Week 44: Cabbage Soup

Week 44 was a tough week, I almost gave up on it. I had recorded a video of the Geminids Meteor Shower, but it was so similar to the Week 43’s Star Trail video that I decided not to use it. Then I had a series of things happen, my Kitchen sink broke one night, we lost power another night, went Christmas shopping another night, and we had a Christmas party one night. Not to mention, the fact that I was finishing up a bunch of projects before I went on break for the holidays.

44Party

Amy and I at the Christmas Party, I made the Naughty List again.

Friday came and I was making dinner and I realized I still hadn’t shot a video. So I decided to start recording me making dinner (Cabbage Soup).

I thought it might be cool to concentrate on the audio of the various steps and make it into a song. So I started recording the remaining steps of the soup.

I recorded it with the Sony FS700 and I used the Rode NTG2 for my audio. This video was completely spontaneous and I didn’t put any though into it. In hindsight, 5 minutes of planning would have helped me greatly.

44Light

Shooting dinner with the FS700.

I only used the natural light coming through my windows, except for one shot where I used the light above my stove. Like I said this was spontaneous.

I wanted to get the mic as close to the objects as possible so I had a bunch of crazy set ups. I used my Gorilla Pod (see my review here), and gaffers tape as my mic stand. I also used the kitchen faucet, and my coffee maker.

44FaucetRode

Mic set up, with the new faucet I installed this week.

It’s kind of fun to try and make something work with everyday objects that are just sitting around. Don’t let gear get in your way of not trying things, make use of whatever you have around you.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on setups, so I propped the camera up with whatever I could find in the kitchen. My favorite was two cereal boxes and my daughters library book.

44CerealBox

Get creative and make everyday objects work for you.

I spent about 15 minutes shooting a few scenes, and that was that.

Saturday morning I got up and started on the edit. I thought it would be easy to make the audio into a song, boy was I wrong. It was a nightmare, nothing was working. After awhile I took a break and started to think about it. I came up with the idea of making each sound be a piece of a drum kit. For instance a chopping noise could be the snare drum, the carrot slice could be the high hat etc…. I drew out a diagram of drum kit and designated each sound as a drum/cymbal.

44drumdiagram

My drum/vegetable diagram.

Then I opened Premiere and started editing it this way. It worked a little bit, and I had the start of a good beat, but the video clips I had didn’t work like I wanted them to. After about 40 minutes I got frustrated and deleted everything. I had decided to scrap the whole thing, thinking that sometimes it’s best just to move on and walk away.

Sunday came, it was cold out and I couldn’t think of anything to shoot. We took the kids out shopping and I was pretty sure I’d just let this week go buy without a video.

That night I couldn’t do it though. I made myself go back into Premiere and try to edit something. I just started putting clips on the timeline and trying to make a basic beat with them. I had them all layered onto of each other and it was getting confusing, so I reduced the sizes of the clips and arranged them in a grid pattern so I could see all of them.

44Screen

My timeline got a little confusing.

Once I had that, I started moving them around a bit. I got a beat that was acceptable, but the images were hard to watch. So I started just showing one image as it made it’s sound, then slowly added more until the end when you see all of them together. It kind of worked. I finished the edit in about an hour and a half and uploaded it. I made it by the end of the week and I felt good about that. I was glad I didn’t give up. That being said, I wish I had time to reshoot it and make a really cool beat with it. But part of the challenge is to just shoot something, and edit something every week within a few hours. So this video met that challenge.

As far as the grid goes, I made that in photoshop, it’s just black lines on a transparent background. I guess I could have sized and placed the video clips exactly at certain spots, but I just placed them by eye and put the grid over top of everything. It made it a lot easier and less time consuming.

44Grid

Simple grid I made in Photoshop.

The font was Brush Script Std. It reminded me of an old dinner, so I went with it.

So that’s it, I guess the lesson I learned this week is, Don’t give up. Or maybe it’s, Walk away when something isn’t working. Or it could be, Add more carrots to the Cabbage Soup.

Whatever it is, I finished a video and put it out there, despite everything that was going on, I also made a tasty dinner.

44Bowl

Cabbage Soup.

You can watch Week 44’s “Cabbage Soup” here.

For those interested, I don’t use Recipes, but this is close to what I made.

Chop 1 head of cabbage, 1 onion, and 3 carrots and sweat them in a pot with a little oil. Add 4 cubed potatoes, sliced kielbasa sausage and a carton of chicken stock, and a few glasses of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add in thyme, salt and pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and garlic salt. I use a lot of spice, be generous with it. Then let it simmer for an hour or two and enjoy. Like any soup, it’s always better the second day.

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