These Days

May 31, 2020

 

Like everyone I've been living a quiet life during Lockdown. It was fine to stay at home and live simply, get into gardening and experiment with new recipes, watch a film most evenings and read a long Victorian novel (Middlemarch). Attitudes seem to be changing lately and all the precautions people were doing their best to follow are starting to go out the window when there is still a high death rate, especially when you compare the UK with the rest of the world. I am always engaged in politics and follow current affairs closely, but I do prefer it when the government bumbles along without affecting my life too much. Though of course the decisions they do make affect everything. But this is not a political blog and I'll leave it there.

 

What this post is really about is looking for that spark of creativity at a time when people find themselves with the opportunity to rediscover lost interests. I did pick up my bass guitar, dusted it down, plugged it into the amp, played a few scales and then realised what a steep learning curve it would be to get anywhere. And so there it sits in my living room imploring me. I am a screenwriter but I can't sit at a desk or with my laptop waiting for the ideas to sift in. They don't come often and usually arrive when I'm doing the washing up or at the supermarket, randomly. And I didn't have a story idea so what should I do? Then it just came to me, having started riding my bike for exercise and doing chores in the local area. Wouldn't it be fun if I filmed my bike rides and played them back with an action camera? Amusing to me alone but so what? And I did just that, I bought a tiny little Osmo Action camera and started filming from the handlebars. Having done this and seen the quality of footage it produces (pretty amazing), I then thought what else could I do with this?

 

At the same time some of my friends were recording their local walks with their phones and turning them into short vlogs, showing each other on Skype what we've been up to. Just a bit of fun. But my phone has limited memory so I used the action camera instead. Having rode my bike up to Clerkenwell, just continuing heading east from Oxford Street, I randomly discovered a few sites of historic interest. So I recorded a short vlog for my friends in the manner of a BBC history documentary, with a few historic images and a voice over narrative. I loved doing it but of course it was all a bit amateurish and just for fun. But that led me to thinking, how can I use my skills as a sound recordist along with my passion for history and access to digital technology to create something more substantial? And the idea germinated until I thought I should create a completely new website. In the meantime I updated my travel blog to include some content I'd just produced.

 

And so that's what I've been doing, gathering footage around London and deciding what form my website will take. I registered a domain name, started a new website on Wix, having carefully considered other options including Wordpress, which is also great but more for blogging and I didn't want to write another blog. So my website is a work in progress, I'm putting it together behind the scenes and feel I have got my creative spark back. I do love film production but nothing is happening at the moment and I don't feel safe to get back to it yet. And production is a collaborative medium. This website is something I can do on my own or just get in help when required. It leaves me fleet of foot and I love being a one man band sometimes, which is why I enjoy editing. And the Lockdown has given me the opportunity to test out other editing software, and having DaVinci Resolve for free I decided to give it a go and I find it is an excellent resource and may be worth switching over to Premiere from. I dusted down my Canon 5D which I bought early last year second hand and have only used a couple of times. With an SLR, an action camera and all the sound recording equipment I own I am ready to start something new. And I feel reenergised. All I can say is thank you Baked Potato!

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