Learning to make short films

To prepare for my trip to India, I have started learning about making vacation films, as I want to be able to remember as much of it as possible, as well as share it with everybody back home. In my opinion, video is one of the best ways to remember things by. It not only includes images, but also sounds and other things that can trigger your memory. And in this day and age, it’s not really that hard to shoot video, anywhere at any time. But, the challenge is to do it well, so that it will be enjoyed. And I am a complete beginner when it comes to image composition, writing outlines and filming serious projects, except for what I learned back in my Multimedia classes. I have always been interested in videomaking though, so this is a great first project to embark on.

Especially one blog got me really hooked on the thought of making my own vacation videos, and that is the RTWblog No Baggage Challenge. I myself don’t intend to travel without any luggage at all, but I don’t plan to bring too much with me either. Perhaps I will bring a ton of stuff back home, but that’s another story. Anyway, this blog really got me thinking that perhaps I can make an awesome video-log of when I’m out traveling too.

I will try to learn as much as possible about how to make good videos before I leave, and share it with you guys, but please do share any and all tips you have for me as well. I am, after all, a beginner when it comes to videomaking. Best practices as well as things not to do are always useful to know. I expect to learn a lot both before I go and while I’m actually in India. But most of all, I want to share my experiences with you.

So, where do I start?I have read a few blogposts about how to make a good vacation video, but somehow I don’t really feel too confident about my abilities yet. I made a short video after work, eating pizza downtown with my parents and girlfriend, but I feel like I need to really up my level for the project to be interesting enough to follow as well as follow through with.

The equipment that I’m planning to use is actually only my cameraphone, the Samsung Galaxy S2. I know, it’s not the best choice in the world, but I don’t have a DSLR, SLR camera or a dedicated video camera. I am thinking about buying a tripod and/or a shoulder support for the camera, but I am not sure what to get, or if I even should, on this first trip. I am thinking that I might use this trip as a learning experience for future vacation videos as well, and that I by next vacation will have bought better gear. I really want to get a good HD videocamera, a dedicated external microphone for optimal audio and some kind of support, so that I will be able to shoot better and more stable video.

Let me know what you think, or if you have suggestions to what I should buy. I am not going to give the videomaking part too big a budget for this trip, but please shoot any suggestions you have my way, even if I won’t buy some things until the next trip. I will also continue learning, so let’s hope for the best.

Returned with new music!

It has been a long long time since I last wrote anything on my webpage, but rest assured that I haven’t just been lazy. Granted I haven’t written any of the promised Actionable posts I have said I would write, but they are on their way. I have done most of the research I wanted to do for at least 4-5 posts, so you really have something to look forward to.

More recently I have started writing a hyper-personal mini-blog on my phone, but I’m thinking that I should also write more stuff here too.

I have some plans for this blog that I haven’t implemented yet. For one, I am planning to have a picture gallery with pictures I take randomly. The main reason I will be adding it now is for my trip to India, so that I can share more easily what I see and do over there. I have more ideas I will add later on too, but this is the first and biggest one so far.

Also, yesterday (Saturday 11th June 2011) I went to a Parkour

park with my good friend Daniel, where we were having lots of fun. And today (Sunday 12th June 2011) I picked up my cello for the first time in ages! I had so much fun I must have played for almost 2 hours.

I actually recorded three verses of myself playing Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. I will upload it here, so you can listen to it too, so please tell me what you think of it in the comments. [edit – I lost the audio file in the move of the site. I will try to upload a new one soon.]

Anyway, now I am going to go out for a walk, so till next time, have an awesome day!!

Progress and Project Update

I guess that it’s about time that I make another progress report, but that’s not all I want to write about on this blog, so I will mention a few more things this time.

When it comes to my training I’m doing really well. I have been sick a few days and missed out on workouts, but I have still been able to increase the weights and reps on almost everything. And I have finally come up with a sort of goal for my workout, other than getting a six-pack. The gym that I’m going to is going to add a lot of new stuff this spring, among other things gymnastics equipment for bodyweight training, and my goal is to be able to handle my body well in that setting also. As in getting a body that isn’t only good at pumping iron or pushing or pulling weights on levers, but getting strong and being able to use my body in ways that I’ve never been able to before. And if everything goes well, I will try out Parkour this summer in a more serious way than I’ve done before.

