Quarantine Birthday Video

Random Observation/Comment #666: Just because we’re physically distancing, doesn’t mean we have to socially distance.

Just because you’re quarantined, doesn’t mean you can’t have a really fun birthday. I’d write a list of 30, but I don’t have that many ideas. Feel free to follow this guide.

How did you Celebrate?

1. Took care of Evie for the morning to the let birthday girl sleep in
2. Played the stitched youtube birthday video chromecasted to TV:
https://youtu.be/Bt8oR2U-kxo
3. Gave her the birthday card and gift
4. Cooked breakfast
5. Took the day off and had some fun events
6. Did a zoom call at night with her friends (<5 per session)

Planning

Start a FB group chat with her friends a month in advance asking to share a short video saying “happy birthday”. Some lessons learned:

  1. Set a due date – Give yourself a few days to stitch the video together
  2. Ask for a recording time limit – 5 to 30 seconds
  3. Provide multiple methods of sharing the video – Wetransfer, Upload to google drive, send directly via whatsapp/text/hangout –> Share your email address, number, and link to a shared folder
  4. Send a friendly reminder
  5. Make a disclaimer – This will be uploaded to Youtube possibly for many to see

Receiving the Video

Setup Google Drive

I thought this would be easy to record and directly upload via mobile, but I guess some people aren’t as technically inclined. I had people use desktop web browsers to access and try to download on desktop rather than just upload via mobile, so it got complicated.

You can create a folder on gdrive and then edit the permission to get a link for anyone.

I would push getting people to send via text messages, but there’s sometimes a loss in quality. For sending video, Whatsapp does a better job with reducing compression. (You will need to share your number)

WeTransfer is pretty easy and free if you’re comfortable with sharing your email.

Cameo

This is not an advertisement for Cameo, but there are some interesting people on it. I personally like Chris Turner – he did a freestyle rap for Vinessa earlier ( https://www.cameo.com/v/D5C96Q8U6 )

Found 2 people I thought she’d know and like a message from:

If you write to multiple people, be sure to write something different so they don’t say the same thing. This cost about $150 with the discounts from earlier requests.

Here’s my referral code for $5 off: https://www.cameo.com/join/7tzzh8n9

Video Preparation

I make tutorial videos for work using Camtasia ( https://www.techsmith.com/video-editor.html ). I think I paid $150 for an earlier version 4 years ago. Looks like it’s $250. You can always use a free video editing tool.

  1. Convert all videos to MP4s – This took the most time. Some people gave me .MOVs and .3PGs when taken with iphones and sending via compressed messages. There are some online sites to do conversions. You can also do one-on-one requests to find other ways of sharing or just deal with the grainy-er quality.
  2. Consider the order – I did Evie, Parents, Siblings, Her Work, Her Friends, Shared Friends, Donna surprise video, Gap Huey video, Lisa Loeb, Ending from me with some text.
  3. Trim certain videos if they go on too long (be sure to let the sender know)
  4. Download as MP4 – Easy to do with Camtasia
  5. Upload to Youtube Easy to do with Camtasia (but I didn’t want to enter my Youtube information in the app)

Sharing

I chose to share the video with the birthday girl before sending to everyone else. I didn’t know if she wanted it to be shared. She was happy I got her permission first, so this is a good call.

No matter how you choose to celebrate, make it a relaxing day. Happy Birthday!

~See Lemons Love Vnessawithaneye