Eminent Person Learning Centre

Here is the link to my learning centre websitehttps://diggerlearningcentre.weebly.com

Interview reflection:

This year, I was lucky enough to get an interview from my eminent person himself, I messaged him and got an interview a week later. I got a lot of valuable information that I wouldn’t have been able to find online as well as information that I missed or misunderstood from the websites I used. For example, I had seen somewhere that he had been influenced by Dan Cowan and that Dan had brought features to his trails but in my interview, he said that wasn’t the case.

So, what else did I learn from the interview which I wouldn’t have been able to find from research? Like I said, I learned that Dan Cowan wasn’t an influence of his and neither was anyone else. He was the first person to be building trails in BC and he was the first person to be putting features on trails in the world like a ladder bridge and a teeter-totter. People like Dan Cowan and other trail builders in the area took inspiration from his work and built similar trails and put features like his on their trails. I learned that he also had to adapt the way that he built trails over the years. Originally, it was only a few people riding the trails, so sustainability wasn’t an issue. Nowadays, however, Thousands of people are riding them so he must armor them and make them sustainable so they will last a long time.

Something else I was curious about which I couldn’t find online was why he wanted to make his first North Shore Extreme movie. I couldn’t find any answers to this question online, so I had assumed it was either to show off the riders or the trails or just to make money. It turns out that he had just been filming his buddies riding his trails for fun and compiled the clips into a movie over two hours. He had no intention of selling the movie or publishing it, it was just for his friends to see. Eventually, a local bike shop started to play the film for the customers to see and one of them liked it so much they bought it off him. After he realized people would want to buy it, he started to sell more copies of the movie and eventually made nine more of them, the riding getting better in each one as well as the editing. He had no editing experience, but it was the first mountain biking movie, and the riding was good enough that lots of people wanted to buy the movies. This worked well as he had to take up to six months off work to make each one, so they had to be successful for him to keep making them.

Other than what I mentioned, I had a few things clarified for me like how he created the NSMBA where some information was available online but not all of it. The information that I got from him was helpful for me, especially with the speech where most of the information came from this interview. The information has also taught me more about the history of mountain biking and the North Shore as well as helped me get along with my learning center. I left the interview with all my questions and more answered and I am very grateful I was able to talk with my eminent person and that he was willing to help me.

Thank you Todd Fiander!


Annotated Bibliography (Excluding Interview):

  1. “North Shore History.” North Shore Mountain Bike Association, https://nsmba.ca/history/.

This article talks about the history of the NSMBA, how it was created and who created it. This information is important as Todd Fiander is the co-creator of the NSMBA and it is one of the most important things he has worked on. From this article one can learn a little about Todd Fiander as well as learn about the evolution of mountain biking on the North Shore. The information from the article is valuable because the information comes from an association that he started. It has lots of accurate information about Todd and the trails which wouldn’t be here without the work of the NSMBA.

2. Lau, Lee. “Trailbuilders of the Shore – Part 3 – Digger.” Pinkbike, 1 Dec. 2010, https://www.pinkbike.com/news/shore-trailbuilders-part-3-digger-2010.html.

This article is an in-depth interview with Todd Fiander done by Pinkbike which is a prominent mountain biking news platform and website. The interview has much more detail and questions than mine did and a lot of the questions I asked were based on what I thought they missed. This was probably my most helpful resource alongside the interview I did. It went in-depth about every point of his eminence and provided further information which benefited me in the speech and the learning centre.


        3. Todd Fiander’s Website. https://diggerknowfear.com/.

This is my eminent person’s personal website which is mostly used as a store however has articles and information about him. It talks about the NSMBA, trail building, and the North Shore Extreme movies which are the three main points of his eminence. It doesn’t go too far in-depth however it gives information that more research can be done off of and it’s guaranteed that all of the information on the website is accurate.

4. Vendetti, Marc. “North Shore Trail Builders.” Marin Museum of Bicycling and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, 5 Mar. 2016, https://mmbhof.org/north-shore-trail-builders/.

This article is on the Mountain Biking Hall of Fame website, and it talks about the contributions of Todd Fiander and Dan Cowan. Essentially, it tells us about the eminence of the two because to be put in the hall of fame you must have some massive contributions to the evolution of the sport. It goes in-depth about their early trail work and trail building contributions as well as a brief look at Todd’s North Shore Extreme movies and their contributions.


Thanks for taking the time to look at my learning centre. I’m glad that I could share a bit about Todd Fiander and the evolution of mountain biking. Feel free to leave any comments on my blog!

