Well, it will really start in earnest tomorrow...with the packing and making sure we have gotten everything.
What has been going on this week is sewing. Between Savannah, Mama, and Katherine (which later two are down from Indiana for an unspecified amount of time), my ball gown has been finished, minus the skirt hooks--which so far we haven't found any place. I did sew a snap on.
I've been doing other things--of which I can't remember any at the moment...
Today I went to town twice--hay for the cows being the reason. That and something is whacky with my computer (so I'm writing on the old one) so that the monitor isn't working. I'm guessing (as Savannah surmised) that the port on the back of the computer is out. The only part of that that doesn't make sense is the fact that I have two ports and neither one appears to be working.
Last night, Mama and Katherine got to meet our interesting Confederate friends at the joint SCV/OCR meeting. We got there late because I forgot the Cross Dedication Ceremony DVD and we had to go back and get it. I told Mr. A about the problems that I had...once it got compressed some of the audio got out of whack again! I was a bit irritated about that.
We are looking forward to hauling Kt with us to the Brooksville Raid...even though we aren't quite sure how we are going to manage sleeping arrangements yet. She has her cot...but I'm not so sure how that'll go...I'll let you know once we figure it out! :D
Remember me mentioning about a cow closed up in the pens yesterday? Well...once we talked to Daddy and Mama about it, the idea formulated itself that maybe someone was in the process of rustling said cow. Hmmm....not a very pleasant idea. (And yes, cows still do get rustled...just not like you see in the old Westerns.) Anyway, by the time I went to bed last night, I kind of had the heebee-jeebee's--that is, until I zonked out.
I spent most of my day at the computer (again!) and managed to get the AfterEffects compositions rendered and placed. Only the audio work remains. I'm tickled pink!
About 4-ish I headed out (Savannah and Granddaddy had gone to a doctor's appointment and weren't home yet) to take a peek at the pens and open the west gate. From there I meandered down the run towards the back 40. Half-way down, for some reason I decided to check and see if my .22 revolver was loaded. (It normally is.) I felt like kicking myself when I flipped open the cyclinder to find six empty holes staring back at me. Thing is, I didn't reload it last time I shot it because I was going to clean it the next day--but I never did get to that. (I think part of the reason is because the piece you put the patch through is broken--cheap plastic!) Anyway, so there I was tromping around with an empty gun. Not much good for self-defense of any sort unless you're close enough to use it as a bludgeon.
I kept going regardless and wandered back onto the leased land. As I moved along I got to sniffing...there was that repulsive, yet sweet smell I've learned to recognize right off the bat as something dead. Looking off to my right, I caught sight of a mound I didn't remember being there. I went over to investigate and sure enough, it was a dead cow. She was one of the few with horns. I was kind of surprised that it was that particular cow. I didn't think she was in that bad of shape. It's my opinion that she probably just laid down and didn't get back up. I also got to wondering if that panther I saw last Saturday had anything to do with it--at least the eating part. Savannah suggested later that maybe the cow was down and the panther finished her off. I don't know; what I do know is that we lost another cow. That makes two this year.
I fixed a small piece of the electric fence on my way back from looking at the gate leading from the orange grove to the 'back 4o'. There is absolutely no lock on that. So...anyone wanting to sneak on to Granddaddy's land would have no problem whatsoever doing so.
I returned to the house via the runway and attempted to count the cows. I counted them I don't know how many times and most often came up with 43. That's bulls and cows, not counting calves or that heifer I was going to wean. However, I'm not going to put that down as a solid number until I get a better on-horse-back count. That's my job for Monday.
Speaking of horses, I went out this morning at around 8:45 (pretty normal) to feed Snip. I was fixing to do my usual whistling, when I heard a noise. Looking up, I saw that rascal horse of mine in the yard. He was standing by the pumps. He had apparently JUMPED the fence! Brat child...Anyhow, I hope the expirence was uncomfortable enough that he will not repeat it. (He got cut up some.) If I catch him in the act, I'm going to whomp him good. I had my breakfast sitting there getting cold when I peeked out at him and saw him nibbling that the fence. I charged out there and gave him a nose to nose scolding. After I went in, he walked away from the fence. I think he knew I was mad at him--but I couldn't tell you how much of my tirade he understood. He isn't stupid, but neither is he logical.
See, I have a total uninteresting life, don't I? ;)
I'll start at the beginning of the day (minus all the dishes and such like). I buried my nose in the computer screen this morning building AfterEffects compositions like a pro. (Heh!)
