one month in the making! I had the "wrap party" on April
18th. I'm finally finished with Part 1 of "The Cultural Blender
Movie". The renovation project I began back in February for this
website included plans to create a video of the "icons
in the blender". Almost all my free time since has been relegated
to constructing individual webpages, updating the total design of
the website, and using my new Sony Vegas video editing software to
make the movie, which will eventually incorporate all 40 or so images
in the blender graphic. Future movies will encompass the worlds of
pop music. (Two or the "images" in the blender are the "jukebox"
and the 45 rpm single record player, which affords me the whole history
of pop music from which to choose.)
first internet movie is 9 minutes and 16 seconds long. Almost two
minutes of "credits" are included at the end of the video,
sourcing the music, film and video footage, and giving web addresses
for the official sites of the icons featured, so there's only about
7 minutes of animated footage. Part 1 of the video contains the following
American pop culture icons in order of appearance.
Temple, Coca Cola, Napster, John Wayne,
Jesus Christ, Elvis, John F. Kennedy, the
lunar landing, Star Trek, Howdy Doody, The Lone Ranger, Davy Crockett,
Marilyn Monroe, Arnold Schwarzenegger,
cigarette advertising, Richard M. Nixon, and the Smiley face. Each
icon is given a few seconds of footage, and the animation consists
of layered images, video, music, and sound bytes. This is almost like
a "living web page" from AllThingsMike. I have tried to
assure that everything is high quality, and that I've given credit
for everything I am featuring. Most of the images were gained in countless
web searches beginning in 2001, when I created this website. I use
a lot of the chroma key and pan and zoom features familiar from slideshow
programs, but everything has been personally manipulated.
are 329 separate
images and numerous sound bytes included in these nine minutes. I
made almost a dozen overlays in order to get the amount of layers
I needed. Watching the video again the night before I finally uploaded
it to my server, I was still finding "mistakes" and want
to tweak it some more, and the footage I compiled first is not as
"professional" as the later footage, but if I keep tweaking
it I would never present it. The credit sequence alone took two full
evenings to complete.
quite proud of my latest "baby". I always wanted to see
one of my videos "take off" like other famous viral videos
on the internet. Perhaps this is the one. I know that nine minutes
is "long" in internet time, and because of the quality and
the size of the file, the video will load slower on some computers.
As usual I give my readers a chance to sample the video in a number
is a feed on my Xanga blog, with ratings and boost capabilities
for subscribers of my blog. The quality has been compromised somewhat
on their server.
SO SO. The
Google feed. is not as clean as the Xanga feed, but is available.
BETTER. The best quality stream is above on this page. It begins
immediately when you click the page, so you might have to hit pause
on the player until the buffering is complete if you have trouble
viewing the stream. It will play in whatever plugin you have designated
for your computer. (Windows media, Quicktime, or Realplayer, to name
BEST. Above is the download link which is available for a limited
time of the complete 256MB Mpeg2 version of the movie. This is the
highest quality video version available, Right click the link and
"save target as" to your computer, in order to have your
own "copy" of this video. It could take up to a half hour
to download the file to your computer, but once on your computer,
you can view at will without delay anytime you wish. (I will disable
the download when my server bandwidth limit is reached, hence the
VERSION" A "modified version" of the video has
been uploaded to my YouTube Channel HERE.
This version "clothes" the nudity of the Tom Kelley photographs
in the Marilyn Monroe sequence. Since YouTube doesn't allow nudity,
this "YouTube safe" version is the best bet for viewers
who are disinclined to view nudity, even from an artisic standpoint.
MAC USERS. I cannot make quicktime files with my software.
some screen captures from the movie. All were captured from the uncompressed
avi version of the movie on my hard drive, and saved as jpgs in the
Picture Publisher program. These captures highlight some of the images
of the cultural icons featured in the blender video. The Sony Vegas
software has much more editable transitions than the Pinnacle Studio
software I have used in the past for my online videos. I "learned"
the Vegas program while making this video, which is by far my most
intricate animated work for the internet, so some of the sequences
are better than others as I learned more shortcuts and better ways
to manipulate the images.