Videos, coding, and a whole lotta text
By the looks of things around here, you’d think that I’d gone a little AWOL – and part of that is true. I guess when you work on others’ blogs, copy, marketing, and video production – your own personal blog takes a back seat (funny how that making money to pay the bills thing works). So without further adieu…let me bring ya’ll up to speed on what I’ve been working on.
As I wrote back in the beginning of October, I’ve started working with MindMeister in a variety of capacities. Truly, this is one of the best gigs I’ve ever had. Not only is Michael Hollauf (my boss), one of the most supportive people I’ve ever worked with, he’s also very open to any and all marketing ideas. One of the first projects I did with MindMeister is the 4:37 screencast that went up about a month ago.
I can’t take credit for the video footage in this one, as the intro and most of the screen footage was produced and recorded by Wolfgang Bartelme. However, the vocals were recorded by me.
Shortly thereafter I received a headlong introduction to working with Ruby on Rails. After installing NetBeans and getting and stunnel connection set up, I now have access to the ‘guts’ of the MindMeister engine. On any given day, here’s what I’m looking at:
If you’re familiar with coding, then all of this makes sense. If not, it’s completely Greek to you (and me – partially). I place myself somewhere in the middle. My coding experience more or less ended with html, however I’d consider myself a fairly decent php and css modifier, but not creator. To be fair, when I work with code, I’m only altering text, not actually programming strings. However, there is a certain level of organization required, as some text has already been created in a string previously, and doesn’t need to be duplicated, rather, a simple expression is needed to call upon this text.
Got all that? Yeah – me too….but I’m getting there.
The last project I’ve worked on is a screencast video diving into some of the more advanced features of using links within MindMeister mind maps. Again, the intro and outro were created by Wolfgang, but everything in between is all me – video and vox.
And just in case you’re wondering, here’s what I use to make the magic happen:
- MacBook Pro 2.5 Ghz w/ 4GB DDR2 SDRAM
- Adobe Premiere Pro
- Shure SG 25 microphone
- Allen and Heath Xone XD 53 headphones for monitoring
And if that wasn’t enough – I’ve also authored a blog post or two at the MindMeister Blog
Nothing really new in the way of fatfoogoo. I keep tabs on the daily industry news concerning microtransactions and their applications in the video games industry. Naturally, in-game advertising also shows up on my radar, as it’s also a monetization method for video and social games. I did however recently read that one of fatfoogoo’s investors, Christian ‘Toto’ Wolff, recently purchased a minority stake in the Williams F1 racing team. This buy in signals the first time ever that the teams’ principles, Sir Frank Williams and Patrick Head have allowed outside investment. So indirectly, fatfoogoo now has a connection to the Formula One racing world? Awesome.
Naturally, you can always have a read of what I’m reporting for fatfoogoo over in the industry news section.
Here’s a teaser that I put together of a much larger project in the works. At the end of last winter my two filmmaking partners and I had the opportunity to interview Chanda VanderHart and Anna Lea Stefansdotir of Talespin – Musical Tales for Big and Small. To be honest – we’ve got so much great footage that I’ve simply been overwhelmed as where to start with the editing process (maybe a MindMeister mind map would be in order here?). Footage was shot by me, while the audio was provided by, unfortunately I never got the guys name – but the dude running the soundboard. And speaking of audio – let me tell you, aligning a separate audio source with video is much trickier that it looks. After doing a little research, as well as talking to Ritchie (aka datadirt), it seems as though most DAT recordings run at 48kHz, while most video footage audio is recorded at 44kHz. Not a major difference, but it’s enough to offset frames. In other words, I couldn’t simply lay the audio in under the video, as every 60th frame or so, the audio would start to go out of phase. To correct this, I had to manually splice the audio and line it up with the video. See if you can hear the cuts – I bet you can’t.
So that’s about it for the month of November. Sure there’s a whole slew of stuff I’m working on for MindMeister right now, but it’d spoil the surprise if I told you about it pre-launch, eh? You’ll have to stay tuned. If you don’t want to miss a beat, you can always follow MindMeister on twitter, become a fan on Facebook, or subscribe to the RSS feed. Shameless marketing plugs FTW!