My experience on the CharleysMissing YouTube channel

You will get your requisite YouTube videos posted later today, as it is YouTube Saturday. I enjoy making these videos; it’s nice to work with another medium just to spice things up. However, I’m a perfectionist and it is damnably difficult to get the clips to pass the Meaghan Test.

I have spoken before about the problems with narration. Those are pretty minor and require only persistence to fix. The biggest difficulty involving these videos, I find, is in selecting who will be profiled in them.

It takes quite awhile, sometimes longer than the time involved in making the video itself. Almost every MP on the Charley Project is unsuitable in my mind. They get struck off the list for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. They’re a family abduction case. I’ve decided not to run any of those for a number of reasons.
  2. The person, and/or their story, is too similar to videos I’ve done before. I want some variety. Or there’s some other detail that has already been done. Like, for some reason I keep drawing cases that are out of El Paso, Texas. I have already done two El Paso missings in the relatively small number of videos I have posted. I have decided not to do any more for the time being. I was like: “Oh, this guy’s case is just perfect! …oh, wait, he’s from El Paso. Crap.”
  3. There’s no story at all to speak of.
  4. There is a long, complicated story that would take well over the allocated 60 seconds to tell.
  5. I’ve had some interactions with the MP’s family that didn’t really go very well, and I don’t want to bring that up again. (Let me add that this rarely happens. The number of times it has happened I can count on one hand.)
  6. It’s perfectly obvious what happened. No witnessed drownings, please. No MWAB cases either.
  7. It’s a runaway case — with some exceptions. With runaways, #6 applies in that there’s an obvious explanation for the disappearance. I did make an exception for Elyssa Vasquez due to her age and the time since she disappeared.
  8. I can’t pronounce the person’s name, or rather I’m not sure. This one kills so many perfectly good cases. I don’t want to run a video only to find out, months or years later, that I’d been saying their name wrong. It’s a particular problem with Hispanic people because there are so many. Michael and his father both know some Spanish; his father even used to teach it. But they aren’t native speakers and they can’t help me out every time.

So I’m quite selective in picking out which cases to make a video for. But I always manage to find at least two, every week.

Another funeral tomorrow …and YouTube enlightenment

I attended Michael’s grandfather’s funeral in May. Now tomorrow it will be Ellen’s. I’ve picked out a dress to wear that I think is appropriate for the occasion and the season. (I’m sure that one person would say it was tacky though.) I had to borrow some shoes from my mother. 29 years old and I don’t own a single pair of dress shoes. But on the other hand, why should I, when I hardly ever need any and when I do, I can always borrow some from Mom? For the most part I wear three pairs of shoes: the Brown Pair (loafers), the Black Pair (oxfords) and once in awhile the Pink Sneakers. Anyway, I’m mainly there to be supportive of Michael, since she was his friend. I suppose I’ll do what I did before, hug people and hand out tissues to the crying ones and say “I’m sorry for your loss” a lot.

I’ve made some more videos for this coming Saturday. I can’t leave it till the last minute. Believe it or not, those short little videos take a long time to make, often longer than writing a casefile would. First I have to find a person to do a video on (and I do have some criteria; sometimes finding someone suitable takes a bit of time) and then I have to put the images and pics together and all, and write the script, and then — this is what takes longest — I have to do the narration over and over and over and over again. There’s always something wrong: I stumble over a word, I’m talking too quickly or too slowly or too quietly, I accidentally blow into the microphone, etc. With Shanaz Zakia‘s video I wanted to say her car was found in an industrial area of town but I tried like fifteen times and couldn’t get “an industrial area” to sound right. I kept stumbling over the “an in” part. Finally I just removed that from the script altogether. Most of the time in my vids you’re actually listening to, like, Take 29.

A bit about YouTubing

  1. I create videos entirely alone with a microphone Michael bought me and a movie maker you can download free from the Windows website. It’s pretty cool. (I sure hope it works  with Windows 10.)
  2. I accept suggestions but my own choices.
  3. If a relative or the police asked me to take down video,  I will.
  4. If an MP is found alive I will remove their video.
  5. If an MP is found dead I’m not sure what I’d do. Maybe leave the video up as a memorial, with a note on saying they were found deceased.
  6. I am planning a profile of people to make videos about: their cases must have a clearly recognizable photo I can use (not the Anderson sisters, I’m afraid), aren’t really famous and are not a case like this idiot where it is perfectly clear what happened. There must be some kind of a story there but with of  so many details it will take a long time to summarize. The song in the video is one minute and thirty seconds long, and the beginning and end of the videos both take eight seconds each. leaving me 74 to tell the story.  My goal is to grab viewers and have them click on that Charley Project Link.

So that’s it. If anyone has something to say, you know where to find me.

[EDIT: Gah. I had taken a certain sleep aid/muscle relaxer prior to writing this entry and reacted very badly; it turned me into a gibbering idiot. Practically every word I wrote had some error in it. I might as well have been extremely drunk. It took me the better part of an hour to write this entry because I had to go back and correct everything with fingers that didn’t work right…and this morning I see I didn’t get it all. I have fixed the last of the mistakes and apologize for my word choice and spelling not having been up to its usual standard.]

YouTube Saturday: Ethel Atwell and Clark Toshiro Handa

I made videos for Clark Handa and Ethel Atwell.

(Okay, I just realized I said Clark was four when he disappeared. He was actually three and a half. I had to do the narration over again and post a whole new video for it. Whoopsie. This is what happens you don’t pay attention to details.)

Yeah, okay, I did do one more video

I promised I’d only do two a week on Saturdays only but I did post one. This case is so awful, and it never got much publicity, just a few articles in the local papers and nothing at all since 1977. I felt obliged to profile it.

Announcing “YouTube Saturday”

I spent much of today excitedly making new YouTube vids instead of working on regular Charley Project updates, a situation that clearly cannot be allowed to continue. So I am going to limit myself to two a week: Saturday will become YouTube Saturday, where I will post one video for a male MP and one for a female.

In the meantime, content yourself with the six vids I put up today:

  1. John Christopher Inman
  2. Rebecca Ann Kellison
  3. Susan Elizabeth Pearson
  4. Jennifer Lee Schmidt
  5. Elyssa Marie Vasquez
  6. Jondalar Washington

Getting the hang of this YouTube thing

Yeah, once I figured out how to make videos it went easily. I followed the same basic template for each one; only the names, picture and narration changes. I’ve made six so far: three males and three females.  I’m trying to find cases that have a reasonable amount of detail but not so much that I can’t summarize it in thirty seconds or so.

What is troubling, however, is that I’ve had to discount some promising possibilities just because I wasn’t 100% sure how to pronounce their names.

I don’t know how this is going to work yet — whether the vids will be a regular feature or whether I’ll just add them in batches whenever I feel like it, or what. I’ll let y’all know when you can see ’em.