I had half a dozen done before lunch. More importantly, I learned how to use Photoshop a little better! I cropped two flags out of the pictures from Ocklawaha and shrunk them up and a made a lower third out of them. (If you don't know, a lower third is the title bar thingy you see in documentaries, for instance. You know, the bar that says "So-in-so, author of such-in-such". :D) I had to go back and add that into the compositions I had already made. I plowed through and I think I have all the ones I want. I figured out that I'm going to have to mess with the color of the text...but I'll take care of that tomorrow. I also have to do quite a bit of work with the audio. I have to raise the volume level on the main audio track--I'll have to go back into Soundbooth to do that. I'm going to see about removing some wind noise from another audio track (Commander G's speech) in Premiere Pro. One of my contacts on Google+ gave me some tips on how to do that...Google+ is kind of cool like that. Need help? Just post that you do and someone might just show up and help you! :)
At some point after lunch, while I was busy working on AE compositions with WCPE
playing in my ears, the two ladies from Granddaddy's church who stop by fairly regularly, dropped in. The one asked if we'd play a bit for them so Savannah played a couple things on the piano, I hauled out the cello, and then gave a piece on my guitar (one of my new favorites--Riding a Raid). That was all the more musical I was today. (Not counting the singing I did while doing dishes and riding Snip.)
Moving on, around 3:30ish, I went out to ride Snip. As usual, it took a few minutes to land the bit between Snip's roving lips and between his teeth. Once that was done, the rascal was calm as a cucumber. I brushed him and combed the mass of goat-heads and other stickery things out of his mane. While working on his forelock, he started nibbling on the front of my shirt. I think he was eating the goat-heads stuck on it, but all the same I shoved him off several times--I didn't really want to get nipped.
I saddled him up and hopped on. Then off we went! At a walk. ;) I did trot him and even slow loped him later on after we'd been going for a bit. I didn't get any hint of a buck out of him today, for which I was glad. He did get rather impatient to get moving while I sat on his back and peeled myself an orange I picked off one of the old trees in the pasture. It wasn't 100% 'ready' but it sure tasted good anyway! I ate it on the move. I was tired of having to get on to Snip about his pawing.
Other intersting things of the afternoon...he spooked a little bit as we sat next to the hanger. This very tall weed was rubbing against the hanger making noise and that startled him. I made him walk back that way a bit--training thing, you know. (The same reason I whirl
For some strange reason (providence), I decided to go up the trap to the pens. I am SO glad I did. There was a cow shut in there! How she got shut up I don't know. I had left that east gate open after working cows last time...with the chain hanging on the north fence (where it gets closed). Anyway, that gate was chained shut
. There is no possible way, even had the wind been honking, for that chain to wrap itself around the gate and hook itself. Someone had to have shut that cow in there. I know it wasn't me or Savannah, and it certainly wasn't Granddaddy! I dismounted from Snip, rather worried about this cow. She poked her nose out to me and I briefly scratched her nose. It was damp and she didn't seem to be in distress (fortunately). Her eyes were normal (this is one of the more docile/friendly of Granddaddy's herd) and the only thing I noticed negative about her was that she seemed rather sunken about the hips. (Could partially have been the angle she was standing at.) Anyway, I got the gate open and chained it that way. The cow went out and immediately started eating not to far away from Snip (who by the way I had tied to the fence--as soon as I started to turn away he went to start nibbling at the reins...stinker.) She stayed in the run until after we'd left then went to join her 'people' on the south side of the pasture. I don't know if she got anything to drink or not, but I do know that she hadn't had any water in the pens. So....if I find another cow closed into the pens, I'm going to be one furious girl. I was pretty irritated as it was--I wonder, was this some brat kid's idea of a practical joke? Just think, if I hadn't decided to go riding today and on a wild hair go all the way up the run to the pens, that poor cow might have died from thirst!
I finished my ride...nobody got hurt and Snip behaved himself like a gentleman almost the whole time. When we came in it was time for supper--for both of us. As I was coming in, I looked back and that crazy animal had his foot in the sink that serves as his feed bowl....
Minus the myserious cow episode, I had a really good, fairly productive day. How was yours?
Yes, I was at it again today. I am really, really trying to get this SCV video finished.
This morning I finished getting all the clips in the timeline, in the order I wanted them. I started in on the transitions and got a couple in before I ran into a strange, interesting problem that I have no idea how it occured. I had a section of audio that was repeated! Anyway, I chopped that out and so far I have been unable to determine how screwy it made the rest of the timeline. It did mess up one clip (which I have ended up simply removing). This particular clip was a HUGE pain the first time around I remember. (I haven't gotten much further...)
I was not going to lose my temper (what good does it do?), but I got so frustrated that I had to go have it out with myself out-of-doors. I know I startled at least one cow when I shouted something about that chunk of footage to no one in particular. So much for facing the dreaded syncing session with a good attitude.
