Friendmendations is no longer publishing regularly, but you can follow the Friendmendations Instagram to keep up with any one-off updates like this one. The Spotify playlist is still here. Follow me on Twitter, TikTok, or my personal Instagram if you really miss me.
Hello again! It's been a while.
I've been doing a lot. I work at a bar now and have formed the most uplifting friendships there. I wrote a couple scripts! A television pilot and a second episode and a full-length rom-com. I was in a movie! Just background, but still. A real major motion picture. I've been taking improv classes, which has really shaken up my brain and energized me creatively. And today I'm dropping a new project I'm very excited about. I might sound a bit sentimental, but forgive me: today is my 32nd birthday, so I'm allowed to be reflective on the past and present, actually!
Anyway, onto The New Project: I'm a YouTuber now.
Social media will get the tl;dr version of this (and please, for the love of God, follow my new Instagram to help me look like a professional creative person with a following!) but I figure you all might care a little bit more about the process of starting a YouTube channel? If not, just watch the video and ignore the rest of this email!
For anyone who cares: I've wanted to try YouTube for a while, since it combines a lot of my passions (writing, performing, complaining about things in-depth, analyzing topics no one else cares about, amusingly bad graphic design.) But the hurdles it presents are intimidating, because I lacked the knowledge and equipment to film myself, edit that footage, and process the audio.
The learning curve sucked ass, to be completely honest! I tried shooting footage with just an iPhone, but that looked terrible. Next I tried my old DSLR, which also didn't work. Thankfully, one of my aforementioned good friends from work went to film school, and she had a camera I could borrow.
I had to do. So many takes. The shoot itself was a nightmare. My audio recording shut off at one point and had to redo like 40 minutes of talking. I had to close my windows to block out noise, but our building had the radiators blasting so I was slowly melting. I am AWARE that my eyebrows don't look GREAT.
Then I had to edit that footage, which meant learning Final Cut Pro. Daunting! There are so many tutorials available for free on YouTube, which is amazing, but my brain has some auditory processing issues, so I struggle with anything that involves a lot of jargon spoken quickly. It took a lot of searching just to find YouTubers who I could comprehend.
Importing the footage meant accepting that I made a ton of dumb mistakes while performing that I'd have to attempt to smooth over and also that my lighting situation was an inconsistent nightmare because natural light just looked best, but also it changes a lot if you end up shooting for like two hours because you keep making mistakes like an inept little chucklefuck.
Once I got into the flow of Final Cut, or thought I did, I managed to set up my initial project file so badly that I lost the entire project not once but twice! My old roommate, also a film school grad and now living out in LA, hopped on Zoom for an hour to try to help me recover any of my work. It did not work. So I had to start the entire project over from the top. On the bright side, I learned a lot by doing all my edits three fucking times.
What else? I had to figure out how to do the audio myself because the audio engineer who was gonna help me with it got norovirus. It's NOT PERFECT and I think I might re-upload at some point in the future to correct that.
Other than ALL THAT... this was fun! In spite of it all! I forgot how much I genuinely love making videos, something I used to do for fun all the time in high school. It's such a thrill to get the timing right on all the little sight gags and joke cuts. My next one will certainly be better, but I'm not ashamed of this one! I put a lot of work into it and the result, I think, is funny.
Also, this entire process was a reminder that I have a lot of smart, helpful friends! Three film school grads chipped in to help me with this. (In addition to the two I mentioned, a third helped with color correcting, but the work she did out the window the first time I lost the entire project. I'll color correct the next one!) Astronaut Club, my friend and personal brother, wrote me a theme song that I really love, and almost did my audio before contracting norovirus. I had coworking days with friends and bounced joke ideas off others. Sorry if this much appreciation is cringe, but I'm a 32-year-old YouTuber now. I made a YouTube thumbnail with my face on it. You can't shame me more than my own choices have.
Was any of this interesting? Hopefully. If not, uh.... some quick recs? You don't need me to tell you the new 100 gecs is unreal. Recs playlist on Spotify is still active and I add to it from time to time. I've been making these muffins for quick breakfasts or snacks and they're really filling. I'm on Letterboxd now if you care about what I'm watching.
Thank you for reading this. I hope you watch the video and enjoy it. It means a lot that there's a group of people on the internet, mostly strangers, who support the weird little things I make. At 32 years old, I'm finally pursuing creative projects with all my energy instead of treating them like little hobbies, and that's scary but also makes me feel more like myself than I have in well over a decade. It feels good.