New Mudguards

I’ve seen a few other videoblogs featurng bike rides (a recent one from Chris springs to mind), so I thought I’d have a go.

This videoblog is a bit longer than my usual, and thus a bit larger at around 12MB, but I think it’s worth it. See what it’s like to cycle around where I live. I show a journey of a little under a mile from near where I live to the nearest cycle shop. (You gotta love google maps!)

I had some practical problems. I recorded the ride by simply holding my little Nisis camera in my left hand while also gripping the handlebar. It jiggles quite a lot, and there is a lot of wind and road noise through the built-in mic (which I turned down a bit in the edit). You can still clearly hear the old bent mudguards scraping against the tyres, though.

How have other people managed effective (and safe) recordings while cycling?

Hotdogs in a can

Back in June there was a brief puzzled exchange on the yahoo “videoblogging” mailing list about the idea of buying hotdogs in cans. At the time I had a couple of cans in the kitchen cupboard, and I vowed to make a videoblog about it. On the 21st June I recorded myself “cooking” some of these hotdogs, but it has taken me a month to get around to editing and uploading a watchable video.

I know everyone else has long forgotten about this, but it is one of the encouraging things about “the long tail” that even a video like this might eventually be of interest to someone, if it’s available for long enough.

Thoughts while driving

Another staple videoblogging technique that I’ve not really tried yet. The “ruminate to camera while driving”.

I had my little camera with me while I was heading to ASDA for some grocery shopping, so I thought I’d record a few thoughts about videoblogging.

Sorry about the background noise, I was driving my little Seat Arosa at about 70mph, so there’s quite a lot of tyre noise and rumble transmitted through the steering wheel to the camera clutched against it. In an ideal world, I guess I’d get some sort of “hands free” mounting. I hope the speaking is still understandable, though.

Can you see the pyramid now?

Astonishing. Appearently in the new movie “Bewitched,” the Transamerica Pyramid may have been airbrushed out of the San Francisco skyline because the building is a registered trademark. I wonder what this might mean to general “reality” and “documentary” filmmakers and video-bloggers?

Read more at: JON CARROLL

37th Opere Nuove and 2nd No Words Short Film Festival

Can’t write dialogue? Want to make short movies that get shown anyway?

Try the 2nd No Words Short Film Festival

From their rules

deadline: 1st August 2005


  • Films/videos produced 2003, 2004 and 2005 that have not participated in previous Editions of this Festival can be submitted. The work’s subject is free. The running time of the films/videos cannot be longer than 30 minutes, titles inclusive, since making videos and animations is not that easy and that’s why many producers hire services from sites as to help them with this.
  • The application to this festival is free of charge.
  • FICTION, DOCUMENTARY, ANIMATION and EXPERIMENTAL works are accepted, as long as they do not have dialogues or subtitles. In this competition, the film/video must be understood thanks only to the strength of the images. Music, sounds, environment background noises, etc. are accepted.
  • For the selection, works must be sent in VHS, Mini DV tapes or DVD in PAL. This material will be not returned.
  • Films must be sent together with the filled out application form that can be downloaded and printed from the festival website (download: The deadline for entries is 1st August 2005. Entries must be sent to:
    The festival management is unable to accept packages which do not have the full postage paid.
  • All entries will go through the selection commission of the festival that will decide which films to screen and to present to the Jury.
  • The festival management will publish the selected works on the official website of the festival.
  • A screening copy in Betacam SP PAL format is required from works that have passed the selection. The deadline for submission of the screening copy is 1st October 2005. If the screening copy arrives later the film will be excluded from competition and from screening. Betacam Sp tapes of the selected films will be returned.
  • The festival management is not responsible for the loss or damage of the films and attached material during the shipping and during the festival.

The Blank Page: Fatal Mistakes: Boring Action-Descriptions

When I first decided that I wanted to have a go at “film-making” rather than just recording events as they happened, I knew that one of the key things I would need would need would be a script. However, I’d never really looked at a script before, and didn’t know what should be in it.

I’m somewhat embarrased to say that what I produced and gave to my actors was not really a script at all. What I gave them was just the dialogue, with no indication of what was happening, or why. Naturally the actors found it very hard to work with such vague information. If I had not been both writer and director, it would never have happened at all.

To avoid mistakes like that, it’s important to read lots of scripts. It’s also vital to practice writing the stuff that goes in between the dialogue (known as “action description”) so that everyone involved gets the same feel for what the production is all about.

Derek Haas at The Blank Page has some useful tips on how to improve your action descriptions. Read more at The Blank Page: Fatal Mistakes: Boring Action-Descriptions.