John C. Maxwell Reflection

In this assignment, I chose three nuggets of wisdom from John C. Maxwell’s book “Developing the Leaders Around You”. I chose the three that stood out the most to me whether it was because it’s something that I relate to or something that I must work on as a leader.

The first nugget of wisdom that was mentioned in the book which stood out to me was “The Law of the Chain”. Essentially, the law of the chain means that the strength of a team is directly related to the strength of the team’s weakest member. This means that a leader shouldn’t focus on making two people on the team good, they should try and divide their focus between everyone.
Once the whole team starts working together if one person isn’t operating at the same level it can completely ruin the momentum of the group and provide a worse outcome or a longer time to get a result. I’ve experienced this firsthand mainly in group projects at school, sometimes there will be one person who doesn’t care about the project or doesn’t want to help. Often, they will end up distracting everyone else and making other people go off task whereas if they were focused and on task that could be one more person on task and contributing to the efficiency of the group. For the adventure trips, this is important in both the planning of the trip as well as in the trip itself. If the same amount of attention is given to everyone in the planning of the trips, then the group can work together effectively and efficiently as opposed to two people doing all the planning. The same idea applies while we are on the trip whether we are solving a problem or trying to set up camp, etc…

Here is a website if you are interested in learning more about the law of the chain:  https://experienceleadership.com/blog/2019/3/28/the-law-of-the-chain

The second nugget of wisdom I want to focus on is “Leaders are big picture thinkers”, they see before others see and leaders see more than others see. Big picture thinking means that the leader can keep the result in mind. They can see further ahead than most people and even be able to see more details than most people can. This trait is valuable because it means the leader can be more calculated and more precise with their plans which gives less space for small things to go wrong which many other people would miss. This skill is important as missing small details could result in money loss in a workplace or even injury or harm in some situations. This statement is important for me because big picture thinking is something that I should try and work on. Often, I like to just get a vague idea of the end goal then jump into the deep end and try and make it work out. I often do the thinking as I am going instead of planning every little detail out beforehand. In TALONS on the other hand, we are very much a big picture thinking group. For the adventure trips, we plan out every single detail far beforehand, make changes when necessary, and follow the plan almost exactly when we are on the trips. Because of this, nothing goes wrong often which is well worth the extra time it takes to plan the trips.

Finally, I will talk about “The law of explosive growth”. What this law means is that if you are training followers, you will ad to the growth of your organization but if you train leaders, you will multiply the growth of the organization. This is the case because if you train the people of your organization to be leaders, they will help each other to grow and help new people to grow as well. On the other hand, if you train people to be followers and to do as you tell them, sure they’ll be valuable, but everyone will still be dependant on you at the end of the day instead of each other. This was something I learned at Taekwondo; the goal was to teach the students, so they were able to teach each other. There were only so many instructors, so it made it much easier if you taught the higher belts to teach the lower belts instead of taking on twenty kids with three instructors. This is also a prominent law in TALONS because we are taught to help and teach each other. For example, while planning the adventure trips the grade 10’s will be showing the grade 9’s how to plan so they can do the same next year and so on. This is also something we learn from the Autonomous Learner Model where we can take charge of ourselves and be able to help each other instead of following exactly what a teacher says.

In conclusion, I chose to look at the rule of the chain and the law of explosive growth as I found I could relate to both of them. I also looked at big picture thinking which is something I would like to work on in the near future. Those were the three nuggets of wisdom I found which stood out the most to me in the book. Finally, here is a quote that I feel is fitting with the book, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” -Jack Welch.


  • Cox, D., & Hoover, J. (2019, April 23). The law of the chain. Business Coaching & Leadership Training Minneapolis MN. Retrieved November 24, 2021, from https://experienceleadership.com/blog/2019/3/28/the-law-of-the-chain.
  • Maxwell, J. C. (2014) Developing the Leaders Around You. The John Maxwell Company.

