I Don’t Want To Make Hit Records

Bill Cammack 2011-03-08As some of y’all know, I’ve been focusing on my music thing for around a year now.

I’ve been MAKING and recording music forever, already.. It’s just that with the new tools that are available, I decided I wanted to learn something new and get really good at mixing music.

I’ve done that now. I’m really, REALLY good at mixing. I know exactly what I’m doing. I’m about 1,000 times better at mixing than I was at video editing when I began my professional career by joining Diversion Pictures back in the day.

Actually, I should say “When I began my COMMERCIALLY-PROFESSIONAL career, because I did professional work for individuals and companies before I started doing videos for Diversion that played on MTV, VH1, BET, etc.

So.. Something’s been bothering me for several months now, and I wasn’t able to put my finger on it until today. Until about 20 minutes ago. I had the elements of the understanding, but it hadn’t become a concrete concept for me. Continue reading “I Don’t Want To Make Hit Records”

Celebrity Crush, Part 2

In response to Got a Crush on a Celebrity…, Derek writes:

So it’s an uphill climb. Understood. But, there are guys out there that KNOW (think) that they are MORE than enough to take the challenge (think Pros vs Joes).

What kinda advice would the DG give to those guys? Would could a guy do once he’s left his life, moved to the city of his desire?

I’ll met enough people to understand your initial answer all too well (think “astronaunts”). A type-A personality guy (definitely NOT me) wouldn’t let something like reality stand in the way. They are the same guys that blow horns and give cat calls to pick up women (see my last video posting – I don’t know how to link it here).

Actually, this is something else I’ve never thought about because up until recently, all the stars were in LA/Hollywood. Unless you lived out there, AND were running in their circles, there was ZERO percent chance that you’d meet a star anyway, unless she came to your local mall to sign autographs or was doing a show in your town.

In the case of doing a show, you’re done. She’s there for business, and you’re not getting near her. If she’s there for a book signing or whatever celebrities do to meet their fans, you’re not going to have but about a minute near her so your best bet is to come in the door looking jiggy-fresh, slide her your number and tell her to call you… outside of the earshot of cockblocking assistants and managers, of course.

Anyway, at this point, now that there are internet celebrities, they’re way more accessible to average joes, because none of this is being done in studios under locked-down conditions. Consider YouTube, for instance, you have some of the most REGULAR chicks that are STARS on YouTube. They probably work as cashiers in the local Wal-Mart, even.

As far as actually getting on, there’s no specific formula to that, because as predictable as chicks are, they all get off on different things. Some chicks like bad boys, some chicks like nice guys… Play the wrong style and you lose. 🙂 The only advantage you have in these situations is if the chick puts a lot of information online about things that she likes. That way, you can play it off like you’re interested in the same things and gain rapport.

So it’s not really different from the basic formula…

Gather information, then Fake It, Till You Make It! 😀

end of days…..

On December 31, 2006, almost 10 months ago, I decided I was going to do a text blog. I needed a title, since I didn’t want it to be called “Bill’s Blog”… *YAWN*

As I searched my mind for a title that meant something to me at the time, “Wasted Days” is what I decided was the most relevant. At the time, I wrote:

The blog is named “Wasted Days”. I don’t know why. I just like that name. Well… I think I DO know why, but the reasons aren’t tangible right now, so there’s nothing to say/print/type about it.

I did know why I was writing “Wasted Days” at the time, however, I didn’t feel like ‘flavoring’ the blog with the reason, so I left it out. Also, the reason didn’t permeate my existence, so it wasn’t really fair to call the blog “Wasted Days” to begin with. I didn’t want to add to that unfairness by clarifying my personal meaning for the title.

As this seems to be the season for people ending things, such as blogs, and starting new ones, I was prompted to revisit my text blog, which I had long since abandoned anyway. I figured I’d wrap it up, so that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m ending “Wasted Days”, because the ‘period’ is no longer relevant, and things have morphed so much in the last 10 months (really, even the last three months) that it’s really time for something new. 🙂

To me, Days are Wasted when you know there’s something you want to do or that you feel you *SHOULD* be doing, and you’re not doing it. For me, at that time of title-creation, my not-doing was that I had (and still have) a very special and important-to-me friend that lives on the other side of the country that I had never met IRL, and I knew that as inspiring to me as she was [is], that I wasn’t going to go see her.

Bill Cammack - Wasted Days
The Ghost in the Machine

This was a strange situation for me at the time, because I’m not a long-distance person. It’s basically “out of sight, out of mind”, and I’m not usually inclined to even consider girls that don’t live in Manhattan, and even then, within about 15 minutes on public transportation from my house. 🙂 Nevertheless, thanks to the wonders of the internet (no… not J-date), here I was, admiring someone that I would be bugging every day to hang out if she lived within my AO [Area of Operations], but since she doesn’t, I remained here and she remained there, and my days remained wasted.

“Wasted Days” had the fringe benefit of loosely alluding to alcoholic beverage consuption, 😀 but it was really about “What would you do if you couldn’t [wouldn’t] do what you really felt like you *should* be doing?”. This is why, in December of last year, my days were wasted.

