Saturday, July 8, 2017

J-Vlogging & The Direction

Years ago, I started this blog as a side project to basically keep track of all of my other projects. It gives me an outlet to experiment on art and design (which badly needs updating), and it gives me an excuse to have one place on the internet where I can put anything I want...

Originally, I figured I'd write some video game reviews with my friends and post them here, and I'd write short little dumb pieces on “nerd stuff” and make cartoons. I wanted to post my own DIY projects with photos, and basically write to keep that part of my brain alive.

That sort of thing didn't exactly work out.

However, this is still my own little slice of the internet, and what I have produced on here are things I can be proud of...mostly. I just need to keep pushing myself to do more and to update this place more frequently despite all of the things that happen in life. Anyway.

One year ago, I took a crazy chance and sold a lot of my things, packed up my PC, and moved to Japan to live with my girlfriend and study Japanese. I had been there once before, and made a video series called Tokyo Video Journal, which you can watch on my YouTube channel if you'd like. It's more of a diary than anything else these drone-flying, young, beautiful J-Vloggers do on the site, and was made using some technology from the 80s. When I came back, the plan was to basically do the same thing, but a little cleaner and leaner. But mostly, I wanted to edit and finish my white-wale project, The Mecha Review.

That didn't happen. Why didn't it happen? Well, in short, my PC got fucked-up in shipping, and our old apartment hated my PC's power supply, and that made editing the show almost impossible. I could do basic editing on the PC, but some of the hard drives were destroyed and it never really ran correctly after that. In light of this, I decided to focus more on getting used to living in a foreign country and making videos about some of the neat things I saw there, editing on my laptop.

The laptop became the funnel through which all my dreams of making cool content would get clogged. I was able to make a few videos on it that I like, but too many effects or too many edits would cause the thing to lock, making final rendering impossible. I was living the dream of the J-Vlogger: Stuck in a country where no one would (maybe should) hire me, failing at learning a language, and losing tons of weight from a very tight food budget. I don't know how Chris Broad does it.

Was living in Tokyo terrible? Part of it was, other parts were the best times of my life. It was definitely the most difficult thing I ever did, on every single level. I saw some amazing sights, met some wonderful people, and spent some amazing times with my girlfriend in places like Tokyo Disney Sea, and walking home early in the morning from seeing the fireworks at the Sumida River. My girlfriend surprised me with an amazing cake and a bunch of awesome Gundam stuff for my birthday, and later would take me on a trip to both Tokyo Disney Land and Tokyo Disney Sea to round off the end of the year.

I would do it all over again, my mistakes intact, given the chance. When I think about walking home from Ueno park in the middle of the night listening to a good podcast and sipping a Strong Zero, I get a little misty-eyed. Sometimes it's hard to think about what I would be doing now if I had managed to stay. It's just too difficult to process, and it hurts to think about all of the people and places I've had to leave behind. But let's not dwell on it.

THE DIRECTION

I lost a lot of cool projects I didn't quite have the courage to finish up when I moved. Tens of hours of footage, including short reviews of my old Famicom collection (which I sold) and a video explaining how to troubleshoot and fix a Sharp Famicom Twin game system (also sold) are among the casualties. There were a lot of pieces where I had to buy a few things in order to film them, only to have all of it go missing. Why didn't I finish these videos? Fear. I am too afraid to fail at making something good, so I put it off, don't do it at all, or finish it really quick before the fear can settle in.

Losing it all was a bummer. I don't ever want to repeat that mistake, and I now have back-ups of back-ups, and I'm not committed to editing more often to actually finish my projects. I can't get good at this by thinking about doing it. I'm probably going to make a few more bad videos before I get something that really makes me happy, but that's OK.

So what are those projects? Well, if you've been on the YouTube page, you've noticed I actually did do some Japan travel videos. I have a few more of those videos to crank out now that I have a fully working machine, and since I have the power and space to finish Mecha Review, I've already started on that. This site was originally for me to try new things and to make stuff I never thought I could, so that's what I'm doing. I hope everyone likes it, and I'm sorry for even MENTIONING any of these projects so far ahead of when hey were finished. It's really depressing to see how long ago the first test footage for Mecha Review was posted.

Well, since I'd rather not fill this post with all my self loathing about the previous year (and I could fill this bitch, believe me) I'm going to cut this short and get back to organizing and converting my last footage for MR.

If you're reading this far in, thank you for caring enough to do that. I will continue to keep trying to make this stuff, reply to your comments, and encourage you to try some of the silly projects I post here. When the country, and the world even, seems so god damn crazy and divided, we can all sit down and enjoy some video games, movies, comics, and various nerdy doodads.

And cars.

And ramen.

Don't loose hope. Do good. Blaze that path across the universe.

Late.

-K





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