All told though, the video doesn't look so dismally horrid to me today as it did yesterday. Yesterday I was ready to pitch the whole project in the trash; today I see that it will work even though the audio isn't anything worth beans.
Lessons learned from this SCV project (in no particular order): 1) I never, ever, ever, want to have to sync again. I hate it with a passion. (Not such a good attitude to face it with--rather like my life-long distaste for mathematics.) 2) I'm not very patient. (I already knew that!) 3) My temper needs work. (I knew that, too.) 4) I still think as a director I will be fine--so long as I am actually directing. I don't want to do any more projects where I'm not in charge. (That may sound bossy or huffy, but I'm looking at this from a practial standpoint--I was not in charge of this and how much grief has it caused me? It hasn't been worth it even if I get paid for it--which I don't want to be.) 5) I can pan with my chin fairly smoothly. :D
I imagine there might be others that I can't think of right now. Anyway, I didn't mind the filming part and if I hadn't had to deal with this horrid sync problem I probably wouldn't have minded the editing (even with the wind noise). It was actually editing that got me hooked in the first place! (I edited a play for some good friends of ours.) I'm looking forward to being done with this project and returning my attention to my Cow Cavalry project. I have HOURS of footage to sort through--stuff I haven't even put on the computer yet because I don't have room thanks to the SCV footage. (MAMA! I NEED ANOTHER EXTERNAL HARD-DRIVE FOR CHRISTMAS!! I still have room on the Seagate, but I don't know how long that will last. Oh, and Daddy, I HAVE been able to work off an external hard-drive...I just can't play a project off the external drive...)
There you have it...my confession of the 'filmmaking furies'. Transcribing interviews is tame tedium compared to audio/video syncing...
It's been a while since ya'll have heard the sound of the Cow Cavalry's hooves druming faintly around here, hasn't it?
That's my fault. I rather fell off the bandwagon, but with new developments pending, I got a figurative kick in the seat of the pants. I have spent two days this week now working on the interviews. Tuesday I spent propped in bed (a convenient place to work with my laptop...I can sprawl my papers out and it's easier on my tailbone than sitting on the floor!) going through my script and transcipts of my interviews with Mr. Arthur and Mr. Hendry...and myself. (So far, I used two short clips of myself.) Today, I have spent the day staring at my computer screen listening to two very nice men talk in their two totally different speech patterns about a topic that holds interest for both of them. I did manage to pare down some of the more lengthy, extensive clips. I don't want to overdo the interview aspect of this documentary. After getting two or three more interviews, I think I'm going to say "NO MORE INTERVIEWS!" In my opinion, you can get too many and I don't want an interview overload.
Now my fingers are itching to work on the AfterEffect compositions...but some of those are going to have to wait for reenactment footage. In October, Savannah and I will be attending a reenactment in Dade City...I'm still planning on the Brooksville Raid in January too. From those two reenactments I hope to have plenty of b-roll. I can visualize in a general way what I want...
I also think that I may actually need the narration recorded before I can get started on that aspect of the editing...that way I know how long an AE comp needs to be, how much of such and such clip I need to use, etc. So...while I actually have something in my timeline, which is REALLY exciting, I'm kind of stuck against the wall again for another little bit.
As you may know, in the Cow Cavalry lulls, I have been working on the scripts for a Western, a Western serial idea, and I also started a really, really, really rough draft of 'Spectrum'. Filmmaking has still been on the brain...everytime I watch an old TV show on MeTV I try to remember to notice the cinematography...like this morning, "Daniel Boone" was on and Daniel was hurt and light-headed. The cinematographer clearly protrayed that through the use of shaky-cam. It was really effective.
So, while you may not be hearing the Cow Cavalry thundering around much, I haven't forgotten them nor my aspirations :) In closing, I will leave you with a quote from Mr. Arthur:
"But to me it is the honor of the thing. Supportin’ a cause when you know that you’re right...when their State succeeded from the Union, they supported their government and their way of life, and to protect their way of life. So you have to give these men great honor in what that they did. You know, none of us is perfect, we all make mistakes but we do what we do because we think it’s right and we stand by it. And that’s no better than we can do today."
Last week, we had two calves born on the same day...on the spur of the moment, I shot this video. AND guess what! I figured out how to embed a YouTube on here now :D
I completed four After Effects compositions this afternoon! Or mostly anyway. I have one or two I didn't scroll; simply because I'm not sure I want them too. I'll decide that later on. These are my V/O (voice over) compositions with on-screen text. No, I don't have any V/O's yet (I hope to be able to utilize some of the gentlemen off CF.org for this aspect--it would be a unpaid job, unfortunately), just the text and background. I also have a couple other V/O's that I want to put over something else besides floating brow/tan mist over a black background...those I need b-roll for. For the b-roll I need to tramp down to the creek (keeping an eye out for snakes, gators, etc.--probably ought to take the .22 with me), get my horse over here (to do that I need to fence in the horse lot--a stall would also be nice; but there are two trees, so maybe that can wait), meander and think and shoot.
