The End is Near

*WE INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM
TO BRING YOU THIS SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT*

With the exception of the first couple of seasons of THOTB, I have kept to a rule of 26 episodes per seasons. This is based on my idea that in the golden age of television most series had that number of episodes each season and for my purposes it forced me into keeping the story from straying too far off shore and into jumping the shark.

That having been said I am going to put a limit on season 8 and that is I will continue to document our adventurers through the next set of adventure opportunities and if takes them a couple of episodes past episode 26 so be it. However, that will be the end season of seven and they will not be going to France or Egypt. (At least not on camera and with one little exception. Wait and see).

Having said that, I do want to tell you that I have been having a great time constructing these video episodes. I thought that this would be a lot of work, but since it does not feel like work at all, it is actually a lot of fun.

I am having so much fun that I have decided that season 8 will be a return to the town of Twin Bayous and it also will be done as video episodes.

It is going to be a little bit different because in season seven the World Adventure opportunities have provided me with sort of a script to work from and that back in Twin Bayous I will be back to making this sh*t up as I go along.

That is kind of scary, but I have convinced myself that I can pull it off. I have looked around YouTube for examples of how others have done this and there are actually very few Sims 3 (or 4) storytelling videos. There are tons and tons of Sims 3 and 4 “Let’s Play” videos and in many of those there is a storytelling aspect, but I have only found a couple of “storytellers”. See for example the work of Sara Sim (see Neighbors playlist) and her sister MayaxSimmer (see her channel). Of course, I have a completely different style of storytelling than these young ladies, but I have been studying their work to try and get some ideas regarding technique.

I already have most of season 8 planned out. It is essentially what I had originally planned for the latter two-thirds of season 7 after Dobbs and Jamie took off never to be seen again.

The main thing is that I have been having a lot fun learning how to edit video using Premiere Pro 2015 CC and I do know that constructing the episodes of season 8 will require a little more effort because shooting the episodes for season 7 have been a little like filming a sporting event where there is a lot of action just happening on its own and season 8 will be like… like… well, I haven’t quite figured that out yet. Will it be like a Soap Opera? A Reality Show? Peewee’s Playhouse? I’m working on it and hopefully by the time the half-dozen or so remaining episodes of season 7 are finished, I will have figured that out.

Before I Go…

Before I go, I want to tell you a little story about video editing. Thirty years ago, I was the guy who showed up at every social function carrying a video camera. Keep in mind we are talking about analog video tape and VCRs. My kids were born in the 80’s and between 1983 and 1992, I estimate that 27 hours of video tape was shot.

About ten years ago, I purchased some hardware and software that would allow me to convert the analog tape to digital thus allowing me to edit the home movies and put them on DVD.

This was not a trivial effort. Basically the video capture card was installed in a spare slot on my PC and a VCR connected to the capture card in same way the VCR was connected to a monitor or TV set. The playback was then done at the slowest speed possible in order to get the highest possible resolution. To capture a 120 minute video,  it took about 4+ hours. Normally I would do the capture the night before I wanted to do the editing. So, usually on a Friday night I would capture a tape to my PC and then spend the weekend editing the captured video. Overall this took me about a year and the result was that 27 hours of video was edited down to three 90 minute DVDs. I produced enough DVDs to give away to family and friends who had appeared in these videos.

This was not my first exposure to video editing. Way back in the 1970’s when I was in my senior of high school, I took a course in photography that included training on how to edit video. This was back in the day before video cassettes when video tape was three inches wide and ran on a reel-to-reel machine. Editing was done by playback on on one machine and recording on another machine. So, I did know something about video production, but I am always learning and wanting to experiment with different techniques. Needless to say, I had the best time ever that year, ten years ago, that I spent producing those three DVDs of home movies.

Fast forward to about two years ago.We had just moved in to our current home and an old friend stopped by for a house warming. We were sitting in my new home office and I was showing him some things on the PC when I remembered that he may not have seen the video that I took when we went to visit his family one Christmas back in the early 90’s.

I went to find that video and all of the other videos on my PC and the videos were no where to be found. I was in a panic mode! I went to a laptop and the videos were not there either. I racked my brain desperately trying to recall where the videos might be. Then I remembered that the year before my other PC had crashed. At some point I did manage to get the PC to come up long enough for me to get files off of it and I thought or assumed that I had copied everything from my documents off of that PC before it finally crashed completely. Those files would have been copied to a portable hard drive that I used for back-up, but the videos were not there either. How could I have been so stupid to forget about the home movie videos that I had spent a year editing?!!?

It was few months later that my son and I figured out that I did have the hard drive from that crashed PC packed away from the move. But then when we tried to find an adapter for this particular type of hard drive we found that no one made such thing.

Fast forward to about a month ago. I went back on-line to see if anyone was now making the adapter and harness that needed to be able to attach this hard drive to a USB port and as luck would have I found exactly what I needed. At first it was a little crazy because when I pulled the stuff out of the box, I could not figure out how to connect my hard drive and I was really bummed. It was only after I looked back inside the box did I realize that I had not taken all of the parts out of the box.

Happily I was able to connect the hard drive and find the long lost videos – all 42 GBs of files. Now I have those files copied to three different locations and that hard drive is sitting inside of a fire and water proof safe wrapped in plastic.

Here is an excerpt from one of those videos:

*NOW BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING*

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