Monday, May 29, 2006

Jerky, but reloading

I suffered from a rare and unexpected case of writer’s block when I first attempted to write this. I typed the title ‘Jerky’ and then tried to access an opening statement that had come to me earlier. I couldn’t find it, and there was nothing to take its place. So after 30 seconds I moved on and wrote ‘Windbreaker’.
In hindsight, it’s a good thing I didn’t immediately respond to the events of Friday night (boy that has an almost ominous ring to it). Had I done so I think it would have been a pathetic and wretched riposte.

First, here’s Friday. Not sure why, but leading up to Friday night I really wasn’t looking forward to it. I couldn’t actually see myself with the whole fietstoer bunch, perhaps because of the way I disconnected myself from them – leaving Nelspruit (in the dead of the early morning, in a hired white car). Or just because I no longer enjoy crowds of people, noise and chatter.

I got a few late orders for DVD’s and worked on those till late, only arriving at the thing after 7pm. When I saw that they were using a notebook to play the DVD I was immediately concerned. I had heard of some reports that some DVD’s were getting ‘stuck’ in parts, and if there’s anything that is going to be sensitive to defects it’s a notebook. On the other hand, I found it hard to believe that there was anything wrong with the DVD. Works fine on my computer…

Arriving at the church, the first people I saw were Nadia (with longer hair), Muller, Chrisna and Bianca.
Chrisna showed me to the auditorium. This is where I’d show the DVD. Madelein and Lizaan were there, sitting in the front row. Wow! When you’re used to seeing them in funny cycling clothes and with disheveled hair, I was pretty bowled over seeing how beautiful both looked. What a transformation. After putting my tongue back in my mouth, I started getting organized. PJ and Porter made an appearance. I soon felt glad to be among them – they are after all, by and large, a nice bunch of young and young at heart people.

I sold a few DVD’s while more and more people trickled into the room. For some reason the notebook we were using could play the DVD but it wouldn’t throw it onto the screen. Yes, you could see it playing on the screen, but it wouldn’t represent that (through the slide projector). Crazy. Technology meant to make our lives easier sometimes generate far more complicated problems.

Skip to the chase: we used Frans’ notebook and it worked. The first 1h40 minutes went by without a hitch. (The movie is only 1h45 long). I got quite a warm feeling in parts – because there was a lot of reaction to the content. Not sure what I expected, I guess I expected a more muted but interested response. But there was a lot of laughter and wisecracks and appreciation. Then, just as Francois cycled by the camera it froze. The footage got stuck. This is just before the grand finale, and the closing credits. The kick. It got stuck just before the soppy stuff, then it stuttered along, and Lee got up and tried to sort it out. Then I got up and it hobbled along, getting increasingly crippled, freezing more and more. From then on it appeared to get worse. I felt like I had to admit: “The product is defective.”
Chrisna shouted out about 10 times: “KOOP DIE DVD…”
Got quite annoying, especially since she probably appears in it more than anyone else.

The flip side emerged today – Sunday. Seems like the DVD works fine on the most recent DVD players (and Sony Playstation 2). I think because it is a very dense amount of information (over 3GB), some computers might struggle a bit to keep up, especially notebooks.

Yvonne also made an interesting comment. She said, “How come you concentrated so much on certain people, but less on others…” I asked who I’d concentrated on, and she said, “Chrisna, yourself, Christie…”
Not sure how I could concentrate on myself, especially when using the video camera…but I said I tried to give all 60 people a bit of exposure, and then reminded her that at Amsterdam, with the camera on her, she’d said: “Ek haat cameras. Nee, ek haat nie kameras, ek haat dit net om op een te wees.”
So one has to be careful to hang yourself up on a tree based on the criticisms of others.

Today I was on the verge of doing a recall, and recopying all of them, using Ginette’s software. But having spoken to Lizaan, Petru and others, I don’t think that’s going to be necessary. If I am guilty of anything it’s being too hard on myself and not giving myself the credit…even when the movie gets cut off before the credits.

The next project is SA Cycling Champs and Irawa. Now to load my cameras again…

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