Eminent Person Practice Interview Reflection

In my practice interview with Natalie, I tried to balance the questions between her personal life and school so that it didn’t feel like she was overwhelmed with personal questions or that she was overwhelmed with questions about school. It felt like that strategy worked well because I didn’t get repetitive answers. I will do the same thing when I try and interview my eminent person trying to find a balance between his work and his personal life however with him, I would try and lean more towards work. One critique that I got from Colin to work on was speaking in a monotone voice which I could see how that might make the interviewee feel unappreciated or like I’m not interested in what they’re saying. With my eminent person interview, I will try and sound more excited and switch up my tone of voice constantly so that the person sees I am engaged in the conversation. The other piece of criticism that Colin gave me was that I was kind of fidgeting with my laptop as well as shuffling my feet which he found distracting. I could see how that might be distracting or make it seem like I wasn’t paying attention, I didn’t notice that I was doing that, so I am glad that Colin brought it up. In the eminent person meeting it will most likely be over zoom so the shuffling of feet wouldn’t matter, and I wouldn’t have a laptop to fidget with, but I will keep it in mind for future in-person interviews. For the practice interview, I only prepared ten questions to ask, and it felt like the interview was over quite quickly. For my real interview I will prepare around fifteen questions but probably won’t ask all the questions, so the interview doesn’t go on for too long. Also on that note, I will try and ask more follow-up questions because I saw that Colin and Clara asked a lot and they seemed to be very engaged in the interview. The only other thing I can think of that I could’ve done better for the practice interview was preparing a bit more. I didn’t have my questions in any particular order, so a couple of times it took me a few seconds to figure out which question I wanted to ask her. For my eminent-person interview, I will order the questions in the order that I plan on asking them so that I can transition between questions faster and not ruin the flow of the interview. Those are the four main things that I could improve on from my practice interview and that I will apply to my real interview in the near future.

Eminent Intro Post Reflection

While I was reading my peers blog posts, one thing that I noticed was that two people didn’t format their posts into paragraphs and the other three people did. While reading the posts there was a significant difference between the two, the two that didn’t have paragraphs were slightly less engaging than the other three and I found that I lost my spot a few times while reading. Something else that I noticed was some people didn’t use very many pictures and videos which were less engaging compared to the ones that had many photos and links. Although it didn’t make a massive difference in these short posts, a long post that was only words would get boring much faster than one which had a link or picture that I could see every paragraph or two. The final thing that I noticed was how the posts that had a quote at the start I felt like I learned a bit more about the eminent person than in the posts that didn’t have a quote. In my future posts I will continue to use those three strategies to keep my posts engaging and interesting for the reader as well as the helpful feedback that I received on my blog post.

Eminent Person Intro Post

“Digger—aka Todd Fiander—is one of the original trail builders that gave Vancouver’s North Shore its legendary status in the mountain biking world” (Diggerknowfear.com n.d.). For my eminent person this year I’ve decided to research Todd Fiander. He is an iconic mountain bike trail builder and filmmaker in North Vancouver who is one of the few people to be inducted into the mountain biking hall of fame. One of the reasons that I chose Todd as my eminent person was because I ride the trails that he built twenty-five years ago, and I watch the movies that he made.  He’s also a prominent figure in mountain biking which is what I spend most of my free time doing. We both share a love for mountain biking, trail building, and filmmaking. Some of our common strengths include determination, perseverance, and patience, and both of us learn best hands-on. In TALONS my goal is to try my hardest in classes and to make new friends, when Todd is making a new trail or movie, he will put a ton of time into it to make it the best it can be, and he’s done lots of collaborations with other people like Dan Cowan. I can’t see any barriers that I would have connecting with Todd. 



Fiander lived in North Vancouver and picked up the new sport of mountain biking in 1990 and was one of the first people to be doing it. In 1995 he got tired of riding on hiking trails and running into hikers, so he made the first bike-specific trail on the North Shore. The first trail that he built was on Mount Fromme and because of how wet the area is he used wooden bridges to get over swamps and creeks which hadn’t been seen anywhere else at the time. During his first build, he discovered his love for trail building which inspired him to keep making trails. Fiander has now hand-built over 35 trails and almost 60km of trail which is why he is nicknamed “Digger”. After he built a few trails, Dan Cowan came along and decided that his trails weren’t crazy enough, so he made his own trails with huge jumps and stunts. Eventually, the two builders started collaborating and became the iconic duo of Digger and Dangerous Dan. Because of the trails that these two built the North Shore was gaining popularity and more people were picking up the sport. 

 In late 1997 Fiander came out with his first film “North Shore Extreme” which was the first of ten that would come later. His film featured anyone in the area who was willing to ride the trails that he and Dan had built for the movie. The film helped the riders like Kim Steed and Wade Simmons to gain popularity and Kim Steed even used it to promote his bike shop which is a huge success now. Not only did it gain popularity for the riders but also for the trails in Vancouver. Mountain bike enthusiasts all over the world saw the film and saw the style of riding here, other places started to adopt a similar style which is now known as “freeride”. The film also attracted mountain bike enthusiasts all over the world to come to Vancouver and many of whom stayed to develop the trail system, even more, to make it one of the most popular places for mountain biking in the world. 



