I wish these seven and a half minutes contained more adventure. However, I’m glad that this didn’t include a large Douglas Fir falling on me. That possibility was in my mind throughout the walk.
It would have made for some terrific YouTube footage, assuming my camcorder had survived. I’m not that hungry for fifteen minutes of posthumous fame though, especially if it means sacrificing what I hope is more than fifteen years of remaining life.
I can add at least a little bit of background excitement to my video with this photo I took today. A fir tree at the edge of our property did indeed fall over in the windstorm. It was caught in the crook of another tree. We’ll have to decide whether to leave it leaning or have it cut down.
In the Salem area the wind got up to 80 miles an hour. I don’t know if it was that high at our house. We got through the storm with just some fallen fir branches. Plus eight hours of no electricity, which I thought was going to be a lot longer. Way to go, PGE! Great work, given the hundreds of thousands of homes in Oregon that lost power.
On Thursday I thought about skipping the traditional dog walk: across the creek, through the woods, around the lake, and home again. But I figured that if those 100 foot plus firs had stayed upright for as long as they have, the chance of one falling on me or Serena was pretty slim.
Plus, I love the elemental sound of the wind howling as tall firs sway above me. It’s nice to be reminded that even with all of our towering human accomplishments, we’re still very small in the eyes of Mother Nature.
[technical note: I’m a YouTube neophyte. I’d be interested in learning whether any broadband users have trouble viewing the video. At first I used Windows Movie Maker to make it viewable by very slow broadband, but upped the bandwith ante after seeing how grainy and jerky it looked. The darkness isn't the fault of my Sony DCR-SR60; it's the fault of the sun going down.]
It was a dark and windy night. Where was BigFoot?
Your video ran for 45 seconds before it started stopping and starting. We are on ADSL which can be very spotty.
Suggestions for your academy award winning video:
Don't spend so much time filming the dark ground. Do starts and stops with more time spent on whipping trees. Did the lake have white caps? In any case, I loved hearing your voice. Keep up the videos!
Posted by: Carol Ann | December 17, 2006 at 08:22 AM
Carol Ann, thanks for the suggestions. In defense of my unbroken seven minute shot, my intention was to capture the unvarnished reality of my windy walk, as I lived it.
The camera mostly pointed where my intention and viewpoint was. Sometimes down, sometimes up. And when I walk the dog, I don't usually talk. So my "narration" was squishy feet and the wind.
Sorry about your Internet connection. Having only a 1000 kpbs connection myself, I don't like it when videos assume much faster broadband is available. But I appreciate that it's tough to find the middle ground between making a video clear and making it viewable at all.
Posted by: Brian | December 17, 2006 at 09:46 AM
LOL..this looks like outtakes from The Blair Witch Project.
Posted by: carla | December 17, 2006 at 10:27 AM
I agree with Carla - very Blair Witch (with canine companion). I really liked the sound effects - the wind, the feet in the leaves. Are you getting an audience for it on YouTube?
Posted by: Chris | December 18, 2006 at 09:34 AM
Carla and Chris, I'm thrilled to have my video mentioned in the same breath as the Blair Witch project--a movie I've never seen, but which may have channeled itself through me.
Checking today, I saw that Windy Walk has been viewed 63 times. That means I'm only about 25,400 views behind the skateboarding dog, which is pretty darn good, in my opinion. To check out my imposing competition, see:
More importantly, I'm just five views behind the newscast video of my wife talking about Measure 37. And she's been up for a month!
Posted by: Brian | December 18, 2006 at 11:17 AM