Taipei Toy Festival 2009 from catherine_sr. on Vimeo.

I was unusually productive tonight and finished remaking my Taipei Toy Festival video after re-downloading iMovie HD and replacing the accursed iMovie ’08. Seriously, I thought releasing new versions of software meant stepping forward, not back. Gar.

My video features interviews with Taiwanese designer 221trees (兩兩一樹), festival founder Jen Huang (黃仁壽) of Monster Taipei and Simone Legno of Tokidoki. I filmed it using my new Flip camcorder, a wedding gift from my Uncle Darwin and Aunt Ruth (thank you!). The Flip is very handy and looks like a cell phone, so you can take all kinds of scintillating footage without making people uncomfortable with your creepiness. Unfortunately, you can’t attach a microphone to it, so there is some ambient noise in my interviews. I also committed the cardinal sin of on-camera interviews when talking to Legno: going “mm-hmm, mm-hmm” every other sentence.

Those are my reporting noises of affirmation (the positive responses you give your sources so they feel comfortable during interviews), but they don’t sound so great in videos. Speaking of reporting noises of affirmation, a classmate in journalism school and I once had a conversation about our own RNA. Her version was “right, right, right,” which worked with her personality and demeanor. Mine was (and still is) “mm-hmm, yeah, mm-hmm, yeah,” which unfortunately makes me sound like a valley girl.

I told her I’d thought of switching to “yes” instead of “yeah,” but realized that would make me sound like a zombie. When I am interviewing someone, I usually have to juggle taking notes with thinking ahead to the next question, which sometimes makes me look like I’m distracted, annoyed or bored. If I don’t indicate that I’m listening closely to someone, they sometimes end up getting nervous or giving curt responses. Other reporters might handle things differently. Ron had a professor at journalism school who, if he felt a source (usually a politician or their PR person) was not being forthcoming enough, would ask things like “are you capable of saying anything besides this load of bullshit?” Apparently that was quite effective. Hmmm.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video! Long-time readers of this blog, all two of you (hi Mom and Dad!) might remember my last video from September 2007. It was about Re-ment miniature toys from Japan. Yep, there’s definitely a theme here. I’m pretty one note. But I promise I’ll blog about something else soon, like maybe toys made of tin instead of plastic, or candy shaped like toys, or purses sold in stores decorated with antique toys, or photos taken with toy cameras. Just teddy bear with me!