There was a great weight lifted from my shoulders last night after this video finally went live. I'd been working on it in some way, shape, or form since March and finally putting an end to that process was more of a relief than I was expecting.
It's a big enough challenge to fully choreograph a 4 minute poi piece...but doing so in a way that utilized only tricks from my 1-minute tutorials and in 15-30 second chunks that could be taught month by month was a different challenge entirely. In retrospect I appreciate how that made the piece feel cohesive--the limited vocabulary of movements made it a given that certain themes would be repeated and patterns have callbacks without explicitly being retreads. Having to do sections that were meant for beginners as roped back my inclination to make everything as hard as I could pull off.
The piece was really choreographed in two chunks: the first half in May and the second half in August. It also meant I had to map out months in advance what each phrase was and where it should be published. I didn't want to make it too obvious that all these pieces fit together, so in many cases I deliberately published them out of order or had pieces that fit together released in reverse order in back to back months. The initial comments on YouTube suggest that I was successful in keeping this outcome from being too obvious.
Shooting for the video that brought all these pieces together was an enormous challenge in itself. I knew the video would be one of the longest I'd ever produced. For the first time ever I enlisted the help of a production assistant during the shoot for this video.
The studio's HVAC system was broken, so despite the outside temperature hovering in the 40s the inside temperature was a sweltering 80 degrees. I wound up having to do 8 takes of a full and unbroken version of the whole piece. It was the first priority for shooting that day because without it none of the other pieces were going to work. You can very clearly see that by the end of just this part of the shoot I was sweating in sheets.
The ridiculous temperatures in the studio also caused another problem: the camera would overheat and crash. I would get about 5 minutes of footage before I'd have to pull out the memory card and cool it with a small floor fan enough to get the camera to function again.
I dreaded having to edit the footage--knowing the final video would likely be longer than the LED Handles video I'd shot back in September (which required 2 months of prep in itself).
Having it out there to the general public is an odd feeling. Having that capstone on 9 months worth of work at once feels like a relief as well as Quixotic. As I've been toiling on it, people have been posting to their Instagram and Facebook campaigning for votes on the Top 10 Favorite Poi Spinner list. The voting video for it went live on Monday and I'd more or less forgotten about it.
I'm positive that this video will have a small audience...I think only a very small number of people will bother to learn any part of it let alone the entire thing. But this is one of those things as a content creator that pushes your boundaries. That shows you what you're capable of when you apply yourself to it. That requires you to marshal resources and plan ahead in ways that force you to grow as a creator. I'm glad I did it. I don't know if I'm going to try anything again this ambitious any time soon, but I'm glad I did it. Whether it finds an audience of 10 or an audience of 1,000, I'm happy to have brought this project to a close if for no other reason than I proved to myself that I could.
Today I'm going to get out of the house and try to not think about editing or my channel for a few hours. Thanks for tuning in, everyone!