Monday, January 9, 2012

Video Info by Request

I've received countless emails asking for details about the video, the cameras, the production software, the soundtrack, etc. Most of them were answered personally, but for those who are curious, here are a few details.

The helmet/floorboard cam is a Drift Innovation HD170. This is an EXCELLENT camera. I chose it over other popular models for a variety of reasons including its ability to rotate the lens to accommodate many mounting positions, the remote control, the aerodynamic form factor, the included and available accessories, and the excellent customer support I received before and after my purchase. If you're in the market for a feature rich, rugged, and versatile camera platform, I highly recommend you check out Drift Innovation.

The still images were captured using my Samsung Android phone a Nikon s9100 camera. The Nikon has a quick snap feature that will capture an image without the effort of pushing the shutter button half way while the camera focuses, which usually misses the shot on a motorcycle at speed. The Nikon will shoot a series of very rapid shots and select the best one for the final image. I kept the camera in my vest pocket for easy reach and could snap a quick shot on the fly whenever I spotted something interesting.

The video was edited using the Sony Vegas suite of applications. I consider myself reasonably astute with things technical, but this was a major endeavor. Due to my occupational obligations and the complexities of the project itself, it took five months to yield the results we did. I can't imagine what I would have would up with were it not for the help of my friend at HPR Graphics.

Many people have asked about the soundtrack and commented on the selected tunes. My musical tastes are pretty varied, but I lean towards harder rock music. For this video, I selected tracks with lyrics that spoke to me. Many have taken the time to express how appropriate and impacting they found the lyrics and the places the tunes appeared in the video. I'm grateful for the comments and approbation. I actually purchased mp3 files for all the tunes, although I'm sure that has zero relevance in terms of my legally using them for the video. I am neither seeking nor receiving any profit from the video and it's my hope that viewers who like the tunes will go purchase their own. The tunes are as follows.

Prologue/the Great Adventure - Steven Curtis Chapman
I Am the Highway - Audioslave
Born Free - Kid Rock
Bad Motor Scooter - Montrose
Xanadu - Rush
Melissa - The Allman Brothers Band
Blue Danube Waltz - Johan Strauss
New World Order - Ministry
End Game - Megadeth
On Top of the World - Cheap Trick
Walk - Foo Fighters
Slow My Roll - Kid Rock
Home - Foo Fighters
Good Riddance - Green Day
Standing On Top of the World - Van Halen

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Video - Finally!

First, MAJOR kudos go to my friend Nancy at HPR Graphics and OutLoud Signs for her technical prowess, creative input, and countless hours spent with me putting this together.  If you liked Hester's graphics as seen on the blog and in this video, Give HPR Graphics a shout. 

A couple of quick notes before you view it:
The video is long; 80 minutes long.  Hell, the journey was long.  Yes, it's possible to cut it up into segments in the future but for now, this is what you get.  Technically speaking, the production is far from perfect.  I'm a hack at writing and have even weaker video production skills.  The footage I collected was very raw and took extensive effort to render usable, coherent footage.  Were it not for Nancy's assistance, persistence and patience, the production wouldn't be what it is now.

Even with my paid Vimeo Plus account, I cannot guarantee the speed at which the video might stream or download.  If you have severe issues and/or want a higher quality DVD copy, drop me a line and I'll make arrangements to send you one.  I'm not seeking profit, but understand that I have to cover my shipping cost.

This video culminates eight months of planning and three weeks of my life into a little more than an hour.  I poked fun at myself and took a few editing liberties, but the scenery, the photos, the video imagery, and especially the emotion are 100% genuine.  The video will never fully illustrate the life-changing - dare I say cathartic impact this journey had on me.  I hope however, that it might inspire viewers to seize the opportunity to chase and realize their own dream; whatever that dream might be.

Finally, if you haven't read the trip blog and the planning entries that preceded it, you might find those both entertaining and insightful.

I hope you enjoy the Alaskapade! 2011 video as much as I enjoyed the Alaskapade itself.

If the playback through this page is too slow, try linking to the Vimeo host site directly via the link: Direct Link to Video on