I love blooper reels! I had to make one of my own!!
Bloopers: How to Make a Complete Fool of Yourself
So there's really not much to say when it comes to bloopers. Sometimes you get tongue-tied in front of the camera...or you say things that you didn't realized you said...or you just don't know what to say so you make faces to try to think about what you're supposed to say. You never know what could happen when you're filming! ;)
Hope you enjoyed watching me make a complete fool of myself for your entertainment!
Before I got into the music department, one of the things I had wondered the most about was what the practice rooms looked like.
Here's what I discovered.
The Shortest Tour in the World
Notice that it's the same camera as the "Nachschlag goes to Ladner" video? ;) I stole my brother's camera for that day just to randomly film. At that point, I was still fiddling around with the camera itself, but mostly because it wasn't mine. I had no plan for what exactly I wanted to film, so this video was pieced together from a lot of other random footage like my last practice video.
I had footage from my brother's camera and my old camera that I had wanted to use for a long time, but I couldn't find a way to connect them all together until I realized I could just film a bunch of B-rolls to somewhat introduce the clips. It ended up working pretty well.
This video taught me a lot about LIGHTING. At first, I shot all the B-rolls in my room at night. I even did tests that seemed to show that the [poor] lighting in my room was enough to look good. The LCD screen on my brother's camera seemed to show that it was all right. But when I went to upload it onto iMovie, I discovered that the quality looked EVEN POORER than my old low-res camera! And I had already filmed ALL the B-rolls, which meant I had to do it ALL OVER AGAIN!
I looked around my house and discovered that my dad's office had pretty sweet lighting. I did a few tests, AND THIS TIME, I actually uploaded them onto iMovie first to make sure they looked OK on the big[ish] screen. Because of the placement of the lighting, I ended up filming in front of my dad's huge bookshelves packed to the brim with more books than they can actually handle.
At first, I didn't think much about what my dad would think when he'd see the video. When he did see it, his bookshelves were the first things he saw! He was so excited about it that he asked me when I'd film in front of all his certificates. Needless to say, he has a lot, haha! He even invited me to continue filming future video blogs in front of his bookshelves because he thought it looked so cool. ;)
At this point, I was really starting to get comfortable just talking to the camera, but I still needed to work on the hello-s and goodbye-s at the camera. It was kind of funny how I did the goodbye-s on this video...I decided against redoing them because I thought it was too full of hilarious awkwardness to be cut out. ;D
So I'd always wanted to make a practicing video. Just...not your typical "how to practice" video...
The Battle Wounds of Practicing
The first question in your head is probably, "What the heck is Joanna doing in that practice room for 3 HOURS?!"
Welcome to our world.
Hate to burst your bubble if you thought musicians just magically whip up wicked impossible pieces right on the spot for the whole world to gawk at. Cuz we don't.
So what do we do in the practice room? Well, I showed you what happens after the practice session. What I do during the practice session will be saved for future videos! :D
This particular video was actually pieced together from footage that was about another topic altogether. I forget exactly what I was talking about, but I do remember talking about a few upcoming shows I was doing and about the possibility of filming my quintet. At this point, I was pretty nervous about asking my quintet if I could film one of our rehearsals or gigs as one of my video blogs. I could see what the quintet videos would look like in my head, but I didn't actually have a video to show them what I had in mind (well, obviously because I hadn't filmed our quintet before). The nice thing was that they knew that one of my hobbies was playing with my camera, since about 80% of their pictures on Facebook are actually part of my Facebook photo albums. By this time, they had gotten used to the idea that I was the crazy picture-taking girl. Now they know me as the crazy filming girl.
I filmed the last bit where I'm showing all my "battle wounds" about 10 minutes before one of my private lessons, so, yes, I will admit that I was doing some last-minute practicing. Didn't hurt to video blog about it anyway. I was so nervous that someone would knock on my practice room door and I wouldn't have enough time to stop filming before they'd come in and find me blabbering like a crazy fool at a little camera. I'm still nervous about that, but I love filming in a practice room, despite the horrible florescent top-down lighting!
