Wrapping Up 2014

2014 has been my busiest year by far. Whether or not this is a good thing I am still thinking over. But, to end the year on a high note, I thought I'd write a quick post to summarise the things I'm most proud of from 2014 (even if it's just for me to look back on and nobody else cares).

In terms of video, this year I made two five-minute narrative fiction films, Polaroid and Glass Envelope, both of which have stories behind them which are too long for this summary, but I wrote about them in other posts like this one. At the bottom of that post I promised to release The Fair before Christmas, but is often the case other more imminent projects sprung up and this was one that could be pushed back.

I also made a short travel video during my summer in Dubrovnik in Croatia, and our yearly Club Drama video (my school's version of a house drama competition).

My interest in Drama at school crosses over with my interest in filmmaking frequently, and so this year I also filmed two major productions (The Seagull and The Madness of George III) as well as the opening Gala night for the new theatre. For most plays, I use one or two camcorders (the FS100 and XH-A1) and make an unabridged final video. For the Gala, I wanted to make a behind the scenes video and so I borrowed 6 GoPros from my friends and stuck them up around the theatre.

For the same event, I was also acting as a live sound technician. I had four wireless microphones, two playback computers and several area and orchestra microphones to mix on our Yamaha LS9. This was very stressful and reminded me why I usually stick to lighting for our school plays.

I also operated sound and projection for a studio school play called Locusts of Mars which had been devised by the cast and the director. We used a Mac Pro and QLab, and by the end I had a total of over 180 sound and video cues.

My Young Enterprise team held a fundraising concert in the school drama studio, for which I did the lighting. I hired two moving lights from a nearby DJ company and used them with my four LED parcans and standard theatrical lighting from the studio. I filled the room with as much haze as my lungs would allow.

Lighting the concert

I also did some more commercial video work. I edited conference videos for Firefly's annual Learning Conference and Asia Conference, as well as making an updated app demo video for Articheck.

I made some things with code and hardware that people seemed to like, namely an Atomos Ninja viewfinder eyecup, and a Google Calendar door sign which was featured on Lifehacker, which was pretty awesome.

Finally, but not leastly, I released my first ever app on the App Store: a digital version of my school's student-run magazine, and automated it to publish itself. All the code for that is open source on GitHub. It had something like 400 downloads for the first edition, exceeding the number of hard copies that we usually sell.

The one other thing worth mentioning is that now that I'm doing my AS Levels, I've taken to doing as many notes on my iPad as possible. At some point I'll probably write a full post about this, but for now I use only my iPad for Physics, English and Comptuing, with Evernote for written notes and Paper for diagrams. I still haven't found a good way to do Maths notes on an iPad.

In other news, I watched a fair number of films and listened to a disproportionate amount of Taylor Swift, The 1975, and ∆.

My Last FM Artists

(Graph made with LastWave)

Next (this) year, I hope to pair things down a bit and only embark on projects that I think will be fulfilling and worthwhile. It is too easy to say yes to everything. I shall be doing less of that, this year, if only for the sake of my sanity if not anything else. More free time is not a bad thing, especially if it leads in directions which I had not expected.

Happy New Year, everyone.