Friday, March 9, 2012

the instructional video

After the water pump was finished i decided to make a new blender. This might seem strange, even stupid, but it wasn't. Hear me out.

Yes, there was already a blender, but as i discovered during the workshop with the kids, it wasn't working. I probably could have messed with it a bunch to get it to work but i decided not to. Couple reasons. First, and this is no criticism of Eleva- she did an awesome job with a challenging and ambitious project, especially since it was her very first attempt at metal working, welding and building a machine- it was really ugly. And again, not eleva's fault, its the nature of stick welding bicycle tubes, it blows holes, it sprays metal everywhere, and generally looks like crap. One of the things that was emphasized to me by the aprovecho staff members was that to do something alternative was great, but to make it additionally beautiful was their ideal. (Now, in all fairness to Eleva the one that i made, in the end, wasn't that much better looking, only slightly). But that brings me to reason 2, the blender was, sadly, built from a bike that shouldn't have been in the scrap pile. In fact, it was the personal bike (and a nice one) of a staff member. This didn't get figured out until a month or two after the fact, and while a new bike was purchased to replace the old one, it seemed prudent to remove the sensitive evidence of our mistake.

Additionally, the blender also provided a unique opportunity, a chance to film the construction start to finish. To make an instructional video. This was something i'd wanted to do for a while, so it was exciting to have an opportunity to try it out. Jeremy, one of the aprovecho staff members happens to be, amongst many things, a pretty talented videographer. He agreed to help me get set up with everything that would be needed to film- lights, mics, hd camera, you name it. Before doing any shooting he asked that i draw the whole thing out, story board style. (I vaguely remember doing a lot of it on a plane, must have been thanksgiving...)

Once everything was all drawn out, we reviewed it and jumped into filming.

Unfortunately there was so much work that had to be done inbetween each step that Jeremy got pretty bored and said, here, just use the stuff and don't break it, okay? Deal.

The camera that he let me use was pretty slick, its this little thing about the size of a digital still camera, but it takes video in HD, and has no tapes- its all digitally recorded on a flash drive. Pretty swanky. One downside though, no audio. Or, there might have been audio, just really crappy audio. But that's okay, because Jeremy also happened to have some pretty nice sound recording equipment that i could use. So once all the filming was done, i wrote myself a script, built myself a "sound proof" room out of mattresses and recorded away.

I didn't completely understand the technology all that well, so the levels on the audio aren't great. But, whatever, they're intelligble. Just turn up your speakers.

So after some editing during the christmas holiday, i got the thing all wrapped up and posted it on Vimeo.

This video tells you what you'll need:

build a bicycle powered blender pt. 1 from Matthew Corson-Finnerty on Vimeo.

And this one tells you how to do it:

build a bicycle powered blender pt. 2 from Matthew Corson-Finnerty on Vimeo.

I'd like to give a very big thanks to Jeremy, this project wouldn't have been possible without his help. He was pretty great about the whole thing all the way around, lending his time, his equipment, his personal computer- pretty stellar. Thanks again Jeremy.

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