If you are wondering what the picture has to do with me working out, I am using kettlebells such as these as a warmup exercise. It really gets the pump going, while strengthening both my back muscles and hip flexors as well as almost everything else. It’s an awesome tool! Also I couldn’t find any good pictures of myself working out, so I guess I’ll have to remedy that some time soon. I’m not too sure how popular it would be to bring the camera with me to the gym would be however. For my workout, I’m currently using an 18kg kettlebell.

I have been logging every workout so far in an excel document, and I don’t have any access to any workout program for tracking my workouts, and I don’t really know any good programs or apps for that kind of thing, but so far it has worked out really well for me and I’m happy with what I’ve been able to create. But if anyone knows anything that might be even better, I would surely give it a shot. I probably won’t stop printing my workout schedule for when I go to the gym though. Writing things down on a paper really is pretty easy, and it only takes me 2 minutes to enter everything into excel when I’m done.

I guess it’s also worth mentioning that I now can fully see 4 squares on my abs, with the last two ones coming along nicely, even if they can’t be seen yet.

When it comes to everything else in my life, I guess most things are going along as usual, except that I have more energy and feel restless a lot nowadays. I guess I could “blame” the working out for that. Not that I’m complaining, because I’ve never felt this good in my life.

On a completely different note, me and Mehek have started watching a tv-series called Stargate, after watching the original movie from 1994. We are starting out with SG-1, so we have quite a lot of episodes to look forward to. I was really surprised by the fact that she liked the movie and the series, but I’m really happy about it too. Maybe I can later on (when we’ve seen a few seasons) even get her to watch Star Trek or other geeky series.

Progress with this blog is going slow, and I haven’t really been working with the design at all lately and I have still to make a banner or think up any cool ideas for how I want to change the layout, so I guess that the site will continue looking as it does for now. But if you have any ideas or suggestions for either banners or design, feel free to send links, comments and other fun stuff and I will definitely take a look. Any kind of help is always appreciated.

My other projects that I’m working on have started to take up some time of my thoughts lately also. I’ve gotten a few more ideas that I could do something with on top of that, so I guess life is good.

Regarding the Actionable Series, I will probably be posting something soon, as I have finished reading the 4 Hour Body book (I read it from cover to cover, not just selected chapters as was suggested) and I think I understood the most essential parts of it. Tim Ferris is a good author, but sometimes he digresses into stories that hold very little value to me and more than anything just makes the book more difficult to read and understand.

The parts of the book that I will be focusing on is working out and diet. Tim writes a great deal about loosing weight, but I myself am more focused on gaining, but I will try to cover both those aspects. And because Tim himself is not claiming complete validity in his findings, I can’t guarantee that everything will work the way it’s claimed, if at all. But it’s a good start. Tim has many interesting theories and they seem to have worked out well for him, so I guess there is no harm in trying it out on my own as well, while getting the Actionable Series started.

I think I’ve rambled on long enough for this time, but if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let me know.

Results of Training: Progress Report 22:nd March 2011

So far my workout has produced mostly strength gains. I have increased the weight on most machines at the gym with about 60%, which is pretty good for having been gymming for about one and a half month now. I first started gymming on the 8th of February, and have since been recording all weights of all machines that I work out with. I am really happy with my progress, but I also want to bulk up a bit. For the sake of measuring this, I have been using a tape measure and checking how much my muscles grow, once in a while. I haven’t been able to do this as consistently as I have wanted, but I’m sure that I’ll get into a pattern of doing it regurarly soon. So far the progress is slow, but I have seen some increase in size of both thighs, arms and shoulders.

When it comes to my six-pack, that I’m also striving for, I haven’t seen much progress since the first two squares. They are pretty clear now, and the next two have started to surface too, but because of having not worked out for about a year prior to beginning now again (and at that time no cardio or strenght training), I have a small belt of fat around the lower part of my stommach. I guess noone is immune to fat gain while eating crisps for over a year without any workout at all. So, it’s time to get rid of this and uncovering the last squares for good!

So, workout is going good, but I was thinking earlier today that I really haven’t had a workout since the initial two or three sessions that I have gotten any kind of burn in my muscles the day after workout. Kind of weird. Is it because I haven’t been working out hard enough, been using too low weights (I have increased the weights almost every single workout since I started), or have I been stretching so well that I have been able to avoid pain in my muscles?

