I have posted more blogs than usual this week. This post was going to be in 2 parts, but is now just going to be very long. Ironically, the reason for that is because it concerns my tendency to over-complicate simple ideas, and once I started writing it I realised how complicated it was to explain why this often causes problems. Follow me? It doesn’t matter; I’m going to attempt to explain anyway.
I have a complicated brain. That is not some sort of boast; it is not a good thing in any way whatsoever! It gives me plenty of ideas, but it also tends to overcomplicate those ideas to the point where they become un-workable. I will give you several examples.
I don’t talk at all when I meet new people, so they think I’m either weird or mysterious. Those that think I’m weird tend not to re-assess this evaluation (and why should they?). It’s the ones who think I’m mysterious that I feel sorry for. They try to get to know me better; convinced there must be something very interesting beneath the surface, and inevitably end up disappointed and quite scared. Why? Because once they un-wrap the package they discover that it contains some kind of incessant, unstoppable mouth; completely the opposite of interesting, and hell bent on destroying the universe by creating some sort of useless-information singularity, which feeds upon being ignored (in the same way that every other Star Trek creature seemed to feed upon the Enterprise’s phaser energy); eradicating all normal, purposeful conversation from all points of existence, and causing all life-forms with the capacity for auditory perception to deafen themselves, in a desperate attempt to prevent…
…See what I mean? I normally edit out these little rants, but I’m going to leave some of them in
today, because they are a fair demonstration of how my mind snowballs out of control, even when my mouth is closed.
Anyway… the reason it’s relevant is that making interesting videos is quite difficult without the help of others, and others usually stay away for fear they will get sucked into the verbal vortex. The only person I’ve ever known capable of spending large amounts of time in my company on purpose, and without losing his cheery disposition – or his mind – is poor old Richard. But, Richard is not always available, as my most recent video made clear. So, I conceived one or two YouTube series that I could film without the help of anyone. The first of these was POD 05.
The idea behind POD 05 was very simple – Man trapped in deep-space seeding pod – and easy to film – ME + CAMERA + GREENSCREEN + TEXT-2-SPEECH SOFTWARE (for computer voice). Simple enough, right? Unfortunately, I then realised I needed others to set the scene in the pilot episode. Then I thought: Well… it needs the odd shot of the outside of the Pod, just to change things up a little. No problem… I’ll design one. So I started building a miniature model, intending to shoot it against a
Then it occurred that filming the miniature as it flew past would be a real pain, and would look rubbish unless lit properly. The problem there is that lighting a GS miniature properly requires several camera passes, each following PRECISELY the same path as the others. That means building a motion-control mechanism. Hmmm… So, then I started looking at the possibility of designing and animating it in the computer.
This required learning 3D modelling and getting hold of the software to do it…. This went on and on until I had invested so much time that it has now become my most cherished project, and will consequently require more manpower and resources. It WILL
appear on the channel at some point in the future.
The second one was OBSERVERS (originally just the ONE observer). Here they are:
Once again, this was conceived as a simple animation I could film on my own. Having learned from my POD 05 mistakes, I started out with a program I could already use, and the idea was incredibly simple. He only needed to move his mouth! But, first he needs a spacecraft to sit in, the layout of which needs to make at least a little sense.
It was all going well until I started discussing the project with Richard. At which point, the Observer
became Observers, and we started to throw ideas around that made us both laugh so much that we simply had to include them. Then we started thinking about how we could incorporate the observers into other shows (crossover episodes, if you like).
“That’s a brilliant idea!” I said. “All I need to do for that is to make them move in 3D space”.
“Doesn’t that mean their spacecraft would have to be a 3D environment?” asked Richard.
“No problem”, I said. “I have a program for that. It will just require a little more work, that’s all.”
Yep… That’s all. One year later… I’m still working on it, and it WILL appear. However, I am also working at many other YouTube shows, and they come with a host of their own problems, so I started putting Video Logs up there, for the sake of regular content, but even those somehow became a sort of video series. The most recent of which I over-complicated by trying out a lightning-strike effect without realising that this would “kill me off”, so now I’m left with the problem of how to “resurrect” myself. And, what do I put on the channel in the meantime?
Some of you may have seen another example of my idiotic over-complicating brain in action, earlier this week: Whilst trying to make my subscribe button a little more interesting, it occurred to me that I ought to go into a little more detail about “blowing up a star” (as the button now claims). As a consequence, there is now an entire page of the blog which deals with questions about the button.
Worse than any of this though: people have started to notice that my poor daughter has inherited my busy, malfunctioning brain. If she really has – and some of the signs are looking very familiar – she will have to cope with ideas coming at her so fast that she can’t write one down before it is interrupted by another… A strange compulsion to work out completely insignificant mathematical problems, even though you are terrible at maths… An apparently uncontrollable urge to watch those around you, until you work out what they are thinking… An urge to write something, every time you see a pen or a
keyboard, or chalk, or snow, or dust, or a whiteboard, or a rock… An overwhelming need to learn new things (leading to the ludicrously optimistic conviction that you can do EVERY SINGLE THING by yourself)… A need to play every single musical instrument you ever see, despite having the attention span of a brain-damaged sea-snake, and about half the musical talent… And, for some reason; a truly debilitating need to sing almost everything you see, coupled (unfortunately) by a crippling lack of
confidence to do so in the presence of others…
It goes on and on, and my daughter has not learned to control it yet. If she does not, people will think her completely insane as she grows up (I will just love her even more). If she does, it will come at a cost: Inability to sleep while the world around you sleeps; a frequent feeling that your brain is about to burst (I often find myself trying so hard to make my thoughts come one-at-a-time, that I realise I’ve forgotten to breathe for the last 20-30 seconds… Seriously). Loneliness when surrounded by people is
another side effect, and can be kind of a bummer. And, have you any idea how hard I have to concentrate in order to write a blog? Good gravy, Mr Smirnoff!
Perhaps this is perfectly normal (my friends seem to think not). Perhaps a HUGE portion of the human population feel exactly like this. Perhaps that’s what it feels like to have A.D.D. I have no idea. I have never been diagnosed with such a condition, so I guess not.
But listen; at the beginning of this post I said that this cross-wired brain thing has no advantages at all. Not true. It does have one very, very big upside:
At 37 years old, I am still in absolute awe of the world around me.