I believe the first thing I noticed was that since I was blogging, the days weren’t actually wasted, almost from the beginning. I was being creative. I was doing something I felt was interesting and worthwhile. I was also learning… Learning about the process of blogging, tagging, social sites, myspace, facebook, linkedin, ning… I was learning about editing with new software & incorporating new techniques. I was learning about compresson, flash, h.264, fps, data rates… So, once again, even though, inspirationally, the days were wasted, they really weren’t wasted at all…..

Meanwhile, I was making new friends.

Frisbee Group, April 14 2007
Bill, Grace, Rachel, Charles, Obreahny, Sandra, Mike

I’ve always been blessed with fantastic friends… the few, the elite. Ever since kindergarten, and probably before I can remember, I’ve always had my “crews”. Necessarily, as time goes on, we move from social location to social location, from Elementary to JHS to HS to College, some folks to Grad School, then to the workplace, different neighborhoods to live in, different gyms to join… There’s always the building and eventual dissolving of “crews”. The internet in general, and videoblogging in particular has now changed all of that. People are seeing, hearing and learning about like-minded individuals and groups all over the planet and making global, international alliances. This has completely replaced… for me, anyway… local interactions based on physical proximity.

Without recapping the last ten months, which has included 202 linkedin contacts, 279 facebook friends, 247 twitter followers (lots of overlap between all three), etc etc etc… (which I only bring up because it’s an OUTLANDISH number for someone like me that’s used to selecting a few CLOSE, CLOSE friends and staking our claim in the universe)… there were a couple of events in particular that really made me “sit up and take notice” as far as what was really going on and how my Days were TOTALLY not being Wasted….

The first event was meeting Roxanne Darling IRL (In Real Life). We had met via the Yahoo Videoblogger’s group and she had reason to be in NYC, all the way from her home in Hawaii. The first thing that was striking to me was that she just set up the camera and was ready to do an episode of her show Beach Walks with Rox… which now that I checked out that post, that was actually last November 9th, before I even started “Wasted Days”… Anyway… she was ready to just do an episode with no rehearsal, no talking about what we were going to discuss… NOTHING! :O … Just turn on the camera and talk to each other… I was like WHAT??? But I rolled with it, and it came out ok. 🙂

That was a learning experience in and of itself, however, we hung out afterwards and had this really great, intelligent, fascinating conversation, mostly about videoblogging and “the space”, but also about life in general. As I’ve told Rox, that was the best IRL conversation I had had with someone I knew from the internet in AGES. I wasn’t aware at the time that *THIS* is the potential of the internet where people get to express themselves and align themselves with people who have similar viewpoints or even people who have opposing, yet intelligently articulated viewpoints. I knew there was something ‘odd’ (read: FANTASTIC!!!) going on, but I didn’t have enough data to figure it out.

The second event was in January, 2007 @ Andrew Baron’s house, which I have labeled as Rocketboom Party Photos. I don’t remember what the genesis of that party was, but I don’t believe I even had *MY* camera with me that night… Which shows how long ago it was, because I ALWAYS have my camera now. 😀

At some point, I saw Bre Pettis, whom I recognized from Jonny Goldstein’s show on Phovi.com, “Reinventing Television”. When I walked up to Bre, I introduced myself and started to explain something about myself (that I don’t remember) to him, and his reply was to look at me oddly, as if I had amnesia, and he said “…I know who you are”.

Now, this was somewhat shocking to me, because I considered myself a spectator of Jonny’s show. Until that very point in time, I hadn’t given a single second’s worth of thought to the possibility that people that I didn’t specifically personally solicit to check out my site might have done so. I CERTAINLY hadn’t considered that someone on a show might actually research members of the “studio audience” that were there in the text chat. Whatever the actual circumstances were, I never found out, because my mind was suddenly off on the tangent of “what’s really going on, here?”. I now had to consider my interactions on the net as TWO-WAY instead of one-way, like television. To me, that situation was as if I had walked up to Chow Yun-Fat and told him that I had seen his movie “Hard Boiled”, and he said “I know who you are”. Strange, yet fascinating, amazing and transformative all at the same time. 🙂

Also at that party, I recognized Kenyatta Cheese. I had had a chat with him via blog comments over a quasi-contoversial topic, and I was aware that he had no idea what I looked like, but I knew what he looked like. I walked up to him and introduced myself, and he gave me this weird look, like “How come this guy I’ve never seen before is addressing me in a friendly manner?” I went on to bring up the blog comment conversation I had had with him, and his entire demeanor changed to one of recognition and acceptance. We went on to have an extended, IRL conversation about the blog post in question as well as peripheral topics that we most likely would never have gotten into in text comments.

I still didn’t “get it” after Drew’s party. I think I considered both the Bre and Kenyatta incidents to be easily explained away as isolated situations. I wasn’t getting that people were forming actual friendships and respect for each other that had never met each other IRL. I wasn’t getting that people were learning things about me that I didn’t tell them, because I posted it on the net and they read or watched it without telling me they did. I wasn’t getting that as opposed to selecting compatible people that are within our physical locations where we live, hang out or work, we now have the opportunity to interact… A. LOT…. with people with whom we share similar likes and interests that live ANYWHERE in the world.