 Also in late 1997, Fiander helped to create the North Shore Mountain Bike Association (NSMBA). The NSMBA was created to essentially stand up for trail builders and the trails. One of the trails on Fromme was destroyed by a hiker and Grouse Mountain Resort was planning on taking over Fromme, Seymour trails were threatened by housing development and so were the Cypress trails and the NSMBA was going to fight to keep the trails. Currently, the NSMBA has over 2,500 members that help support the maintenance for trails on the North Shore with millions of people that come to ride the trails every year, and it’s one of the biggest, most well-known mountain biking associations in the world. 


 In summary, Todd Fiander is one of the most prominent figures in the mountain bike world who is one of only a few people to be inducted into the Marin Mountain Biking Hall of Fame for his extensive trail work and films as well as his creation of the NSMBA. 








Digital Literacy Reflection


This year was interesting to say the least, our learning was split between online and in class. I liked the hybrid system this year, I got to put more thought into each subject which helped me retain more information. However, some of my electives had absolutely nothing for me to do at home, for example, Culinary Arts. 3 days a week I do nothing in the morning, which is good for me but, it seems kind of weird just having school for 2 hours a day. Technology played a huge part in our learning this year, I used my laptop more than in any year partly for homework but also for meetings and online classes. Without Teams I’m not sure what would be happening this year, maybe we would be fully in class which probably wouldn’t be good for Covid. The other option would’ve been that we got a ton of homework at the start of the week which wouldn’t suit my style of learning and I think I would’ve gotten a lot less from this year and I probably wouldn’t have done as well. I think that technology also made learning harder because I was doing so much on my laptop which has google and my phone was often close by as well.

I wish that the quarter system could stay because I find that I have an easier time focusing when there are fewer subjects even if there’s less time to learn them. However, I don’t like online learning. It is nice when there’s no online class but in science, the two-and-a-half-hour science classes are way too long and it’s so hard to stay focused. So, I want the online part to be gone, but I did like the quarter system even though it probably will not come back. The other thing that I liked was being able to bring my backpack into class. I know most people liked lockers more, but I liked having my bag beside me even if it meant having a 30-pound backpack in science. Even though I hope those will happen, I doubt anything will stay from this system and it will just go back to the old ways of learning,

One project where technology came to my benefit was eminent. I had to do a ton of research on Jigme Singye Wangchuck, and he hardly exists on the internet which made my project tricky. But, I can’t imagine doing that through books if it was that hard online so I’m really glad I had those great resources that I found. I also filmed myself explaining everything which I had to use a camera for and editing software. The learning centre can be found on my blog.

The project where I used the most technology this year was by far In-Depth. First, all of my meetings with my mentor were on zoom which had a ton of technical difficulties, but it worked out in the end and I got a recording of each meeting. I had a great editing software called Davinci which was free but still better than most of the paid ones. Without it, In-Depth either would’ve been very expensive or not gone well at all. I used a lot of camera gear from my house and from my friends which was a huge part of my project as well and using good quality cameras made a huge difference in the video quality. In the end, I put it all together by making a website which was a lot of fun to learn how to use. The final post for In-Depth is also on my blog already.


Posted in Uncategorized

Blog Post #6

In the last four weeks, I got lots done. First of all, I did a ton of mountain biking and skiing and from that, got a ton of footage. Over spring break I only made two videos but I now have footage for a few more soon. The first video that I made was a ski video, I hadn’t done one in a while so I decided it was a good idea and I also decided to try using background music. I took some footage I got of a double-black ski run I did where it was nearly minus 40. I also spent some time browsing YouTube for a non-copyrighted song that I could use for the background music. I was looking for a song that had a good beat and flow to it and eventually, I came across a channel that makes background music for other people to use and chose one of the songs they had.

Here’s the ski video: https://youtu.be/qqIjbvLN99E

As I said, this was my first time using music in the background of the video. I have based a video off of the music plenty of times but never tried putting music behind a video. I was happy with the result, it made the video more engaging and the music fits well into the video. The only thing I wasn’t happy with was that I got the camera angle too low but it was still worth making the video. It was frustrating because a lot of my footage from spring break was too low because it is hard to check but I’ll start checking more often now. One more thing I tried doing was an intro to the video as well as lowering the volume of the music when I’m talking which took a while to figure out but I got it. When I showed the video to my mentor she said that she liked the intro to the video and that the music was very good. The one thing that she said was that it went on for a little too long because it was interesting for the first couple of minutes but then not much changed. A few ways I could fix that would have been more camera angles, switch up the music, or make the video shorter.

