Why I Wear 14

cruyff6Back in the70’s when I was a kid growing up in Minneapolis MN we were hard pressed to find any sort of football. I’m talking proper football, not the incredible boring NFL type football. Yes there was the park and rec. in-house Edina soccer association, a bunch of scrub kids chasing a ball around once a week over summer break. To find real football the stuff of World Cup glory and European titles was, except for PBS Sunday showing of Soccer Made in Germany, impossible.

My first taste of Proper football was in 1976 when the Minnesota kicks came to town. I was hooked and as a 16 year-old and I was a season ticket holder. Yeah I went for the game not the tailgate party, though they were fun too. I drank in the sport. I was short skinny and not a very good athlete but I loved to play the game.

In the summer of 1977 or 78 someone got their hands on the official FIFA movie Heading for glory the story of the 1974 world cup game in West Germany. After watching the video I fell in love with the German National Team and Johan Cruyff.

Cruyff stole my imagination. I sucked at the game, I still do, but I love how Cruyff played the game so fluid so graceful yet so cunning. I tried and tried to emulate what I saw on that VHS tape. His first touch perfect, his vision of the field perfect. In my teenage head I would pretend I was Cruyff, until of course, I tripped over the ball doing his signature move and reality crashed down on top of me as I hit the floor. While I could never come close to making Cruyff’s moves mine I did adopt his number, #14. Even today when I kick around in the backyard in my old man head I see myself as Cruyff #14 and all.

 

Let’s make 2016 A Great Year

Yesterday I tweeted how 2015 was not a bad year but also not a great year. The big disappointment, for me, was the lack of motivation. Other than work I had nothing I needed to do. Yes I have dreams and of course a huge remodeling project that is sitting, along with my dreams unrealized. It is time for change. In 2016 I want to focus on two main projects.

The first project I want to tackle has been sticking in the back of my mind since I was a teenager. I have always been interested in film and photography. Unfortunately I have only dabbled in creating content. This year I want to learn to tell stories, not just my own story but the stories of all the amazing people I meet every day. The medium I will use is primarily video posting content on my You Tube and Vimeo channels. The challenge I face is overcoming any self conscience self doubt about my ability to express myself creatively.

The second big project I will be tackling this year is to make a some headway in my ongoing remodeling project. It seems that I am very good at tearing things down but not so good at putting them back together. My plan is to do most if not all the work myself, yeah be a master of DIY. However like my video projects I do not have the confidence to knock-off such a big project. Hence the reason it has taken me five years to do nothing.

2016 is the year where I throw caution to the wind and look into the abyss of self doubt and overcome fear. It is time to jump head first into projects put off for far to long.

Happy New Year 2016.

Saved by Neat Video

Today starts the fall soccer season and as I have been, on and off,  for the past 30 years I will be documenting the teams season. Being an uber amateur with no budget always brings challenges to the filming process. If you have ever shot video you know that sports stadiums present crazy challenges. The challenges are compounded when you shoot at night. Last year I found a product Neat Video which made a huge difference in the quality of the end product.

This morning while setting up my equipment I ran across some car footage I shot on a road trip to Colorado. I did not have the setting on my Canon FX300 set correctly and the image was unusable due to the image noise. just for fun I ran a few shots through Neat Video and wow amazing. The before and after shots are from about 2 minutes of tinkering and I keep shaking my head at the huge save this little program provides us, I have no clue, amateurs.

BEFORE and AFTER

Raw GolfR GTI

2013 GTI GolfR

Edina Boys Soccer 2014

Today culminates my 2014 season with the Edina High School boys soccer team. For the past two and a half years I have spent the fall months filming and creating the end of the season highlight video for the teams banquet. Like past years I have throughly enjoyed my time with the team. I do not know the boys away from the team however if they are anything like athletes who show up every day to practice, giving it their best, I can say with out a doubt, parents smile, you have some classy young men on your hands.

Filming this years video went much smoother than last years video. As always, being an amateur filmmaker poses more than a few challenges. I use two cameras, a Canon XF100 and a Canon XF300. The XF100 I set up in the stands for the overview shot (Many thanks to the parents who volunteered to run the camera) and I use the XF300 for the on the field shots. Lighting gave me my biggest problems. Early evening games when the fall sun was low on the horizon was havoc on the camera sensors. Next year I will have to invest in two matte boxes to control the intense September light. The biggest challenge I faced was the night games. Few if any of the fields were lit well. This pushed both cameras to their limits. The XF300 I believe lived up to the challenge while the XF100 struggled due to its placement and auto settings.

This year I used Final Cut Pro X. I love this editing program, Ok I learned on FCP 6. The downer side of things is my Mac Pro is about ten years old and not up to the challenge of FCPX. I did all my editing on my Macbook Pro. Not a big problem but dam i’m getting old and a laptop screen is not the best for viewing or editing. Time to pony up some cash and upgrade to the new Mac Pro.

Overall a very enjoyable season. I am looking forward to next year and pushing my amateur video skills to the next level.

Comments are always welcome
Enjoy the Video.

http://vimeo.com/user1554875/review/110504218/5e12873c10