You probably also noticed that the camera used to film this video is in lower quality. It was shot on my old camera that had a cool flip-out screen, but unfortunately it was so old and used that the screws that held one side of the flip-out screen had already fallen out for some time. I was already thinking about buying another camera at this point, but I wasn't sure how my video blogging would fly with my friends or if I even truly enjoyed making them, so I didn't want to waste my money.
The higher quality camera that you've seen so far is actually borrowed from my brother. I discovered that his small Sony Cybershot shot movies in HIGH DEF (720p)!! What the heck?! I asked him if he knew that, AND HE DIDN'T. WHAAAAAA...?! Well, anyway, I borrowed his camera for a few videos before I went ahead and bought my own.
And went broke in the process.
**EDIT: If you have been directed to this blog post from YouTube, then you may be wondering why this video was posted under the channel name "JustAdLibIt" instead of my usual channel, JustAnotherFlutist. JustAdLibIt was the first channel I was involved with, along with my friend Carrie (JustAnotherDimension on YouTube). My brother persuaded me to start my own channel a few weeks after posting this video on JustAdLibIt...and that's how JustAnotherFlutist got started on YouTube. :)
This was my very first on-site video blog, which was both exciting and nerve-racking at the same time! I didn't quite know how my quintet would react to the idea of me filming our gig adventures. Sure, they had given me permission to film, but everyone was a bit uneasy because no one knew what sort of video I was seeing in my head, and I had a lot of trouble trying to explain it. I also thought they were all camera-shy.
However, I'm proud to say that I still think this video is one of my best so far. Especially the last 38 seconds. ;)
Nachschlag goes to Ladner!
I had originally planned for this video to just be an experiment--it was just going to go on facebook, and that was that. But, as you can see, that's not what happened. I doubted it would be a very good video in the end.
First off, I wasn't sure if I could pull off an on-site video blog. Second, I didn't know how much footage I needed. Third, I had never hand-held the camera in front of me in public (sitting in the car in the middle of the Richmond Centre parking lot counts as public, yeah?) and talked to it like a lunatic. Fourth, I had never edited an unpredictable on-site event...I had the general feel and rough sketch of the video in my head already, but it was hard to communicate it to my quintet because...well, I'd never done it before and I had nothing to show.
But we went ahead and filmed it. It was way more fun than I could have ever imagined. Emily went to town with filming in the car. Connor was really great at explaining things on camera. When I wasn't looking, Selina goofed off and jumped in front of the camera, filling up the whole screen with a close-up of her face. Neil still didn't really like being on camera, but he could still talk normally when he was being filmed. They were all FAR FROM CAMERA-SHY!
It was on this trip that I learned to bring my camera's battery charger EVERYWHERE. The battery died on the way home, and I since learned to charge the battery up before every shoot even if it's not all the way used up. You never know what and how long you need to film!
Note the use of music in this video!! I timed a lot of the shots (our walking pace, punch lines from my monologues, etc) to the beats of the music (provided by iMovie), and I started experimenting with starting and stopping the music at key moments to make the video funnier. I think it worked, but I'm still working at it. ;)
It took me about a month of editing this video before I had the courage to post it on Facebook. To my surprise, it was my most popular video yet among my friends!
What was even more delightfully surprising was that our Artsway manager, Raymond Aucoin (from Health Arts Society), thought it was hilarious and gave me the go-ahead with video blogging our (then) upcoming tour! That's how this video ended up on YouTube--it was the only way Raymond could view it. I then sent it out to some of my other friends who didn't have facebook, and they all loved it too!