The next video I did was a mountain biking video. I went to Burke with my friend, and I filmed him again on a few of the trails. I didn’t get as much footage as I was hoping from that day, but I still wanted to make something. I decided that this time I would base the video around a song, so I chose Song 2 by Blur because it isn’t too much to ruin the riding, but it was fast enough to keep it interesting. I wanted t try something new in the video, so I put the same video from two different angles right after one another a few times. I also cut out half the song and put in the ending which went well and watching it back I can’t find where I cut it which I’m really happy about considering it was my second time.

Here’s the biking video:https://youtu.be/4JDzmxagUc8

So far this is definitely my best video, it’s a little short but I had no more videos to use. One thing that I got was a few people commented “thanks for this” instead of just “nice video bro” and that felt great. My mentor also really liked the video, she said I nailed it and that I’m definitely on the right track. Even my friend who was in it said that it was way better than any of my other ones. I asked my mentor if she noticed where I cut the song and she didn’t. I also asked her what she thought about putting the same videos in different angles and she said that she didn’t even notice them which is great. The only issue that she brought up was that there were two longer clips at the end that got a little boring because they were similar. Looking at YouTube Analytics you can see the average view duration which was 45 seconds which is exactly where the two long clips started. Next time we go out I’ll try and go earlier so that we have more time to film so that I can make the video more entertaining.

In my meeting, I asked about colour grading which would be helpful if I need to use a clip from another day to make it fit in. She wasn’t sure how to do it on the software that I use so she sent me a few videos to watch. She also said that the software I use has one of the best colour grading systems which is neat, especially considering it’s free. I also asked about making a voice-over which is something that I’ve wanted to try from the start of this project. The main things she said were important were; intro, good mic, and an outro at the end and she explained how I could do all of them for the video I want to do. In the coming two weeks I’m going to try making a voice-over with some footage I got from Thornhill last weekend.

The other thing that we talked about in the meeting was the final project. First of all, we changed the 4 videos that I was going to do to 3 and decided that they didn’t have to be three minutes each. Before this project, I thought that time was everything but I quickly learned that it wasn’t. My original idea for the final test was that my mentor would give me a bunch of clips and I would have to make a video out of them. She suggested that I do a documentary instead of that, at first I was confused because it didn’t seem to fit with what I’d been working on. She explained that I could start with an interview then go into some riding where I can use background music and do a voice-over. The video will be between three and five minutes and I’ll start working on it after our next meeting until the end of the project. Between now and the next meeting I’ll work on the final of my three videos then in the meeting we’ll discuss more about the documentary.


  1. Colour Grading – A way to change the colours in a clip to make it look more desirable. Use; make a clip fit into a film shot with different lighting.
  2. Voice-over – A way of making a video more engaging by speaking over the original audio. Use; describing what I’m doing in the video and walk them through what is happening as it goes on.
  3. Background Music – A way of making a video more engaging by playing music over the clips. Use; while riding or skiing I can put music in the background to make the video flow better, feel faster or slower and keep it interesting.


The most recent alternative my mentor gave me was when she gave me the idea of doing a documentary for my final project. I think that most other mentors would have just gone with the plan and given me some clips to work with however she suggested that I try a documentary and then thoroughly explained how to do it and next session she’ll talk more about it. Thinking about it now, this option is much better because I get to apply every single thing that I’ve learned into one video which should be very challenging but also very fun. I also really like how sometimes she’ll offer to teach me more things even if I just ask about one thing. For example, a while ago I asked how to speed up a small section of a video to make the riding seem faster but not noticeable. She showed me how to do that then also asked if I wanted to learn the same for slow motion and of course, I wanted to. I think that another mentor would have also taught me the same thing as it was pretty similar and it kind of makes sense to teach them both at the same time At first I was just doing video editing but she has also offered to teach me other things like filming, and audio work, which is great. I think that with another mentor if I said that I was doing video editing they’d probably just teach me how to edit videos. My mentor has offered to teach me how to film which she wasn’t too experienced with so she had to put in a lot of extra work.

