Madeleine – the disaster movie

This starts out looking like it is all about the 2016 3rd annual Luz triathlon, but bear with me and you’ll see why this post is called ‘Madeleine the disaster movie’.

On Saturday 23rd April I walked into Luz for the triathlon. I have written about my jolly jaunt elsewhere. From setting off, criss-crossing Luz, to getting back to our villa was about 3 hours in all. That makes my running total (RT) the same – 3hrs.

I had shot 10 sections of video, roughly 40mins in all. I reviewed them and I was very disappointed with the results. If my scale runs from 0 to 10, where 0 is dreadful to 10 is brilliant, I had 0s, 1s, and 2s. So I decided on a strategy of KISS – keep it short and simple. That meant there was going to be a lot of pruning. I went through the whole lot again, and scrapped three that I could not use at all. This exercise took about 1.5 hours, so the RT is now 4.5hrs.

I then found, downloaded and installed Windows Move Maker. This was fairly straight-forward and added 0.5hrs, RT 5hrs.

I used Windows Move Maker to edit the 7 surviving clips down to 7 very short clips with a total duration of 3.5mins That took about 1.5 hours, so the RT is now 6.5hrs.

It was time to think about a title, captions and how I would join the mini-clips together. But before that the much larger originals were hogging a quarter of my camera’s SD card, so I deleted those, to free up space. That took a few minutes only, so the RT is still 6.5hrs.

I did not notice that as I wiped the SD card, nothing was going into my waste-basket. It was simply getting deleted.

Then I went back to the first mini-clip to see if I add a title at the front – something simple like 3rd Annual Luz Triathlon, 23 April 2016, and disaster struck. The mini-clip was not there. I tried a second and a third. Again there was no mini-clip.

It dawned on me that what Windows Movie Maker had been storing was not actually a mini-clip at all. It was instructions on how to turn a big clip into a mini-clip, except that by now I had erased every single big clip, and there was no way to get them back.

I had just flushed 6.5hrs of effort down the toilet.

It gets worse before it gets better. Because I was so determined that I was going to make a movie this year, I had not taken a single still photo. So I have absolutely nothing from the actual event.

Now let me turn to the Madeleine bit. I want to visit central Luz on 3rd May to see what activities are taking place on the 9th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance. I hope I may get video of whatever media coverage is taking place.

So it is just as well I have had a trial run and can learn from my disaster.

First, I now need to play safe and take stills as well as video.

Second, KISS and GIGO. I need to cut the amount going in, and I need to improve the quality.

Third, a bit more practice on both capturing video and editing it needs to happen before 3 May.

Fourth, I need to keep my original data where it is safe, until I’m certain it is no longer required.

So, a disaster regarding the Luz Annual Triathlon may turn out to be a success in the Madeleine McCann case.


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