Making a Living during the Coronavirus Outbreak, part 2


In case you missed the last post, the Corvid-19 epidemic has reduced my income to zero. This is what I am doing to survive.

My best show, now on your TV

The Problem:

My wife and business partner came up with the idea, and did a whole load of FaceBook, Instagram and email marketing, so all of a sudden we had bookings, quite a lot of them. Right now I still have to do 4 more personalised kids show video’s by the end of tomorrow.

This is great, they are only R200 each, about $11 US, but everything counts at the moment. The problem is that each video is 30 minutes long, and on my dual core celeron laptop that equates to 3 hours of rendering each if you want HD.

Get the gig first, now learn how to do it!

So I have google. I have used Kdenlive before which amazingly turns out to be a front end to a command line video editor, “melt“, who knew!

My plan (now working) was this:

  1. Render all the non-changing parts of the video (using a script – you can generate melt .mlt render files for pieces of a project inside Kdenlive and que them with bash)
  2. Script the rendering of personalised voice-over parts of the video
  3. Script the audio from the left stereo channel voice recordings over to being on both sides (why did Kdenlive do this to me?!)
  4. Script all the different pieces getting put back together (1GB file in 15 pieces takes 10 minutes, using ffmpeg)
  5. I used YouTube to help me reduce the quality (for someone who didn’t have bandwidth for 1.2GB download), uploaded to YouTube Studio and set the video to unpublished. Then downloaded lower quality again with youtube-dl, share using Google Drive.

It works, more please!

Now each new video takes about 20 minutes to do, instead of 3-4 hours previously. I am hoping to streamline this even more. I guess if I really needed to I could cobble together a system where all I have to do is say the recipient’s name and their video is generated automatically. Of course that would defeat the purpose of a “personal” video. I really do like to feel like I am giving attention to each order.

Why not order your own video for the kids? Email to book your personalised show!

*Update: our President just announced an extra two weeks of lockdown for everyone.

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