The last 38 seconds is the part that I'm the most proud of! My first montage!! It took me more than 10 hours to edit that portion alone...but mostly because I was STILL figuring out how iMovie worked. The last 0.5 seconds of each shot would freeze before moving on to the next shot when I viewed the video on iMovie, so I probably exported the video about 15 times just to view how the shots were actually timed to the music. That took a looooooooooong time. The shots from the camera that I have now doesn't do that, thank God! I just edited a new, longer montage, and that only took about 3 hours--big difference when you actually know what you're doing, haha!
You're probably wondering what happened to the performance itself? Well, we're not allowed to film residents of these centres for confidential reasons. If we filmed ourselves performing, I figured that we'd end up accidentally filming residents who might unknowingly walk in front of the camera. It could have ended up being a waste of my camera's memory and battery life (the full concert was 45 min, but the battery life only lasts for 1 hour of continual shooting). So I just didn't risk it.
After this little success, my brother really started pushing me to get my own YouTube channel, as the channel onto which I had uploaded this video was actually a joint channel (JustAdLibIt Productions) with my friend, Carrie To. But I held back a little longer while I gained a bit more confidence in front of the camera and tried new styles. The next video shows a bit of that experimenting.
Well, that's about all I have to say about this one. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!
If there's one thing that I can't live without when it comes to video blogging...it's mini-tripods.
Flutists + mini-tripod = pointless amusement for everyone!
The band promo that was referred to in this video was the year-end UBC Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert, which featured blacklights, a bit of choreography, and a laptop hooked up to giant speakers. Yep, pretty spectacular.
The mini-tripod itself was bought at a dollar store at the Lansdowne Mall in Richmond, BC. My mom saw it in the back corner of the store and immediately squealed, "It's so perfect for your video blogs!" I bought one, and my mom bought two. She can't find hers anymore. ;)
I used this mini-tripod extensively for some upcoming Nachschlag tour videos. Very handy to carry around. And it's a dollar. What more can you ask for?
Unfortunately, this particular mini-tripod is no longer available at Lansdowne. My friend Carrie informed me that similar mini-tripods are being sold in Metrotown (Burnaby)! Features a rotating/swivel head! So I guess that's why it's $1.25. :)
I bought 3.
Two days after my recital, I was chosen to play one of my recital pieces in a masterclass for...JOANNA G'FROERER!!
And she let me interview her!
Joanna G'froerer is actually originally from Vancouver. She studied at McGill over in Ottawa, and by the time she was in her second year, she won the PRINCIPAL FLUTE position of the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
If your face is like, :O!!!, you're right.
To read more about her, click here!
Want to get her CD? It's available on iTunes here!
Joanna's 3rd Year Recital: BONUS CLIP - Interview with Joanna G'froerer
**This video was filmed and edited about a month after my recital.
Joanna very kindly agreed to do this interview with me, even though I didn't have very many video blogs under my belt to show her that I knew what I was doing. At this point, I had only partway finished editing the "Rehearsals" video and roughly mapped out what I was going to say for the "Answers, Reflections, and Tips" video. Thanks for believing in me, Joanna! :)
I don't know if you could tell, but I was incredibly nervous and excited to be talking to Joanna G'froerer. I had her CD for a couple of years already, and I adored her sound. She had come to Vancouver to perform two years ago, but I was stupid and forgot to bring the CD for her to sign. This time, I remembered!
I remember very clearly that she had very graciously agreed to meet all the UBC flutists in the lobby of the Chan Centre following her dress rehearsal, where she answered all our questions and let us awkwardly gawk at her in complete and utter awe.
You probably heard a lot of "background music" in this video. That's because this interview was done in the peak hours of activity in the music building, which is around 11am-3pm. We had just finished the masterclass in one of the little classrooms (hence the music-staff-striped-whiteboard behind us). I once showed one of my high school friends around the building, and she was so entranced by the sounds of all the different instruments and voices floating into the hallways that she stopped at nearly every practice room door to listen. I was used to hearing all those sounds, so I hadn't thought much of it before. My friend sure made me rethink the beauty of music, even if it's just someone practicing obnoxiously loudly. It really is quite lovely to hear the sound of music constantly.
