936.581.3334 booking@historictoursoftexas.com
936.581.3334 booking@historictoursoftexas.com

On Making Videos

The term Naïve comes to mind.

Merriam Webster defines naïve as “ marked by unaffected simplicity” or “deficient in worldly wisdom or informed judgment”. Let’s be honest. It’s just stupidity.  

While I wait for my beautiful, big black party van to be fixed (with a stripper pole that I’m certain the mice out in the back pasture are currently enjoying), my friends at the Chamber of Commerce suggested that I should do historic videos of Huntsville. Since I can’t take my guests to see the sites, I should bring the sites to them via videos. Short, one or two minute clips that we can post on You Tube. Sounded like a great idea. How hard can it be?

That seems to be a question that trips me up more often than I’d like to admit. That’s how we moved the log cabin onto the town square. How hard could it be? Just Lincoln Logs, right? It took three years and dozens of students, trustees, University funds and the help of half the members of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum. So the answer to how hard can it be? Really, really hard, and expensive and time-consuming.

I frequently enjoy watching the DIY and HGTV construction shows, especially the “Building off the Grid” and “Building Alaska.” Very naïve young people, or older people who should know better, decide they are going to build some wonderful dream home out in the wilderness. Invariably they face muddy roads, broken equipment, horrible weather, time delays, cost-over-runs, lack of supplies flown in by expensive helicopter or float plane. Probably worst are the cringe-inducing clumsiness of dropping their only communication device in the water, or losing the last box of bolts needed to put up the roof into the icy Alaskan water. Can you imagine even thinking of going diving into that water to retrieve the bolts? The dumb kid didn’t, thank goodness, but it was excruciating to watch. They do, eventually, get the places built and the producers haven’t, yet, shown any failures, deaths or dismemberments.  

Much like the naïve youngsters (I’m older and should have known better), I decided to do the videos. How hard could it be? For the first one on Huntsville’s founder Pleasant Gray, I was fortunate to find two young men (thank you Patrick Thigpen and Michael Kokot) to use their talent to create the video. And blessings on the City and Donna Coffen from the Historical Commission for contributing the funds for the video. It is, after all, historic tourism. And yes, we will post that video to our own You Tube channel as soon as I learn how.

But now I am left to follow in their illustrious footsteps. University professional Nat Conner suggested getting a DSLR camera with tripods, (only $1,400), and lights, and microphones and stands and screens and backdrops. And also suggested I watch You tube Videos of Peter McKinnon on Camera Basics 1, 2, and 3 and More Camera Basics. And Basic Editing for Beginners. Then I need to learn about Shutter speed and Aperture and ISO and White Balance and Focus Modes.

So what’s the plan? Fancy cameras to do Videos of Huntsville? Nope. My cell phone, and it’s not even an Apple. Only I have to learn how to download videos onto the computer. And edit. And add music. And put in lettering. Technology is going to bite me in the whatever … again.  I’ll let you know when I have conquered this new technology. And when the videos can be found on Youtube. After all, how hard can it be?

Leave a Reply