Today is my 40th Birthday, so I thought it was fitting to change something on this page. A quick Illustrator session to create a vector 40 to replace the SP, but just for today.

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So let’s talk my next Project

At the beginning of this month, I talked about a new Project and even revealed the title but there were no details about anything else. Well, now I spill the beans on this project.

Actually the idea is not even mine but a task in a Video from D4Darius. In this video, he lists 30 tasks for 30 days, some sort of crash course for filmmakers which he compressed based on a 3-year film school curriculum. One of these tasks it’s about a dialogue scene.

A: Hey
B: How long do we have?
A: All night
B: Ok

Now I loved the idea of taking a very simple dialogue and film that in different ways with different meanings. I did take some liberties to change something. I reduced it to just a question: “How long do we have” and an answer which changes in each version.

The cool thing about this is the endless possibilities to put that question in a different meaning and the fact that I can make even shorter, self-contained movies and play around with different styles and genres.

So the next step is to write down ideas and then shoot them once an idea is fleshed out. The plan is to bundle some of them together and release a video with a few versions and if there are so many ideas I might make a Volume 1 and then further down the road a Volume 2 and so on. But I try not to get ahead of myself, let’s just start with a few short ones.

What ‘The Body’ means to me

Cosmo and Grissu together
The last Photograph of Comso (left)

The Body is the 16th Episode from the 5th Season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and it’s a tough one. I’ve been watching and rewatching Buffy a few times now and the moment this episode is on I turn into an emotional wreck. For me, this episode is one of the best hour of TV EVER!

The short version, this episode is about death and the bleakness of it. I’m sure you can find tons of articles online about this episode where way better and more gifted writers and psychologists write about this episode. That’s not what I want to do here, but I want to put my thoughts down about what this episode means to me shortly after I’ve seen it.

I didn’t come into contact with death much yet, thank you for that. But there’s one incident which broke me. In May of 2013, I came home, slightly drunk from a club when I found my cat Cosmo lying on the floor, motionless. I closed the door behind me and kneeled down to pet him when I realized he’s hard and stiff and didn’t move.

The realization of him being dead broke me, literally and figuratively. I broke down crying and screaming at him to stand up but he didn’t move. I laid there next to him, talking to him and in some way saying my goodbyes. What followed were tough 24 hours in which the whole family came by to say goodbye before we brought him to a vet.

The Body perfectly captures these first hours and for me, it’s always a reminder of what I went through back in May of 2013.

I still miss you Comso…

Cosmo and Grissu chilling together
Cosmo and Grissu chilling together

Short Day-Trip to Colmar

Colmar Fall 2019

I recently also took a short trip to the beautiful french city Colmar, the weather was changing constantly between light rain and sunshine. Nonetheless, I took my camera with me and tried taking beautiful shots once again.

Some of them turned out quite nice with the reflection in the water or with the sky being cloudy. I missed some better opportunities but I’m happy with what I shot that day.

Youtube and Google Page Speed

It’s funny that something from Google (yes Youtube belongs to Google, in case you didn’t know) slows down the page that dramatically and the Google Page Speed results take a dive because of it. I realized since I started paying close attention, that if you embed Youtube videos, either through WordPress or through the embedded code form Youtube itself, a ton of stuff gets loaded even though you may not play the video. That’s not very optimized I’d say.

So what can be done? The logical conclusion is to download everything youtube related only when the user actually clicks on the video. Until then only a preview image or placeholder image gets loaded.

There are a few plugins who do this sort of thing for WordPress but then again you install another plugin and the list of installed plugin gets longer and longer. Or you find some tutorials on how to do it yourself. It’s actually not that complicated, you write a PHP function to replace all youtube embedded iFrames with your own markup and with Javascript you load the preview Image from that specific Youtube video in the newly created markup. Once the user clicks on the Play-button, the image gets replace with the actual embedded Code and the video starts playing.

It’s now implemented here on SoaPatrick and apart from certain videos that don’t get replaced (have to invest some time to find out what’s wrong there) it seems to work fine, the page speed is as high as before and I’m happy. It’s just a pain that Youtube’s default behavior isn’t already doing that.

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