Learning Centre:

For my learning centre, I am going to be doing a website. I’m thinking of doing it very similar to my eminent learning centre with a few pictures at the top that have some information about my project under them. Under the pictures, I will put four or five notable videos and a description about them and I will show my progress from my first video to the last. I will also answer the questions from the Learning Contract and talk about meeting my goals from the contract. I think that for the interactive part it will just be the videos that I made unless I can come up with something else closer to the presentation.

In-Depth Blog Post #5

Blog Post#5
Compared to the last two weeks, these went great. Nothing went wrong and I feel like I really progressed, possibly more than any other weeks. I pretty much spent the whole time working on one project, the redo of In My Backyard (IMBY for short). The original IMBY video just fell short of being four minutes long and featured every single clip that I took when I was filming at Eagle Mountain. In my last blog post I talked about everything my mentor wanted me to change in it but here is a summary. Too long, too repetitive, not enough story, not enough engagement, needs music and it needs to be faster-paced. Anyways, that’s what I was working on between meetings.

Here is the redo of IMBY: https://youtu.be/REU_0T09xcI

It’s funny, a 90-second video can take so many hours to make. This one took me even longer to make than the original IMBY just I didn’t have to film again. When I met with my mentor, she first started talking about the video I did just with the chest mount. As I explained in the last post it was mainly just to try out the chest mount and practice a few other skills that she taught me. As I expected she was ok with it, it wasn’t supposed to be great. I put no effort to add story to it or make the video amazing as that wasn’t what I was focusing on and it wasn’t a big project. The one part that she did really like about it though was how there was some dialogue between me and my friend Joseph who I was riding with. She said it could replace music in a way because it creates story and makes the video more engaging.

We then moved on to talk about my redo of IMBY. Here’s what she had to say about that, “It was perfect, it followed everything that we had been talking about and the music worked great with the video.” She also said that the video was very engaging and left her wanting to see more which is a good thing. There was a couple of parts in my video that I wasn’t sure about even though she didn’t bring them up. The first one was the dynamic zoom, he said that she hadn’t even noticed it until I brought it up. That means that it is subtle enough not to notice however it is still making a small difference to the video even if you aren’t aware of it. The second was the ending; it was annoying to me because I couldn’t get a clean ending and I didn’t have any more good clips to use to get to the good part of the song. When I brought it up, she said that was her one issue with the video, but it was very minor and fixable.

One feature that I love in YouTube is the analytics app called YouTube Studio. My mentor’s opinion is one thing, but I can use YouTube to find out what 100 people think. For example, it shows the average percentage of the video that is watched. In the second IMBY, the engagement rate was right under 90% which is good for any channel but for mine that is a record by a landslide. For the first IMBY, the engagement rate was a little over 50% so that was a massive leap, and I would say that shows a lot of progression. I also got a couple of comments on that video with tips on how to make it better which I appreciate. The first one was to shoot the video in 1440 resolution to make the quality better which I have already changed on my GoPro. The second person said that the music was too much, and it made the riding seem lame and that I should have used Jazz. Looking back at the video I would agree the music was overkill, I didn’t have to use death metal, but I also really don’t think jazz will work. If I used Jazz it would go against everything that my mentor said about the song choice, but I think for my next video I will do hard rock and scale it down a bit. I also wanted to mention that this video did well on YouTube, it got 140 views, 11 likes and I gained 2 subscribers and that was all from people I don’t know.

I also spent a lot of time with my mentor learning how to make the music fit my video better. What she wanted me to learn how to do was to be able to cut a song. She showed me how to cut the song in two spots to make the song shorter or it can also be looped to make it longer. I don’t think I’m going to be able to explain it, but it made sense to me watching her do it. She said that I should try to do it twice, once with one song and another time combining two songs that uses the same method. Right after the meeting, I tried cutting a song. It came out way better than I expected being almost flawless and I sent it to my mentor, and she agreed. She said if I hadn’t told her beforehand where I cut it, she wouldn’t have been able to tell.

Here’s what I did (You can’t export just audio, hence the random picture.): https://youtu.be/Mc7TvMCQHWo

As for combining two songs, it has proved to be much harder, and I am not finished with that yet. Just today started filming for my next video which is going to be marked. This time I am filming at Burke Mountain and it will be a little more of a variety of trails. In this video, I am going to be filming the same friend in IMBY and I am going to try and make it similar to the second IMBY but better with everything I’ve learned from it. The plan was to do all the filming in one day but due to some difficulties we only got there at 4:30 so we did a little less than half of the filming. So now we have to find another day to film, but it will be challenging because of the lighting and weather.

