ENTRY #214
YouTube and Feedback link added 02.11.09
1:09 AM, Friday, August 23rd, 2002:
Kill this motherfucker. Seriously, the person who wrote this needs to be shot. The person who decided to code "Unknown Error" into a program is a lazy BITCH that needs to be bound to a stake and shot. Blinfold and cigarette, the whole 9 yards. Why? Because after 72 straight hours of work (and I DO fuckin' mean STRAIGHT), I FOUND OUT what the cause of this "Unknown Error" was and I COULD'VE written a more helpful prompt as to what to do next, but this ass goblin couldn't spend the time?
I'm a bit frustrated.
Imagine you've worked for months on a DVD project. Working painstakingly on every section, hundreds of carefully placed buttons and menus. Something that should be pretty simple but not for this friggin' program. Something as simple as the BACK and NEXT buttons in the 40 screenshots on the disc, took me over 10 hours. Why!?!? Because this fisher-price program can't place the buttons in the same place. You have to treat each picture as a menu, then place a back button over it, then compare it to the previous picture's back button, then go back to the new one - move it 2 pixels, go back to the old one, go back to the new one move it 2 pixels to the right, then compare it again - over, and over, and over until they match up. That equals one. Try that for 80 buttons on the screenshots alone and you're already about to burn small children's ears with hot pokers to relieve the stress. Then of course sweating over the bitrate to encode your media files so the viewer would get the best possible picture because no compression program tells you what it is. Are you all used to SP and SLP for your VCR? Yeah, well here - you just have to guess and hope it is the highest possible for you material. Goddamn rocket science is easier. I'm not kidding. At least that's logical. You work and work and work until it's perfect. At 2:35 AM Sunday night you finally have it ready to burn. You hit burn, and in the middle of the pre-burn process (a 90 minute duldrum of something called "demuxing") this window pops up:
And that's it. It could truly be one of 650 things. I assumed that I had made my bitrate too high. Even though the program accepted the files before, I assumed that's what the BR in (BRErr, 1) stood for: BitRate. So I took the 20 video files, and one by one recompressed them. Took me 16 hours. I dozed off by the computer so I could hear the DING, to insert the next one. When I got all that done, the program now wouldn't even import them them. Forget the actual burn process I couldn't even insert them. So I compressed them AGAIN for another 16 hours, and this time - they came in fine. Re linked everything hit burn and:
It was at this point that I came to the realization that there was a very real possibility that there would be no DVD for my DVD release party. There's really not a whole lot to troubleshoot when the program comes up with the brilliant prompt equivalent of: "I dunno". As a test I took the media files and I put it into a new file with just 2 menus screens and hit burn, and it worked. EURKEA! So that meant that SOMETHING in one of my 80 menu screens, and hundreds of buttons was causing this "Unknown Error". So all day Wednesday I spent manually taking a button out, then hitting burn, and waiting for 3 minutes until it got to the point where the error would come up. I did this 217 tmes before I figured everything out. How do I know it was 217 times? 'Cause each attempted burn puts another folder on your harddrive and I opened my harddrive this morning and POW! All these folders. It actually made me crack a smile for the first time in 3 days.
It ended up that there were 7 menus screens that the progam just didn't like. No mistake on my part, it just didn't like it. By a 17 hour process of elimination where I took screens and buttons away one by one and then tested by burning, I got it narrowed down, and then I had to put them back in one by one to see which were the faulty pictures. 17, straight fucking, hours. Of nothing but INSERT, DRAG, BURN - pray. Over, and over and over. Folks my head was in a state of frustration and stress that I'm not sure I've ever reached before. There was absolutely no other course of action but to do this, and do nothing but this without break until I found the problem. I still had to make 50 of these bastards before MONDAY.
When I found a pic that wasn't working, all I'd do was re crop it, save it under a name (something like "garyPLEASEFUCKINGWORK.jpg") then reimport it and it would work fine. It came down to 4:45 AM Thursday morning, and one picture. I was one picture away from the end. I had to redo the picture, you ready for this?.... 21 different times and import it to see if it would work. Finally, time 21 it liked it. And started the burn, praying everything else would work as I fell into a deep sleep. I awoke 3 hours later to an opened tray, a silver disc, and heart palpitations that were inhuman. Here's what I saw.
It worked. IT FRIGGIN WORKED. I was so scared the DVD stock would be bad (that happened before), but these were PERFECT. Not only did it work, it might be the best looking DVD I've ever done. The video turned out nearly flawless, no compression artifacts whatsoever. The menus look great, the music during the menus is perfect - it's done. At this time I've paused my burning process for a moment to write you. I'm 31 discs into the first limited edition run of 50 DVDs for the performance. All will be numbered (and signed if you so desire) - and there's no way in hell I'm selling these for $15. No offense but, fuck you all if you think $20 is too much for this. LOL. There's never been a more legitimate price for a DVD that is slaved over like this than $20. I individually burned each one (over an hour a piece) and everything from the show, to the process of putting this together is worth 20 bones EASY. I know the flyer says $5 of the cover goes towards the purchase of a DVD, so I'm making 'em $24.99 and giving them to you all who show up that night for $19.99. It's a sleazy thing to do as I mentioned $15 previously, but again as I said so politely before: "FUCK YOU ALL". :-)
But I digress, project is DONE. And I'm really, really proud of how amazing it turned out. So many special features. I mean damn, look at this:
-1 full show, morphing all 7 venues from year one of Adam & The Trinitrons together seamlessly (basically just cool transitions)...
-The entire Trinitron Chronicles 7 part series from the web, now in full screen
-Deleted sequence featurette with commentary
-Outtakes featurette
-Cameron Opens featurette with commentary and 2 bloopers
-Casting Director Demo tape, updated specifically for the DVD
-The "Stability, Potential, Success" short previewing the next 4tvs show "The Journey".
-40 Full-Screen shots of the boys...
-In depth sections on each band member including all their "favorites" and "vital statistics"
-And finally, 5 hidden video easter eggs spotlighting miscellaneous trinitron goodness.
Giddy-up. I'm certainly proud to put this in your hands.
Also, I'm proud to tell you that at the release party on the 5th I will be announcing a project that will debut next year that many thought would never happen. It's been goin' round in my brain for a bit, I've begun writing it and I gotta tell you, I'm pretty pumped. "The Journey" will still be out by the end of this year, but quick on it's heels will be this. "The Journey" will be a living and growing show anyway - that will be added to and changing forever. There will still be the need for other stuff on top of that one...and this will certainly make people happy. So again, yet another reason to be there on Thursday, September 5th.
Quick side note on the "John Wayne Gacy" thing... John Wayne Gacy is a famous serial killer/rapist - that wasn't the name of "Francis" from Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Oh, and it never happened.
I figured if I wrote about the event a few hours before it happnened, it would be pretty much safe news. Wrong. An hour before I left I got a call that they already did the scene and forgot about needing those extras. Ahh well. Again, the only positive is you guys get yet another insight of what it's like to live in this city. (sigh)
But at this point, nothing can get me down. I'm so goddamn glad the DVD is done I can't even begin to tell you. To be able to come back and perform to a welcoming crowd is gonna be the moment of the year for me. And of course, beating Marty's ass at videogames and foosball is something to look forward to as well. SO this is it! My last entry from LA. My father's new computer will allow me to do my first updates from Columbus in 3 years so expect something next week, and for the love of all things holy - please do all you can to make it to the show a week from this upcoming Thursday (2 weeks from yesterday).
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