Monday, February 20, 2017

Where Have I Been?

I have been working on two big undertakings since October.  The first project is a film book for McFarland.  The book will examine a legendary comedian whose troubled personal life too often overshadowed his work.  As I see it, my job is to cut through the man's notoriety in order to provide a plain and fair perspective of his varied film projects. 

I have divided my time between researching my new book and preparing to debut a YouTube channel.  I started out with a less ambitious plan to put forth an alternate blog where I could tie together film trends and political issues.  But then I got the idea to take advantage of the new opportunities afforded by YouTube.

It has been a challenging and sometimes torturous march up the steep learning curve of video production.  I encountered the most difficulty while recording voiceover narration.  I wanted to sound as confident and mellifluous as George Sanders, but I feared at times that I was sounding as unimposing and dreary as Droopy Dog.  It didn't help that I used a sensitive microphone, which picked up every breath that I made and picked up every squeak that came when I moved my chair.  I sounded like an asthma victim in desperate need of WD40.  But I worked hard to filter out the occasional noises and rerecord audio passages that were beyond use.

YouTube is uncomfortable with film criticism channels that use copyrighted material from films and television shows.  The company employs a program called Content ID to scan, identify and block videos that could potentially violate copyright laws.  U. S. copyright law allows brief film clips to be used for purposes of criticism and news reporting, but the Content ID program lacks the sophistication of a legal expert and applies a broad brush to copyright-protected material.  From my perspective, it is better to use screen captures, which can ideally enhance the examination of a film without upsetting Content ID and getting content blocked.

One of my first videos will address the recent Last Tango in Paris firestorm that exploded across social media in December.  It fascinated me to see people becoming enraged over a largely forgotten director chatting about a low-budget art house film that he made 45 years ago. 

I hope that you like the channel and subscribe.

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