Sunday, November 25, 2012

Expensive Hobby, But Well Worth It

Hey ya'lls.  Sooooooo this has definitely been the most interesting semester of my life.  In fact, it has probably been the most interesting 4 months of my life.  I'm excited for life despite having ZERO idea what I'll be doing after graduation.  

I thought about sitting down and writing a letter to myself five/ten years in the future.  I think that could be pretty interesting.  I'll do it later.

It's my turn.

Back in high school I was known as the movie guy.  Well, I was known for a lot of things but that was one of them.  My sister Jolie pioneered the path for me to get heavily involved with film production.  My dad encouraged me and before I knew I was an After Effects guru (for those of you who don't know what After Effects is, it's a program that allows you to do visual effects in movies).  Now I want to move on to the next step of my hobby.  I have the skill set but it's been going to waste all this time.  I feel I am capable of making a professional high quality video, but I just haven't had the equipment.  Well, this needs to change.


I have four jobs.  

Let me just fill you in on my recent purchase of toys:
So I recently purchased a year subscription to  One week later the deal went on sale and freakin crap I could have saved $150.  That's life though, so I'm over it.  In one of the training videos they says a key asset to have for vocalists is good headphones.  I see wisdom in this.  When recording a track the singer needs to feel the song.  My cheap headphones were seriously lacking, but they made do.  Time to move on.

In high school we had a "blue room".  We painted it and everything.  It was fun, though the lighting was less than par.  I still have the blue screen that my sister left behind, for blue screening and visual effects are more my thing.  My sister has since gotten a masters in directing and does just that.  But since I already know After Effects, not having a blue/green screen setup is like... so lame.  I'm stoked as for this to come.

Back in high school this is what I used:

On set blue/green screens are incredibly useful.  The lighting is natural and therefor the viewer is completely convinced that what they're seeing is real.  It opens the door to so many effects that I'm just waiting to try out in my upcoming video that I'm making for work/school.  It's going to be a video of fun, cheesy, and funny effects.

Ok, so this next toy is rather big.  The digital libraries I need for both audio and video editing are ridiculously big.  My 1TB laptop is always full and it's a headache to handle.  Editing in Pro Tools (Audio) and then doing all of my video stuff (Premiere, After Effects, etc.) is not cool.  Recently my laptop has been acting up.  After blowing a fuse in my room and nuking my RAM my computer died.  It has since been revived but the issues that existed before haven't gone away.  Pro Tools isn't working.  This simply is NOT an option.  Soooo..... I called Santa Claus.  He said he'd come early and pay half of my next investment.  Merry Christmas to me :)
It doesn't look terribly exciting, but it is.  The ultimate audio editing machine.  Wow.  The thought of having it makes me happy.  I would finally have room to edit video on one machine and room to edit audio on the other.  

This is a lot of money.  But since I bought all of my stuff a year ago while on post-surgery narcotics I've already broken even with the jobs it has created for me.  An expensive hobby, yes, but if you play right than you'll be well off.  I only plan to delve deeper and deeper into this hobby, but it's just that, a hobby.

Kelly Clarkson released her Greatest Hits album with a live version of her singing Miss Independent.  She is absolutely incredible.


  1. OOOOOH!!!! YOU GOT IT?! I'm jealous to the point of premeditated murder. Keep up on this, I want to hear what your projects are! I'm still doing a bit in editing but my real passion lately has been sound...and as you mentioned, hardware is EXPENSIVE.

  2. I'm so excited to follow your dreams and talents James. XO

  3. I like it! You are doing some cool stuff. So many gifts...