One thing I'd been wanting to do when I had the time was to start contributing description to YouDescribe, an amazing site which allows anyone to add description to any YouTube video. A project spearheaded by Josh Miele at the Smith-Kettlewell Video Description Research and Development Center, it's grown by leaps and bounds in the couple years it's been around, as describers of all styles and skill levels make inroads to describe a vast amount of video content on the internet, from education films to commercials to viral cat videos. FINALLY, I was able to take the controls myself this week.
I decided to start with a new web series by a favourite artist of mine in Canada, singer-songwriter Danny Michel. Recently, Danny found an ad for a classic 1970's van fully customized with artwork from the Star Trek tv series, and as a self-confessed "space geek" with a penchant for the '70's, he couldn't resist it. He went out to Vancouver from his home in southern Ontario, bought the van, and decided to document his trip back across the country, meeting fellow musicians and interesting people along the way. The series, "Dan's Space Van", became my way to dive into the world of YouDescribe. It took a bit of a learning curve, since recording straight onto a site and then moving the placement of the description could be technically challenging. Sometimes the placement can drift forward, and can end up in places you didn't originally intend to put it. :-) But once I got the hang of it and accepted what the software can and can't do (so far), it became a terrific experience.
I've done the first two episodes so far, and have even gotten Josh's seal of approval! So check out the results on my YouDescribe page. Also try YouDescribe for yourself - it's free to use and all works in your browser.