On a side note that isn't really totally unrelated...it is MUCH easier to concentrate when Granddaddy is watching cooking shows than when he's watching cartoons. Cartoons are SO loud and that one is completely obnoxious (feministic too). I even had the glass doors shut today and my headphones on (classical guitar in my ears *wink*) and I could STILL hear it and it was driving me NUTS! I was glad when he changed channels...the chef with the French accent is definitely more peaceful than "Word Girl" (Blah.)
How was your day? I have to run off and feed Snip... (One of these days, ol' boy, we'll start riding again...)
On what? Oh, on the opening for "The Florida Cow Cavalry" of course. Yes, you heard that right, I've spent two days (not entire days, by the way) attempting to build and building the opening--for the second time. For a grand total of 2 minutes and 5o frames (approx. 50 seconds, in this case.)
I got rather frustrated yesterday "because the animation preset isn't working the way it's supposed to!" Alright, so it probably was working extactly how it was supposed to (I still don't see how only 58 frames is that useful...) After ranting to both Savannah and Mom, I firmly decided to make my own. That is what I did today. I went with a totally different look than the first time I attempted this and I like it better. I did have to change the font style, color, and size, but I still like it.
Here's a 'screenshot' to prove that I'm actually doing something and not goofing off. This stuff is fun, but also very time consuming. What makes it worse is that I get the munchies and I really don't need to be eating the whole time I'm building these compositions!
I've also washed a couple of piles of dishes over the last two days, cooked a lunch :), scrubbed a bathroom, took a walk, fed a horse, ran Granddaddy's lunch over to him, did therapy with Grandpa, talked to cows, and practiced my guitar and organ. And now I'm about ready to get off the computer for the day!
I went out and shot some video and pictures. Some of the pictures are of palmettos and such stuff, but I took a few of myself (something I am extremely bad at :) ) These are my favorites.
Got the idea for this one while taking clothes off the line...
White hat on a blue sky. Funny how the composition on this one is nice, isn't it?
Shooting myself shooting :) :)
Now I'm going to take the video off my camera :) I hope it some of it is good. I'm not the greatest at this stuff. Hopefully I didn't pan too fast...or too slow.
I found out this morning that those pictures I picked up off the internet (they were royalty-free!) won't work in my documentary, because the quality is too poor! *Pout* Not really, but it almost made me cry. Anyway, I know that there are a few of the pictures in books that we actually own...like this one of Uncle Streaty:
I can scan these in and use them. (By the way, that is an extremely grainy picture of my great-great-great uncle to begin with.) Others I will have to purchase a copy of them (particularly the maps--you have to have maps for historical documentaries, don't you!?) Mom also suggested going to the local library and see what they have. Good idea.
I got the opening quotation and title finished today. There is of course the possibilty that it will have to be changed :) Anyway, I had to re-do part of it again. Something wasn't working right. I also created an Premeire Pro project--where all the After Effects compositions (like slides in Powerpoint--only way more fancy) will go, along with the footage. I need to get my camera back out and shoot some cow footage. I also thought I might take the Zoom and record the squeak of the saddle. (Even if I don't use it in the end.)
...is really fun in my estimation. I have started to build visuals for the Cow Cavalry documentary. So far I have had to re-do the one composition in After Effects twice. I hope I don't have to do it again :) I do know that I need to tweak a part of it some...the scrolling words are a tad too slow.
I spent probably a good hour sitting out in the RV this morning talking to Grandpa about the Civil War. His folks up his mother's mother's side were Virginian's...but they were neutral. He also said that they freed their slave in 1850 (or there abouts). Anyhow, I did my usual touting of the Southern view, but I also tried not to be too hard on the Yankee's. At one point he asked me with a kind of grin if I knew what a Yankee was. Of course I do! To a foreigner (that is not meant to be derogatory) any American is a Yankee. To Southerners all Northerners are Yankees. To Mid-western types, Yankees are those of the Eastern states. And to those in the lower part of the New England area, those farther north are Yankees. (Grandpa told me this last; I think it is probably true.) Technically, a 'true' Yankee is from New England. Anyway, it was just kind of funny :)
My conversation with Grandpa (admittedly I did most of the talking) ranged from Florida's economy during the War to Andersonville Prison to Northern POW prisons, to Abe Lincoln to New Hampshire's threat to succeed in the mid 1850's (if I remember correctly) to abolishionists to Radical Republicans. (That is a looong sentence.)
The following are a few pictures of that horse I'm constantly yammering about...