Here’s where she was showing me how to cut a song and she was having a hard time doing it with the song I used for IMBY:

Me: So, this would work better using another song because of all the screaming, right? (Black)

Mentor: Yeah, what happened is that I chose a spot where he is talking but he is basically screaming through the whole song so it’s tricky. If you try cutting with a song that has a good beat to it, it will be much easier. (White)

Me: Oh, ok. Do you have any songs in mind that could work well? I’m guessing that a slow song without much dialogue would work well because you can find a good spot where the beat matches. (Yellow)

Mentor: I don’t have any songs in mind, I have a feeling that dance songs would work well though. I think I’ll keep working on this song after the meeting then I will send it to you. Your homework will be to try cutting out a part of a song, but it doesn’t have to be a song that you use, just any easy song, and send it to me once you are finished. (Green)

In the next few weeks between now and my next meeting, I am going to finish filming at Burke and make a video out of it. Coming up is spring break and I think that I will be able to get a ton of footage that I will be able to use in future projects and for In-Depth. One final thing that I wanted to mention is that I’ve started posting videos on Reddit and I am finding that I get a lot more feedback from that than just posting on YouTube.

In-Depth Blog Post #4

I would like to start this post by saying that I haven’t made as much progress as I would have liked due to several setbacks I had. The first setback I had was that my bi-weekly meeting with my mentor was delayed by a week which meant that I had three weeks without a meeting. This week I asked my mentor if it would be ok if we might later because I thought that I would be able to pull off another video between then but something happened.

I was supposed to go to Seymour with my friend to days in a row to film but on the first day I had a leadership class at Taekwondo and the timing ended up being way too tight for me to be able to go. He went with his dad and he crashed and got a minor concussion which sucked because he could only rest so he couldn’t ride and I couldn’t film which of course is for the best. I figured that I would just record POV from my helmet on the second day but it was raining so hard that the audio got messed up and the footage was super wet even though I kept wiping off the GoPro.
I figured even though the footage wasn’t good I might be able to salvage some of it and make something. I tried but the software I use to edit was failing on me. When I was trying to playback the video it was playing a couple of frames a second and it was just impossible to work with. At a certain point, I gave up because I couldn’t make any progress. I felt like I hit a wall, I was super frustrated with the software because it’s a very good software and my mentor strongly recommends it and I know many people that use it but it wasn’t working for me. Instead of looking forward to my next project like usual, I was kind of dreading it because then I would have to deal with all those problems again.

When I met with my mentor we tried to sort out the problems and it took a little while but eventually, we figured out how to make it run smoother by putting the render quality to 1/16 and changing the render cache which I didn’t understand what it was so I asked and she told me that it was essentially the settings to pre-render the video so you can change how it does that.

When I asked her how to make it smoother she didn’t know right away because she mainly uses Premiere Pro so we were both trying to figure out how to do it at the same time. I think that kind of gave us a chance to improve our connection because instead of her showing me how to do everything, we were on a similar level even though she was the one who ended up figuring it out.

After we got that sorted out I showed her the two videos that I had done since our last meeting, one of which I included in my last blog post and the other one is the one that I talked about filming in the last one.

Here’s the link for the ski video: Ski Video

Here’s the link for the mountain biking video:In My Backyard

I enjoyed making the mountain biking video, it was a blast to film being out there in the snow with my friend and playing with the camera angles but producing the video was quite fun as well and this was before the problems started happening. The mountain biking took me longer to make than any other video including the planning, filming, and production it took around 10-12 hours and I was very happy with the outcome. I incorporated a story into the video and tried to make it seem fast-paced even though that was a little tricky because of the ice. The ski video, on the other hand, took around 2 hours to produce and I was just filming while skiing plus I asked my dad to take a few shots for me so quite simple but still a good outcome but to me, the biking video was much superior.
After watching the videos she immediately said that the ski video was very good, it followed pretty much everything that she taught me already. “What about the bike video?” I asked. She wasn’t as much of a fan of that video because it was too long, not fast enough paced, she said it should have some music even if it’s just in some parts, and that it should have more of a variety of shots because they were all pretty much wide shots. We hadn’t talked much about using too much of a shot before but she had told me that wide shot was a safe shot so I assumed that it should be my main shot but now I know that I should try to do a mixture of close-up and medium shots and all the other ones.