When it comes to future progress, there are a lot of things that I need to work on. I need to get more flexible and to be able to see more muscular growth as well as increase the size of those muscles I need to eat more and at more regular intervals.

If you have any thoughts you want to share about what I have been writing, please feel free to comment!

Actionable Series

I have read a lot of books of different kinds, and whenever I read a book of the “help yourself” kind or advice kind of books, they are often full of tips, but also full of unnessesary talk or filler material that is not really that interesting or doesn’t add anything to the subject. The object of this kind of post is to take whatever materials is actually actionable from such books – as in, the things you can do something directly from – and describe it in as straight forward fashion as possible, so that you don’t have to waste time reading all that filler material.

I have thought about making this kind of series for a long time, but I haven’t had time to just sit down and start writing. I will be collecting notes and making drafts for posts soon, and will continue making this kind of series for the books that I read in the future.

The first book I’m going to start this Actionable Series for is a book that I have started reading, called “The 4 Hour Body” by Timothy Ferris. It’s a nice read, but as with many of these kinds of books, there is just too much filler in it. So I will be scaling away as much of it as possible and try to hand pick the best parts. I’m not sure how this is going to end, but I’m looking forward to doing this!

Happy Days

Yesterday at the gym was awesome! I had an instructor who showed me exactly what to do and what machines to use. I’m really happy about that. And what’s more is that the schedule that I had made for myself was according to that instructor very well made. So we used my schedule instead of anything that they had pre-made at the gym. So I will continue using the schedule that I made, but we added some leg exercises too, which will be great. I’m really looking forward to the first proper workout session with this schedule on Saturday. I only have to add the machine names, what muscles are used and then enter weight and how many reps I do per machine. Simple and awesome.

Work is going good too. I have gotten new tasks and I’m really enjoying myself. I have moved my desk from the bottom floor to the top floor now also, so I’m sitting a lot closer to my boss. I am probably going to be in charge of a few more things than I am at the moment, and I’ve started printing customer lists also. There are things I have to learn, but that just makes it more interesting. I love my job!

Yesterday I was supposed to go and sing karaoke with a few friends, but my girlfriend Mehek had gotten sick, so I had to go home to take care of her. And today we went to the pharmacy together to get her some cough medicine, so hopefully she’ll be feeling a lot better very soon. Now I’m just looking forward to helping her get better and cheer her up. Being sick sucks! *sends Mehek loads of love*

Another reason I’m looking forward to going to the gym on Saturday is because dad has promised he’ll come along! That’s going to be a lot of fun, I’m sure. I really have started caring more about my health, which was about time. I really want to get a good physique so that I can do whatever I want whenever I want to. Anyways, that will come. I’m just very happy that I’ve gotten started now.

I have been thinking a bit about getting a few tests done. Sort of like DNA tests or something like that, so that I know more about myself. To see if I’m resistant to any diseases and other things, as well as check body fat percentage and bone density and things like that. I have always liked collecting data, but I haven’t really collected that much data about myself. I don’t know why, but now I am really wanting to do such things.

So, if you have any thoughts on anything that I’ve written about today, click your way into the blog post and write me a comment. If you are logged in with Facebook you don’t even have to write any information about yourself, just write your comment and press send. I’m looking forward to reading any comments or thoughts you have.

Update

This time it hasn’t been so long since I wrote, but I still have thought about writing a new blog post a couple of times since last time. I guess I’m getting more and more used to writing often, but it might be too early to say that actually. Anyway, I feel good whenever I do sit down to write.

Last time I wrote that I was going to take measurements every Monday, but I missed to take them, but I have been working out as scheduled. I am really proud of myself when it comes to that. On Tuesdays I have something called Box 1, which basically is an aerobics workout session with some boxing/martial arts mixed in, but it’s nice. It is following the same programme every time, as far as I’ve understood it, but so far I have only gone there twise, so I guess I’ll be more sure of this next week.

Last week at Box 1 it was pretty though, or so I thought. By the end of it I was completely exhausted and I didn’t want to do anything at all, which is awesome. This week however it wasn’t as tough, and I noted that during the workout itself, and my muscles were not sore at all after the workout, which they were last week. So I guess I’m getting stronger pretty fast. My apetite is growing fast too. Before I used to eat very little very slowly, now I eat a whole lot more a whole lot faster. I guess it would be good if I could get those measurements every week, even though it’s pretty often. But then again, what can you do when you love data.

