"Not sure that’s a big idea” was actually my first reaction to the idea of walking videos. “Not much action”, “a bit slow”, “pretty ordinary” were all thoughts which sprang to mind.
But not wanting to dismiss the idea out of hand, I thought I’d give it a go, very much helped by the fact that I was travelling in Asia and having many first-time experiences. So smartphone in hand, but as discreetly as possible, I began to capture shopping visits to the colourful food markets in Thailand, river boat trips in Japan and bike rides through Vietnamese rice paddy fields on video.
I made two fairly instant revelations: that a couple of minutes is a very long time in the world of video and that filming would not be my future career. More importantly though and despite the extremely amateur quality, I also realised that the essence of a place or experience – be it the hustle and bustle of a market or the extreme tranquillity of the countryside - could be captured in a few precious seconds and THAT is what it was all about.
Having got comfortable with taking them, sharing the videos was actually a relatively small step – the excitement of showing others what I had experienced far outweighed exposing my slightly wobbly camera style.
It was the different reactions that made me understand the true value of these brief videos.
For me, watching them takes me back instantly to the moment - that brilliant day in that fascinating place with those engaging people….
Family and friends back at home enjoyed having a window into that experience, seeing for themselves so to speak, and were curious to learn more (no doubt relieved that a few moving images saved them from a much lengthier verbal description).
For those local to the video or who had had featured in it, there was a sense of pride, but also bemusement, that what for them was their everyday life was celebrated on film. But it almost invariably prompted the question “so what is it like where you live ? ”
And that was a bit of an 'a-ha' moment – as I tried in vain to bridge the language gap and describe slices of life back home, I realised how useful it would be to have a short video to show them.
So, fast forwarding a bit, my video taking habit has continued, blossomed even, since I got back home and I’ve tried to capture some of those simple things in my local area – a walk by the river, local markets & street food stalls – ordinary things for me, but perhaps different and out of the ordinary for some of those we met on our travels. I’ve done my best to share a few with friends we made, so they could see for themselves…
I’ve also watched a lot more videos since I got back and they’ve helped me see a lot of new things and also different views of places I’ve been.
So I’ve done a bit of a 180 and my initial caution has turned into true enthusiasm to encourage more video sharing, which is why I’m now writing this first blog on C4Urselves…my hope is that people all over the world will share their ordinary and everyday on video, and that others will watch and discover it is anything but ordinary to them.
I’ve attached one of my first videos here…… I hope you enjoy it, but most of all I hope you’ll join us on this journey to celebrate the world.