The start of 2013 has been pretty stupidly hectic. I haven’t been able to spare the time to get much written here lately, but hopefully I’ll be able to spend some time in the coming weeks explaining all the cool reasons why that is.
The subject of this post is one of the most recent of those reasons. It’s a video Nick and I have been working on as a marketing tool for So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel. We’re fans of doing videos when we can, but they always end up being much more work and much more time-consuming than one would initially expect. That’s the case here: We filmed a video to promote the book right after its release, nearly a year ago (jeez, a year ago?!), but a bunch of issues kept it from reaching completion — namely, we didn’t know what we were doing, and when you work with friends and volunteers, getting things done in a timely manner is tough when things like the need to feed and clothe yourself intervene.
Finally and after some delay, Nick and I were able to track down the original footage of the video in hopes of finding someone to edit it for us, since neither of us has any technical proficiency in that regard. That was a struggle, too, with scheduling difficulties and even some technical difficulties getting in the way (“We formatted this external hard drive as Mac, but it won’t work on PC! What year is this?”).
At long last, armed with a trial version of some fairly nifty editing software, I decided to try cutting the video together myself.
The result is something I’m actually pretty proud of, considering I taught myself how to do it as I was doing it. “S–t Time Travelers Say,” the resulting video, isn’t nearly as polished as if we’d had a pro tackle it, as Nick and I had originally hoped would be the case. But it’s at least not completely awful, and the amateurishness — an effect we’ve attempted to cultivate before, in our “QUAN+UM Intern Recruitment Film” book trailer. I managed to replace most of the audio (some was missing form our big set of recordings) and while not all the footage is of the highest quality (we were forced to use some of the weaker cuts because of audio considerations, since I have no skill in fixing any problems), for the most part, I think the video is pretty funny. I also licensed some music that create a pretty great “indie comedy” effect for the video, I think.
Check it out.
The real bummer of the situation is that the “Shit People Say” meme has been over for so long. Our goal with the video was to be much more absurd and ridiculous than most or all of the videos already out there, but launching well after the fact was still really unfortunate. It got to a point when, after so much time had passed, we just decided to go with it regardless. We had the footage, the video was funny, and — oh well.
To spread the word, we hit up our Facebook page with the video, as well as whatever other social networking could be found. Facebook is both a great way to get in touch with people who like the book (the page has about 770 “likes” as of this moment — find it here) and a terrible one. I spent about $15 on one of Facebook’s “promotions” to get the video some more traction, and it seems to have worked to a degree. Facebook reports that money helped us reach another 3,500 people, but it only garnered some 70 watches and 45 link clicks for that $15. Our experience with Facebook is something I mean to write about for the benefit of other authors at some point, but suffice to say — it’s extremely hard to tell whether spending money on Facebook is worth it, and I’m reasonably certain that it isn’t.
One of the other ways we like to promote stuff like this is through our “intern network.” I’ve previously written about P. Aloysius Derf, the fictional QUAN+UM internship director, who is the author of emails sent to people who sign up to become QUAN+UM interns at thetimetravelguide.com. Last time we did something like this was last month for Valentine’s Day. I composed a new Derf email to spur people to check out the video:
Subject: Hip New Internet Video Promotes Time Travel!
Today is an auspicious day. As we near the one-year anniversary of the release of QUAN+UM’s time traveler field handbook, So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, we’ve taken steps to continue to bring QUAN+UM up to the cutting edge of 21st Century time-wasting technology.
Through herculean efforts from the Research & Development Division, the Exploitable Future Trends and Political Assassinations Division, the Targeted Emotional Response to Trigger Consumer Behavior Division and the Trying to Understand What These Young People Are Talking About Division, QUAN+UM has tapped into the power of the Internet.com to increase recruitment and help bolster the ranks of the next generation of time travelers. We’re doing this because, by and large, our current crop of the next generation of time travelers has been fairly disappointing.
Not you — you guys are great. It’s the other interns that are the disappointments. Don’t worry, nothing is going to happen to you….
Anyway, because we are so in tune with what is “happening” and what young humans refer to as the “pajamas of cats,” we are sure that you, as a large crop of mostly young and exceptionally impressionable people, will be impressed by the fruits of our efforts. Behold: the cutting edge of the Internet.com, where QUAN+UM now is, straddling the line between “wow that was awesome” and “I didn’t even know I loved that until I saw it.”
Presenting: “Shit Time Travelers Say.”
Yes, we know. You’re astonished. In this moment, QUAN+UM’s research is so incredibly sophisticated that we’ve discovered a trend that exploded, enjoyed its 15 minutes of fame, became passe, and drifted into oblivion — and is now circling back around to cool again. Time travel allows us not only to anticipate trends, but to create the trend we anticipated, which led us to create it because we anticipated what we then created.
Please, watch the video below. Allow it to seep into your brains. You’ll undoubtedly find yourself waking in the middle of the night, reliving your favorite scenes, which will be all of them. Then, since you enjoyed it so well, please help with the recruitment efforts and evangelize the video in any and all venues, including your digital cyberspaces, your The Facebook and Tweeter social networking apparatuses, and your nearest reality based sandwich board-friendly street corner. Only you can help us create the future of time travel that is not you.
Thank you, interns! The last 12 months of interaction with you have been relatively enjoyable, and we look forward to continuing to relatively enjoy interacting with you further.
P. Aloysius Derf
QUAN+UM Internship Director
The results seem to have been pretty good. At the very least, the video is, at long last, out in the world, and I’m glad we made it (and glad I spent the last week helping to shepherd it into life). As of this writing, there aren’t really any further Wormhole projects on the horizon, although I’ve been thinking about pursuing something Derf-related if I can come up with a strong-enough concept.
Oh, the other thing: Posting the video has garnered me some “subscribers” to my nothing YouTube channel. That kind of makes me want to make more videos so as not to disappoint them. We’ll see if anything comes of that.
The editing software I used was Magix Movie Edit Pro. Getting the trial is kind of a pain because it makes you install a bunch of Internet search BS that feels like a big security hole, but the software is actually really good. I think I might purchase it, and based on my trial, I recommend it. The music I chose for the video came from Audio Jungle, where you can license stock music for projects such as this.
Anyway, hope you like the video and share it with everyone you’ve ever met or ever will meet.