Before I went to sleep last night I realised something very important and today I am going to act accordingly. Last night, after 2 months of finding, repairing and upgrading the Atmosphaeres Field Office (see photo below), racing from one location to the next to record a new shot, always trying to find the sweet spot between being out in nature – without people – having enough power from the solar system and sufficient mobile coverage for internet connectivity, managing the split between recording for the Atmosphaeres and serving clients for training as well as producing videos for licensing requests, I realised that this takes way more time than I can possibly fit into the day and that I need to slow down, because otherwise, Susanne and I would be completely stressed while recording relaxing locations for you. And that would not be the purpose of this trip.
So last night we arrived in a little town called New Norfolk, just about 30 minutes North-West of Hobart, Tasmania. We’ve been on the road for nearly 2 months now and our vehicle has required a lot of attention, a lot more than we initially imagined. Susanne scrubbed the entire inside of the slide-on camper section and I repaired the electrical system, which was faulty in 3 different locations (I have just found a 4th one recently, which I will get onto as soon as possible). We’ve had a solar system installed and have just recently upgraded the wind up legs to something much more stable than the 25 year old, rusty pieces of metal that came with the original camper. Luckily before our trip to Bruny Island, we also had the clutch repaired and the car is now driving like a dream, which is also due to the new fastening chains that we’ve had welded onto the camper to keep it attached a lot better to the 4wd. No more rocking forwards and backwards when we go over small bumps in the road.
We have endured nights with country and western music blaring out of a sound system at a National Parks camp ground at 1:30am so that we had to call the police to stop the noise, midgees (sandflies), mosquitoes and recently leeches. Almost every time that we have found a beautiful location there are either dozens of people already there or a group of Japanese or Chinese tourists is sure to arrive just at that very moment when all camera settings are made, the sound recorder and microphone are in place and everything is ready to roll. Somehow people just seem to feel that something important is going on. They hang around much longer than usual, looking at the strange cube of GoPro’s, all the while pretending to look at the mountain in the back for the 5th time. I have started to believe that there is a people magnet built somewhere into the 360 video rig. But then again, I had the same people magnet in my microphones when I was doing pure nature sound recordings.
And then there is the challenge of power and internet connectivity. You know, on the one hand side, to avoid the crowds and find peaceful and beautiful locations we need to go into remote places. However, on the other hand, there hardly ever is mobile coverage in these places. Apart from this, the camp sites are often shaded, which restricts the amount of power that our solar system can generate. So we are torn between wanting to be at and record the remote places and the need to connect to power and the internet. So quite often we end up in a caravan park just so we can plug into mains power and have mobile coverage. On some days this works well, especially when it is raining, however, on other days it is very frustrating because where we really want to be is ‘out there’.
So after all these challenging situations with little to no power and internet we arrived in New Norfolk where the local community has created a place where RV’s can park up for free just so they come to their lovely little town and see what they have to offer. Without going into the benefits of this town as a base camp for our trips to record more 360 videos of beautiful places, what came to me last night is this.
It was the first time in 2-3 weeks that I could browse my Facebook newsfeed and I saw news from my friends and colleagues about all the new technology that is coming out and the fascinating projects that they are working on. I see people marketing themselves and their products all over the place and I can’t remember having ever seen so many entrepreneurs in one place. And I got the feeling that I should really be doing xyz because otherwise I am going to miss out on the opportunity that 360 video and Virtual Reality opens up. My brain went into a cycle of ‘first you need to do this, then you need to do that and then you need to …’ – you get the picture. In that moment I realised something important – I simply am no marketing guy and I just don’t enjoy marketing myself and my products. I do not know how to ‘launch a product’ and which thing to do first and which one next. However, this concern has been holding me back for 3 months now to release The Bavarian Alps Atmosphaere. I have worked on it for 6 months and I finally finished it at the end of January. And it has been sitting on a server ever since, waiting for me to find the best way to launch it. However, I have now realised that there is no best way – I just need to release it. There might still be issues with the website or the preview player and I might not release it together with our Android app which is currently in beta status, however, I am hoping for your good-will to see past this. After all I’m only a videographer trying to provide you with an experience of what it is like to be in a peaceful and relaxing place. So here it is, the next chapter of the Atmosphaeres Virtual Relaxation Videos – The Bavarian Alps.