Life is an endless obstacle course. Some things can be mental and some can be physical. Some can be seen on the horizon and many times, obstacles appear out of nowhere. It’s ultimately our attitudes that can help conquer them.
If y’all read my last slice, you’ll know I received a call on Friday, 1.9.15, from American Ninja Warrior, asking me where my submission video was. This call was received only two days before the deadline – Sunday, 1.11.15 at 11:59 p.m.
Just to catch y’all up, I only discovered about the auditions for American Ninja Warrior in December. Because of work, I decided to wait until January to complete my video. I then got sick and I actually decided to not do the video, but when I received the call, it was like a message from God.
So after the call, I decided to do a quick video after work on Sunday, the deadline day, for I had work and other plans on Saturday. I began brainstorming. In the video, I had to include certain elements such as my name, age, where I’m from, job and so on.
I had old footage from recent years that I knew I’d add in my video. Along with that, I wanted to have a story arc, ’cause many contestants have one. Plus, it adds an emotional aspect to a show full of obstacle course action. I originally thought of including my Arm Ordeal, where I broke both bones in my right forearm, which would showcase overcoming my physical defect, but that didn’t happen. Instead, the impromptu dialogue we filmed played out quite well.
After work in Salinas on Sunday, I rushed to Union City (about an hour and a half drive) to meet up with my good friend, Kim, who agreed to help record me. One love, Kim! She even suggested the playground that had an awesome, mini Golden Gate Bridge that made for a great visual element.
The sun was setting within half an hour upon arrival. Using my Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which has impressive video quality, I quickly setup the framing with the bridge in the background. We did a couple takes there. The sun had already set when we moved on the bridge for some action shots, and luckily the natural light was still decent on film. Aside from racing the sun, the BART train and kids running around on the set were delaying production. I did not let those things bother me.
I wasn’t able to shoot everything I wanted, but in this case, simplicity helped make decisions in the production process. I then rushed home around 7 p.m. to start editing, thinking I had plenty of time. This is when the sarcastic fun, technical, obstacle course started.
I have an old Macbook – around 10 years old. I wasn’t able to transfer the files via USB cable so I decided to use Bluetooth. I tried to transfer multiple files, but it took too long, so I chose individual files that I actually used in the video. But while the transfers were taking place, my laptop would shut off due to overheating. SMH. It happened three times per hour and the deadline was fast approaching. At this point, I honestly was about to quit, but I persevered by reasoning to myself that I should put my all in until deadline.
I then had to import the files to iMovie, which took about the same time as the Bluetooth transfers. I’m not sure what transfer it was, but the video quality suffered greatly. I didn’t have a chance to troubleshoot it. Next up, the audio was not in sync with the video. I simply extracted the audio and synced it up manually.
The only thing that went smoothly was the actual editing. I spliced and diced the oldie but goodie clips and fresh footage. After doing so, now about an hour left until midnight, I had to export the edited video. Because Murphy (of the Law fame) was in the house, the final obstacles presented themselves.
Exporting took several attempts because of the random laptop shutdowns. After it was done, the video wouldn’t properly upload to the American Ninja Warrior site. I then used Bluetooth to transfer from my Macbook to my cell phone, where I finally submitted the entire application.
I didn’t make deadline, however, I was still able to submit at 12:18 a.m., 19 minutes past due. Let’s hope the folks at American Ninja Warrior judge not the quality of the video, but by the content.
After finally submitting the video, I was proud that I didn’t give up with all the technical difficulties that ensued. It goes to show that perseverance and determination are not only long words, but qualities to have to overcome the endless obstacles in life. You gotta ask yourself:
How bad do you want it?
And here it is, a link to my audition: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7975miezbfzh3ba/ANW-RyanBaladad.mov?dl=0
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