I get it now… At least to the degree that I can write this post and wrap up my “Wasted Days” blog. What I get is that it’s not so strange… hehe well, to me at least! 😀 … to admire my friend across the country even though I’ve never met her IRL. It’s not uncommon to make friendships with people outside of one’s neighborhood, town, city, state, or even COUNTRY!

The Days aren’t Wasted just because I’m not in physical proximity to her. There are so many other ways that people communicate and get to know each other and build respect and create friendships and all formats of relationships that the only way your days are going to be wasted is if you aren’t figuring out what YOU want to do with your own life and your own time…. and DOING it! 😀


Fin.
Bill Cammack
2007… The Wasted Days
http://billcammack.com
http://reelsolid.tv

Bill Cammack GSX-R NYC Night
Photo Credit: Jay Batista

Personal Expenses

When I was hanging out with Rox (Darling, from beachwalks.tv and barefeetstudios.com) @ BlogHerBiz ’07 back in March, something striking [at least to me] occurred. We did the conference thing and hung out for a few hours, and when she checked her in-box, she had *80* new emails…. EIGHTY!!!

I remember being surprised by two things. The first thing was that she had so many new emails in the span of probably four hours. The second was that….. she wasn’t surprised by this at all. She looked at her computer screen like “… here we go again…”… like this was something ‘regular’.

At the time, I was probably getting 15 emails tops in an entire day. 80 would have meant I didn’t check my email for an entire WEEK! 😀 … and that’s INCLUDING spam and bacn.

I remember considering the amount of TIME it would take her to go through all of those emails, particularly the relevant ones. I also thought about how more emails would be coming in during the time she was spending answering the 80 emails currently awaiting some form of action. She also DIDN’T start dealing with her email at that point, so I considered how much more would be built up until she allocated time and mental energy to her process. Months later, I watched an MSNBC video where Andrew Baron from Rocketboom actually DELETED all of his backed-up email! :O .

The ‘problem’ isn’t actually email… it’s TIME as well as energy. There’s only so much time in a day. Some of that time has to be allocated to new things, other time to current thing and still other time to clearing your desk or archiving old things. On top of that, there’s a familiarity of process that’s actually repulsive when it comes to doing several of the same kind of project simultaneously. For instance… Many editors that I know don’t WATCH television. 🙂 We MAKE television all day, so when we’re done with that, we want to do something different with our free time.

I think it’s especially important for freelancers to pay attention to these time and energy costs. It’s easy to overextend yourself if you don’t account for the ‘personal expenses’ of coming down from one project and getting in gear to do another one. It’s not necessarily easier on staffers either, depending on what you agreed to accomplish before leaving each day. A 9-5 could easily become a 9-7 or 9-9 depending on how many duplicate videos you need to create for packaging purposes or backup or delivery to different locations.

Looking back at my own archives, I realize that I lost control of my ‘personal expenses’ back in the beginning of July, two months ago. Ever since then, there hasn’t been enough TIME in each day to accomplish what I need to. Just the fact that I can take the time to think up, write and then post this blog is a testament to my regaining a handle on something that I wasn’t aware I could lose a handle on. 🙂

Probably back in June, I agreed to do a choreography video for my friend Violeta Galagarza, Founder of KR3Ts Dance Company, based in East Harlem, NYC. At the time, I ‘saw’ very clearly how I was going to get it done, and how long it was going to take me. Right after that, I accepted new client work, started editing a popular internet show, participated in a live internet show that required preparation, contributed a segment to a third internet show, thought up and created a video blog and accompanying social site, traveled out of state a couple of times and edited a cooking DVD. Priorities stacked up, and I have to apologize to Violeta for taking so long, but I literally have not had a block of time where I could get out of the mindset of mentally ‘living in’ my client work or other projects to ‘live in’ her project long enough to get ‘er done.

I realize I’m still too close to this phenomenon to succinctly explain it. 🙂

My advice is… If you’re in a profession where you need to FEEL the work in order to be good at it, such as video editing, pay close attention to the ’emotional’ toll that it takes on your system. You end up paying that toll in TIME. People will not understand this, so you have to manage it on your own.

Same thing with email or any other time-consuming process. Nobody’s PAYING YOU to reply to their emails, but they still expect responses. The time you spend answering emails is the time you’re NOT spending clearing your obligations from your virtual desk. It’s time you’re NOT spending working on your own projects or doing what YOU want to do. It’s time you’re NOT spending thinking progressively about something you’d like to accomplish in the future. It’s time you’re NOT spending learning new technology that someone created or exploring a new social site. It’s time you’re NOT spending watching video blogs to check out new techniques or just enjoy what your friends are doing this week.

I understood the look on Rox’s face when she saw how many unread emails she had accumulated in the span of a few hours, but I couldn’t empathize with her. I most certainly do, NOW! I’m going to knock this choreography video out and make sure I don’t lose track of my ‘personal expenses’ ever again! 😀

Bill Cammack • New York City • Freelance Video Editor • alum.mit.edu/www/billcammack