It has been an awesome week so far. I’ve got plenty of work to do at work, finding solutions to fun problems and then seeing them through. There is always a lot of data to go through, but I like that.Today I’m going to have instruction at the gym, so that I get a personal schedule of what things I should work out on and what machines to use etc. That’s going to be so much fun! I am extremely excited for that. I want to work out my whole body though, not only my abs and upper body. I don’t care all too much about having big swelling muscles, but I want to look a bit more muscular than I do right now. So, let’s hope that everything goes well at the gym today.

Now I have to go back to work, but I’ll be sure to write about how it went at the gym!

Have an awesome day!

Back at it!

After having been lazy for quite some time and not having written anything, but thought about it almost every day, I’m finally back to writing again. Feels pretty good, and if I had not told myself that I could do something else all the time, I probably would have done it sooner.

I have been working out every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for the last two weeks, and I’m feeling awesome. I have a competition with my friend Daniel about who’s going to get 6-pack abs first. I have seen signs of the two first squares on my stommach, but he is much more well trained than me, so I’m not sure who is in the lead really, but that doesn’t matter. I am getting stronger by every passing day and I’m feeling awesome. I have a few goals for my workout, which is to get more flexible, straighten out my back (I hunch from having sat at the computer too much), get washboard abs, gain about 10kg and just get generally fit.

It’s a lot more fun to have someone to work out with. Every other time that I’ve started going to the gym, I’ve done it myself, and that is seriously boring. I am less motivated and I don’t push myself as hard if I’m alone. And I’m also much more prone to just skip it “once” which becomes more and more often and then after a while I quit. So I am really happy that I have someone to work out with.

To keep track of how I’m progressing I have taken a bunch of photographs and measurements, and plan to continue doing so every Monday. This way, I’ll be able to track muscle growth very closely, as well as my weight. I don’t think that I’m going to share everything in detail at least right now, but I’m going to when I reach my goal weight show a form of progress chart. If I’m not too lazy to, that is.

Right now I’m looking forward to another awesome week. A lot has happened in the past two weeks that I’ve been away from the blog, but I’m sure that much more is about to happen. And this time I’ll be trying even harder to be online to write about it.

Post workout thoughts

I am finally home again after my first workout in ages. Especially my arms feel like they’re filled with cement or something, I can’t raise them properly over my head even. It’s really a great feeling. Last time I couldn’t raise my hands over my head my back was hurting so much that I couldn’t do it because of the pain. This is just the sweet feeling of victory. I’m finally getting started with working out! I guess I started out a bit soft though, but that all doesn’t matter. At least I have gotten started at all!
I guess I’ll go to bed early today. I didn’t take any measurements yet, and it’s not like it’s too late for that. I guess that’s something that I’ll have to do tomorrow instead. I’m feeling exhausted, but happy.
The only things left to do today are to pack lunch for tomorrow, take a quick shower and then nosedive into my bed.
Ah, and an update about the blog. I rather like this theme after all, I will of course modify it after my own liking and all, so it might crash or stop working, but it will improve in appearance at least. Anyway, that’s it for today!

What’s expected to come

As you can see this webpage looks generally horrible, the font is horrible and the way the lists are is also horrible. I will have to either look for or make a new theme for wordpress SOON because I don’t really want anyone to see what the page looks like right now.

If you have any questions and/or comments on the projects I have or anything like that, just leave that in a comment on the blog, and I’ll get back to you. I am not sure what is going to happen here in the blog in the near future, but I will probably be blogging about progress in the projects that I have active, and let’s just see where it goes from there.

Today’s good news: I am going to go to the gym and start working out! So before I go I will take some measurements and see later on how far I progress in terms of cm in different parts of my body! I might even take a few before working out pictures, because now it has been way too long since I worked out last time, so I’m not as good-looking as I could be. Anyways, I’m happy with the way that I am, but I want to get more flexible and I want to get stronger/buffed up. I don’t really care too much about bulky muscles though, but it would be neat to be at least a bit stronger than I am at the moment.

Anyway, I’ll let you know how it goes and let’s hope for the best.