Day 264: The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest Challenge 3 #HobbitFanContest

Hobbit released e

Yes! For my first today, I completed Challenge 3, the making of the video, and thus also completed the contest. I finished Challenge 4 a few days ago, and struggled with the making of the video.

Today, however, the creating of the video flowed more smoothly. Oh, I still had plenty of outtakes and flubs. But I ended up with eight acceptable videos. It was amazing, sitting in the beauty of my backyard garden, to realize how noisy it actually is in my neighborhood. I battled the sunshine and a stiff breeze today. And I had to stop several recordings due to motorcycles and an ambulance going by, a train blaring its horn, a noisy car and finally, the neighbor’s weedeater. However, with time running short, I persevered, and I feel a huge sense of accomplishment to have completed the video and submitted it.

Although I would absolutely love to be declared a winner in this contest, winning a trip to beautiful New Zealand, this contest became about moving past this particular challenge. At first I thought I was having trouble with it because I was recording myself. I discovered that the real issue was being timed. The video had to come in at two minutes or less. I was reacting to the time element. Once I realized what was creating a problem for me, I was able to move past it. My finished video came in at 1 minute, 56 seconds.

I am happy with myself for finishing the contest. I actually loved that I was challenged on several levels while completing the contest and that I spent time reflecting on how the Hobbit movies have impacted me. And, today was a great day to complete the contest for another reason. Today marks the anniversary of The Hobbit’s release, in book form. On September 21, 1937, this amazing story hit the bookshelves for the first time. Today also launches Tolkien Week, and tomorrow, September 22, is both Hobbit Day and Bilbo and Frodo Baggins birthdays. It seems an auspicious time to post my video!

Day 262: The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest Challenge 4

The Hobbit The Battle of Five Armies Tapestry

So I’ve temporarily skipped over Challenge 3 in the contest, and quickly completed Challenge 4 this evening, for my first today. Challenge 4 was a snap. I simply had to share an exclusive picture, which is actually a part of a larger tapestry, from the upcoming movie. The picture was shared on Facebook and twitter.

And, I worked on Challenge 3 today. With only about 15 minutes of daylight left, I grabbed my phone and the script I had written out, and seated myself in my garden. I think I hoped I’d do a couple of “takes” and voila! There the finished video would be. Well that was a good thought!

Challenge 3 is most definitely challenging. I know a year ago having to create a video would have stopped me from finishing the contest. And to be realistic for a moment, I haven’t completed it yet! The completed contest MUST include the video, or it doesn’t count as a submission. The creators of the contest knew this would be the making or breaking point, and much emphasis is placed on the video.

I have a script I wrote out. I won’t read it on camera. But it helps to sear the message I want to convey into my brain when I write it down. I read through it a couple of times and then started the video on my camera. The first two takes, I simply read through the script. Both times, the video was too long. It can’t be more than two minutes. I finished with a 2:15 video and one at 2:11.

I struck a few lines from the script and this time, tried recording sans script. Take 3. Uh oh. I caught myself frowning. Take 4. A car drove down the alleyway, hidden behind the fence, but the noise not only distracted me, it was evident on the video. Same thing happened on Take 6. Where are those cars coming from? I hardly ever hear a car in the alleyway. Take 5. One of the cats jumped up next to me, striking the metal table. Cut! Take 7. I got the giggles because I suddenly realized I had a telephone pole coming up out of my head. Shift the chair. Take 8. I flubbed a word. Takes 9-12. More stammering of words. I mutter a colorful word. No profanity allowed! Take 13. Yikes, mosquitoes are biting my hands and feet! Take 14. I lose my train of thought and stare blankly into the camera. Laughter. Ahem. CUT! Take 15. The words are flowing well, however, I notice the light has failed enough outside that the video is appearing grainy. Final cut and it’s a wrap for tonight.

I have a couple of days left in which to complete this challenge. Tonight, for the first time, I did consider quitting. I speak often, before small groups, before large groups. It’s not the speaking that is getting to me, it is knowing that I’m recording my words. I will not allow discomfort to keep me from finishing this quest. The challenge is pushing me. So be it! Tomorrow morning, I’ll start again. No mosquitoes. Hopefully no cars in the alley. Cats contained in the house. I can do this. Roll video.