There was a magical moment last December when the Bay Area looked a great deal more like Lake Tahoe than it usually does. It was also magical for my future in video production.
A cold winter storm brought precipitation in the form of snow. And the white stuff dusted the whole region. It was the first time Saint Mary's had seen snow since 1972.
It happened early in the morning on Monday, December 7th. That was the week of Finals at Saint Mary's, and I had been working on essays and video projects all day Sunday. Mom emailed me a heads up saying the weather folks were predicting the possibility of snow. I laughed at that idea.
Because it was Finals, I was still wide awake and working on a video project at 2am. I heard some shouting and hooting and hollering outside. That's not unusual, because this IS college. But it did seem especially loud for 2 in the morning. I looked outside and saw flakes floating down. Snow!
I headed outside to the quad where all the upperclassman were throwing snowballs, running and sliding on the icy ground, and generally enjoying the unusual weather. Snow!
We stayed out there for an hour or so, running around and taking pictures and enjoying it all. Snow!
((Somehow, the College decided this was a good looking picture. They used it in the Quarterly magazine that goes to Alums))
At about 3, people started heading back indoors to thaw out and maybe do homework. I saw, on my dorm room floor, GaelVision's HD video camera that I was using earlier in the day. I thought to myself, "this could be the only time I can use a great camera like this in the snow."
So I headed out and took video of some of the smaller details and grand landscapes in the upperclassman's quad. The snow was falling so slowly and lightly that I decided to shoot it in slow motion.
Thirty minutes later I had a full tape and headed back inside. It was 3:30, but I was too excited to sleep. Something told me this video needed to be edited and posted ASAP. I finished the editing at about 6am and hit the sack.
Finals started for me at 9:30 Monday morning, I woke up a bit early and uploaded the finished video to youtube, then posted it to Facebook. Snow!
By the time I got out of the final at 11:30, people had already seen the video and were congratulating me about it. Lots of people.
It had even broken out of the SMC circle and was picked up by several newspaper blogs -- The Lamorinda Sun and SF Chronicle's The Scavenger. The best part about its presence on these blogs -- the amazingly nice comments people left.
The video became a hit. Two days after it was posted, it had 9,000 views. That averaged out to someone watching the video every 20 seconds for two days.
Locally, the video went viral. My mom got an email from a friend saying, someone had emailed her the link, not knowing that she was somehow connected to the creator, me.
There were many compliments that I saw and heard and read on the blogs. And they mean the world to me.
((Me and my dear friend, Gianna))
Today, the video has more than 20,000 views -- the most of any video I've created.
Creating this video, sending it out to the world, and hearing the feedback I heard, gave me a huge boost of confidence and helped me believe that I could work in video production for a living, that I could share moments and feelings with people using video, and, maybe most importantly, that sharing video made me as happy as just about anything could.
It was a milestone for Saint Mary's. And for me.