Vacation Video Experiment

I had my camera out when our flight was taking off from New York for Oakland the other day. I’m not sure if a camera is on the list of electronic devices you’re supposed to keep shut off during takeoff and shortly after, and I don’t want to draw attention to myself by asking the flight attendants. So on Wednesday, I switched the camera to video mode and recorded the first couple of minutes as the plane rolled down the runway at JFK and climbed to 2,000 feet. The next part of the experiment was putting the takeoff video online. That turns out to be easy. I downloaded the file to a computer, then uploaded it to YouTube (it’s a 60-megabyte file, and it took a while to send over our DSL line). Check it out below.

Trying to look past the novelty of the thing — yes, I’m somewhat slackjawed that this kind of video publishing is so straightforward for someone with little technical ability — this sort of tool really does open up new possibilities for self-publishers (artists, journalists, etc.) of all kinds. [Postscript: I went back to YouTube to look for other takeoff videos. What an original idea: A search turns up 827 hits — many of which are commercial airline takeoffs shot at airports all over the world.]

4 Replies to “Vacation Video Experiment”

  1. Four stars! I felt liked my cavities had been recently searched! Also enjoyable was the creative nod to Greyhound From Hoopeston. Can’t wait for the sequel!

  2. That’s it?! Well, I’m glad you were able to succeed with the technical demonstration but it looked like any one of the hundreds of take-offs I’ve had. I was figuring on a UFO or crop circle or something. A video of the hurdy-gurdy lady would have been much more aesthetically satisfying.

  3. Yeah, that’s it. If I’d thought of it, there was a much more compelling scene when we landed. Someone flew a big remote control plane — wingspan maybe four feet — up to our altitude on final approach to JFK. The plane never got closer than about 1,000 feet to our jet, but it was still a little un-nerving to see how close they could get it.

  4. Well, I liked seeing Breezy Point off in the distance and if I wasn’t mistaken I thought I spotted Joe Lieberman’s senate career disappearing into the distant haze.

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