Monday, October 31, 2011

Sometimes I Think Sitting on Trains

How awesome is it that I can walk 10 minutes and catch a train and ride it part of the way into work? The answer is shown in this video... VERY awesome. It's cheap - less than 50 cents, comfortable, and only takes about 20 minutes longer. And it's really, REALLY fun.

The kids in the video (Jose and Carlos) are two of the kids in the family I'm now living with. Neither of them had ever taken the train, even though it passes by the valley across from our home each morning and evening blaring its horn. It's only a 10-minute walk, but we have to cross a river on a footbridge and pass through a tall grassy area that everyone is afraid of because of some crazy guy that will attack you. The family always sends Jose and Carlos along (as bodyguards?), and we go in the morning when hopefully the baddies are sleeping in. A few weeks later (just recently) I invited some other members of the family along as well and we rode the train to the end of the line (east-west).

One of the things I think about sitting on trains is how much labor, energy, and talent goes OUT of the new place I'm living, and how much garbage goes IN. You see a lot of heavy machinery and industry going on during the train ride - hydroelectric dams, high-tension powerlines, asphalt plants, sand processing factories, a corn flour factory, and busloads of people traveling out each morning, extracting a lot of good resources and work from the place I live now. Most of what goes IN to the community is garbage, literally, about 700 tons of garbage per day, since the country's largest garbage dump is located on the other end of our community. However, right across the street from the dump is where our kids get computer classes and play soccer, which is an extremely important development of talent and inspiration for their futures. I can't help but hope, though, that some of that talent gets put back into changing the future of this community.

Excuse the social commentary... just wanted to contextualize the video a bit. All the big machinery grinding around is sort of fun. I have not yet built up the courage to hop on the back of a garbage truck to ride it for a few blocks. The train ride is more my sort of fun, and I tried to capture that in the video, and be a little creative with the project. Bonus points if you can spot the signature camera shot from an English director who made some of my favorite movies, many of them featuring trains.

The short clip was edited on Cinelerra, a free multi-track non-linear video editing program for Linux, on Ubuntu Studio 10.10. I wanted to try out a new video editing program and so I tried a couple Linux ones. Cinelerra was a bit complicated and clunky, sort of like Avid (to me), but it gave me the option of multi-track editing and blending modes. Way more options than I know what to do with, but the result turned out pretty good. There were some simpler video editing programs (like Kino) which work a bit like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. Now you know what to edit your next low-budget film on :)

1 comment:

LisaM said...

Lena and I watched the video together. One part, where you were hanging out the train, she waved. Did you see her?

She says hi. ;-) I always enjoy your videos. Looks like fun!