Of course, she’s the expert so I thought about everything she said and it all made sense, thinking back on the video. It just took her to point out the issues for me to realize they were there even though I didn’t exactly agree with her right away. I know she told me before that my video was too long for my very first one and that seems to be my main problem, that I want to use all of it and I can’t help myself but in this case less is more. We decided that I would redo the video using the same clips but I would add music to make it more non-stop and faster-paced while also cutting out the unnecessary clips. I’ve decided that I’d use a song called Hardrock Hallelujah because I think it will be fitting to the video, but I haven’t been able to start that yet because I was working on another project until just now. I’m not exactly looking forward to making it again because I’ve already worked with the clips but it will probably end up being enjoyable and I like working with music because it’s a little more challenging and it’s kind of like a puzzle because you have to fit all the clips in a spot of the song that fits, the only difference is you have a tool you can use to cut the piece to fit.

As I said, I’m struggling to keep my videos shorter so I had to ask what the ideal time for a video would be. I asked her if it would depend on how engaging the video was or if there was just some general rule for how long the video should be. I was sure the answer would be one of those but then she said that it depended on the story in the video. If there was a story like in a Redbull video you watch then the video would be much longer however if it was simpler like in my edit then the video should be shorter. I feel like if I had just asked how long should a video be instead of putting the two things that I thought on the table then I would have gotten more of a vague answer instead of the in-depth answer she gave me because she could have just said “it depends on the story” but she gave examples and it made a lot of sense to me.

Speaking of the other project, I started a new project the day after our meeting taking into account some of the things she said in the meeting. It was a little hard to make the video fast-paced because of the terrain and the whole video is shot from my chest which is quite a nice angle if I do say so myself but the reason I did the whole thing the same angle was because I’m not too familiar using the chest mount so that was to get used to it and I’m going to keep using it in the upcoming videos. It was very tricky but I kept the video under 2 minutes which was my goal for it and made it non-stop.

I also tried a little bit of a different method making the video using flags in the timeline to keep it even more organized and using a new tool she taught me called “Blade”. If you do control B on a clip where your timeline cursor is then it splits the clip and it’s insane how helpful it is and I can’t believe I didn’t know about that earlier. The other thing that I did differently was I cut the clips into a bunch of smaller clips then I mixed them all up so that I wouldn’t be tempted to put them in order. That’s another thing that she is telling me, that the videos don’t have to be in order they should just go by what works the best and I came up with that little solution to break the habit and it had a positive effect on the video for sure.

Here’s the link for that video: Bike Video

The other thing that I tried with this video is to make the thumbnail more appealing. As you can see the title is almost like clickbait because that would make the viewer want to watch the video and put a decent picture that they see. I also used capital letters for GNARLIEST and EVER because those are the words that I would want to stick out to the viewer because if I saw “gnarliest ever” in a video that already sounds like a good video to me as well as the exclamation marks to make it stick out even more.

She also showed me how I can make sections of a clip slow motion which I tried to learn over a YouTube video in between our meetings but it was a little confusing and it seemed like there had to be an easier way so I asked her to show me. Sure enough, there was a much easier way by using the blade tool to make separate clips than choosing the speed for each clip.

Here’s a link for a few of the videos I tried that with: Slo-Mo

The first video was very basic, I just made two different clips and made the speed 100 then 50 in the second. In the second video, I had three clips because it had to come back to speed at the end. In the final video, I had five clips and it starts to get a little trickier but so much easier than the other way I know.

For the following weeks, I have so many video ideas that I’m not sure I’m going to be able to follow through with them. I’m planning on doing a video at Montgomery middle school because we found some pretty insane drops there where you can easily get 10-15 feet of air and I think that I can make that look cool on camera and that place has so much more to offer as well. I’ve also planned to film Ben for a day skiing and make an edit out of that with some good music.

I have so many more ideas too like I want to make a video to show 5 easy parking lot bike tricks which will be interesting because I’ve never done something like that before. I also found so many good songs in the last two weeks that I’m dying to make videos out of, for example, Dance of Death by Iron Maiden is absolutely perfect, its got a good intro then 9 minutes of high-speed heavy metal following that so I think I’ll save that for a big edit maybe at the end of the project even if I just use a portion of the song. Ben also suggested some songs to me as well as I discovered USS, a Canadian band that would be great for smaller ski edits and they might work for mountain biking as well. Anyways, for the upcoming two weeks, I have tons to work on and this is for sure going to be a great week for me.

Posted in Uncategorized