And now for the surprise...three months later, when I performed another solo recital as part of the Vancouver Women's Musical Society Scholarship Winner's concert cycle, you'll never guess who I met during the reception...
An elderly lady waltzed up to me, held up her name tag, and kept repeating, "I'm Joanna's grandmother!" I was so disoriented from the excitement of the recital that I kept thinking to myself, "She's not my grandmother...Why is she saying she's 'Joanna's grandmother'?" And then I realized that her last name read, "G'froerer".
She told me that she loved my performance and that she'd send my program to Joanna G'froerer.
I couldn't think straight for the rest of the day.
I first began seriously contemplating the thought of becoming a video blogger this past February, but I was at a loss when it came to figuring out what to start with. Come the beginning of March, I found that all my time was taken up with preparations for my 3rd year recital, and I thought, "Hey! Bingo! Since I'm totally consumed with my recital, I might as well video blog about it!" And that's how my first video series came about.
Well, here goes! Stay tuned for the second half of the video!!
Joanna's 3rd Year Recital: The Rehearsals
I've always loved behind-the-scenes footage of anything performance-related--films, plays, performances, talk shows...you name it. I thought it'd be fun to try my hand at my own behind-the-scenes clips. You'll probably notice that I was a lot more timid back then than I am now, but that's all part of the learning process. :)
This was the first official video blog that I posted on Facebook (I had been experimenting with videos earlier on, but they weren't exactly what you'd call, "video blogs"...) is a clip of one of our rehearsals. In total, we had about 10 rehearsals for this recital (eep!). My freaking awesome pianist, Sarah Bowker, and I have worked together ever since I first moved to Canada--so it's been a good 5 or 6 years. I remember when it was difficult for us to read each other musically, but after working together for so long, we can now practically throw anything together in just a rehearsal or two. All the other rehearsals are meant for fine-tuning and detail work (e.g. "Let's get louder in measure 36 and get softer in 47," or, "Can we make measure 70 a lot softer just to be a bit more dramatic?").
It also helps that I've learned how to cue properly and how not to be a super flute diva who doesn't listen to her pianist and then wonders why the pianist can't follow her. ;)
And here goes the second video blog!
Joanna's 3rd Year Recital: Answers, Reflections, & Tips
This video was my very first try at talking directly at the camera.
Wow. Starting the talking is hard.
Because you feel like the biggest fool in the world. You're basically talking at a camera and pretending it's a big audience.
The really weird thing, though, was that I soon found myself jabbering on for about 15 minutes non-stop...and actually quite liking it.
If you've seen my more recent videos, you'll notice the lack of background music in this video. At this point, I hadn't thought of using a soundtrack while I talked. I don't quite know why it hadn't occurred to me to do it. A week or so after making this video, I was watching one of KevJumba's videos, and I noticed he had a soundtrack going on while he was talking. I found that it livened up the video just that tad bit more that I had wanted, so I gave it a try in my later videos.
But, not to worry, there was a little bit of a soundtrack in this one. It was quick--did you catch it? ;)
If there's anything else you're wondering about in the making of these videos or what I'm talking about or doing in the videos, drop me a line in the comment section below! I'll be happy to answer as best I can. :)
Hey guys! Welcome to my new blog! I'll be updating this blog often with my videos from Facebook and YouTube, and I'll also be adding extra notes to supplement my video blogs. If you have any questions about anything on these videos, feel free to comment or drop me a message!
Basically I video blog about my adventures in the land of classical music. And I'll throw in a few tips and tricks of the classical musician's trade every now and then (you can also make requests!). Yep. That's about it. Sit back, relax, and enjoy watching a flutist make a fool out of herself on camera for your entertainment!
The next blog posts will feature my old Facebook videos (from before I started posting on YouTube) that are mostly experimental projects that I used to develop something of a personal style and voice. Some things worked...others didn't. I made my friends laugh anyway though, and I hope they make you laugh too!