Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Please Help Me Get Back to New York

No, I'm not throwing in the towel on France. In fact, things are rolling rather smoothly on the otherwise-maddening-bureaucracy side. And despite less ethnic food, shorter opening hours, and overpriced cocktails, I still like Paris better than New York.

But hot damn, I want to be on Air France's inaugural Airbus A380 flight between Paris and New York. Firstly because it'll give me some serious travel geek cred. Secondly, because New York and I still have some unfinished business. (Three days simply wasn't enough.)

Sure, tickets went on sale for the first "official" A380 flights a while back, and many people who already had flights on AF001 and AF002 between CDG and JFK were surprised to have been bumped to the new supermegajumbo. But I wanna be on the maiden voyage. They give you cool shit on these things. And yes, I know that they are auctioning seats for this particular flight, but I'm too poor for that.

That said, I still want to take my wife on a brief trip to New York, and it's still going to happen.

How? Because you are going to watch the video below over, and over, and over again.

Why? Because you're generally a nice person, and you can't wait to hear about what it's like to fly the A380.

No really, how and why would watching this video do anything? Because Air France is holding a "lipdub" (lipsync) video contest, and three winners get on that coveted flight.

So without any further ado...

If you wanna be really awesome, click on the video above to go to the YouTube page and give me a 5-star rating. And if you wanna join me on this flight (if I win) leave a comment. In French. (Those are the rules.) Because according to said rules, people who leave the most "fun" comments will win a New York/Paris ticket. Not bad, huh?

Stuff people are asking
Beyond wanting to know how watching a video will get me on a flight to New York, people have been asking a ton of questions. Here are the answers.

No, I am not singing, nor playing any instruments. The song itself was commissioned by Air France and is performed by French artist PV Nova. I selected the "electro" style. "Rock" and "Hip Hop" were also options, but I wanted to stay true to my geeky genre of choice.

The lyrics are pretty simple but optimistic. If there's enough demand, I'll provide a translation. In the meantime, here's the original PDF of the words.

The video will be judged by a jury, but another factor is how many views it gets on YouTube. So please, view view view view!

Also, I've been alerted that I've broken the rule about how the video is supposed to be one continuous shot, and not edited. This seems not to have bothered them, as they accepted it and put it up on their YouTube channel along with many others, so I guess I'm not DQed.

This was shot in Paris, New York, and on an Air France plane over the Atlantic. I found out about the contest just before my Atlanta/New York trip, during which I had to shoot a ton of video anyway. So I grabbed some footage in New York (some with the help of my friend Julien), a tiny bit of cell phone video on the plane back to Paris, and the rest was shot in Paris over the couple of weeks after my return. Poor Alannah had to bear most of the burden of holding the dinky camera steady while I shouted out director orders, much of the time in freezing conditions.

I hadn't previously tried out the HD camera I got for work, so I took some test shots at the airport when - Eureka! - I realized I could start making a video for this contest. While a little of that footage is from said Sony HD camcorder, the majority is made on the Sony Webbie, a cheap, toy-like HD camera I picked up in the States. The on-plane shots were taken with my iPhone, since I was in a window seat and couldn't easily go get either HD cameras out of the overhead.

The video was mostly edited in Final Cut, taking up probably 12-14 hours of my evenings and a weekend, primarily while sick, not including all the rendering time between edits. Don't I deserve to win?

Ever since the rousing success of my YouTube videos from Japan, I've been amassing a collection of video footage of all sorts of stuff. Not in a creepy way like that neighbor kid in American Beauty but like most people take photos. I continue to take tons of still photos, but video has really caught my attention - especially with how cheap and accessible HD is.

That said, in two years, I've edited together maybe 3 personal videos, none longer than two minutes. And it's hellaciously time consuming. I'm not sure if the results are worth it.

If you think otherwise, then please, click the ever-loving shit out of this video, rate it high, leave your comments, and help me win this thing. Then I'll know it's time to make more videos.