Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Take one

This year, one of my personal challenges is to enter as many video-based competitions as possible.
That’s not because I’m some bright young camera-wielding hotshot - quite the opposite in fact: I need the practice (and yes, it *is* way too late for me to be bright or young).

So what’s the rationale? Simply put, I suspect the number of video-based competitions is going to increase over the next few years. Why? Because we all have the technology.

Technology is plainly changing the comping landscape. To state the obvious, there were no web-based comps before the internet, no follow-RT comps before Twitter, and no selfie comps before the world and his dog had a front-facing camera in their smartphone.

Of course, today’s front-facing cameras don’t just take half-decent photos - they’re also capable of capturing respectable video footage too - and things will only improve.

I’m not born-digital. Aside from berating retailers, I get little joy from Twitter. Likewise, Snapchat, with its vacuous filters and counterintuitive interface, has done nothing for me except pacify my children during weddings and funerals.

In short, I am, despite my best efforts, a 42-year-old Luddite, guilty of spawning children purely so I have someone to sync my iPod when I retire.

Today’s children will be playing with video like we played with Chuckie Egg. Sure, they’ll still have written assignments at school, but video-based assignments aren’t going to be limited to drama and media studies lessons. Their media literacy is going to be all over ours. And this is where I draw the line - I’m not going to let the next generation outdo me when it comes to video comps!

Right now, I have only my phone and the video-editing software that came bundled with Windows. I’m sure there are plenty of free or modestly priced video editors out there, but for me the priority is such basics as lighting and narrative.

By way of example, here’s my entry into the recent WD40 life-hacks competition.
I really should have looked more closely at the contrast on the purple ink I was clearing up, as the light bleaches it out somewhat - I can only hope it’s sufficiently visible for the promoter. I also hope the promoter enjoys the footage of my lad’s apology that’s woven into it.

Here, I confess that he was actually apologising for a different misdemeanour - I just had the footage on file, as it were, and saw an opportunity to use it! Nonetheless, such confession bears emphasising. Compers already prepare for photo comps by snapping everything from sunsets to messy bedrooms - because who knows when those pictures will come in handy… All I can say is that a change is going to come, so start saving those video clips too!

How do you find technology is changing comping? Do you yearn for the "good old days", or do you embrace each new development as it comes on scene? What are your tips for video comps?


  1. your son is adorable! We had a jammy win for frylights pancake day comp this year by reusing some previous photos of my son mixed in with a bit of new video footage and hoped that they wouldn't notice that he was 3 years older. Good luck with the WD40 comp. I don't like things changing too fast! I tend to be happy with facebook, instagram and twitter but anything beyond that gets too techie for me.

    1. Aww, thanks! He's sweet when he wants to be, but I'd be lying if I suggested he was always like that! I agree that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the holy trinity of social media comping channels, but I do wish they were used to their full potential. Facebook, in particular can be exploited in so many ways, and yet the like-share comp still persists like an anabolic cockroach... Snapchat really baffles me though - I have to get training sessions from my niece!