California Summertime

Spark Camera, made by IDEO’s in-house Toy Lab, is one of my favorite apps. It lets you create short videos with multiple clips, add music for a soundtrack, and choose a filter.

The video shooting/editing apps I used in the past were usually slow and overloaded. Editing, adding, and rearranging clips almost always crashed those apps, so for a while I gave up on video apps and just put my films together in iMovie.

But then I found Spark Camera, and it is everything all those other apps were not. It is a beautiful, elegant app. The tools are simply laid out but incredibly powerful. Uploading AND downloading a video is lightning fast.

I love documenting daily life, and I am in love with making slice-of-life films in this app. Over the past few months, I’ve captured moments like my best friend’s ring sizing, meals with friends, nice days out, leisurely walks.

Here’s the latest video I made with Spark Camera: California Summertime (part 1). It’s also currently featured in the Spark Camera gallery! The song is “Daydreaming” by Groenland.

In other news, I also love reading Issue 4 of Through the Gate, which publishes fantastical poetry. It’s a short issue, and one to savor.

Call for Submissions: Things Unseen

The Golden Key‘s new call for submissions went up this week. The Issue 3 theme is Things Unseen. Submissions guidelines and other details can be found here.

Because I’m still on a crazy Vine and now Instagram video kick, I decided to make a little promo video.

I decided to depict the Grimm Brothers’ unending fairy tale, “The Golden Key,” that launched our journal in the first place: A boy, gathering firewood in wintertime, happens upon a little golden key. Figuring that where there is a key, there must also be a lock, he feels around in the snow and finds an iron chest. The story ends with him fitting the key to the lock and finally opening it, leaving the chest’s contents unknown and open to imagination.

I cut out some tree silhouettes and snow, found a gold key (from my brother’s Hogwarts LEGO set) and a treasure chest (another LEGO piece) and then realized I had no human toys, only animals (mostly dogs). I didn’t want to use a LEGO man. So I used this bear that I’ve had forever.

To the right, you can see my next Vine in progress. It’s going to be a dog slumber party with glitter and confetti.

I filmed a version on Vine and then one on Instagram, which is what I’ve embedded below. Which one do you prefer?

Playing with Twitter’s Vine app

I woke up this morning with an itch to make stop motion videos in Vine. I don’t know why. Anyway, I dug out a box of old toys and started moving them around. I made one Vine and got kind of hooked.

In addition to the toy props/actors, I enlisted Fox as a backdrop.

Then I decided to get serious about it. Cindi helped me jury-rig a “stand” that propped up a page in the sketchbook I use for painting.

This was very serviceable. The main problem was holding the iPhone firmly so its framing was consistent. A few days ago, I had been impressed by Leon using LEGO pieces to build a frame that housed some fans he pulled out of our old (very, very old) computer, so I asked him to construct something for me that would stabilize the iPhone.

Little brother came through! While we watched season 2 of Veronica Mars, he put together this awesome stand. It pans left and right, forward and back, and tilts up and down.

Next step: Creating actual stories!