The Lost Art of Playtime for Grown-ups

Recently I have been thinking about the importance of playtime. As a kid, playtime came automatically as it was scheduled for me by other people. While it is great that I get to set my own schedule now, it is unfortunate that playtime perpetually gets de-prioritized in favor of my other grown-up type activities.

I think this is a shame.

This last month I have actively started to fight this trend by scheduling myself play dates. Instead of just visiting the places noted in this video, I actively forced myself to play in these countries and cities. Honestly, it was really weird at first but now that it is becoming a more normal part of my life, I am seeing the benefits. I am happier, smile more and I have had several people tell me that they like my child-like excitement lately. I think that is pretty cool :-)

Visual Storytelling

This experiment comes at the same time as my deep dive into visual storytelling (video and short films). I’ll be the first to admit that this new endeavor is difficult. Unlike writing where I control the entire experience, video requires me to balance story, visuals and audio. My videos are still not at the quality that I want them to be (some of the scenes are overly cheesy, the audio with regard to dialogue was particularly bad in this video, the storytelling in general needs to be improved) but I am happy to see the trajectory of my improvements. Whereas my first video was terrible, I think the video above is not half terrible :-p

Each time I have created one of these adventure videos I have learned at least one major thing. In the Portland video I learned I needed A LOT more footage. With the subway videio, I did a better job with story but still didn’t shoot enough footage (thus the awkward lengthy shots of people eating in the cafe). In the Hong Kong video I had enough footage but fell short on the story. The ugly fish wasn’t enough to support the video. In this video (Playtime), I did a better job with the story and the technical aspects of shooting but used a background song that was way too fast paced. This meant I had to add filler scenes (the quick flashes of shots of the three palm island) which detract from the story. (I tried removing that scene but it ruined the pace of the video as it removed the build up in the soundtrack). With all of that said, I am kind of proud of the path of these mistakes. Like I said, I try to focus on the trajectory of learning rather than any specific mistake. (you can go crazy doing that!) As such, even though I am not where I want to be yet, I am really excited about my current path. :-)

Let me know if you notice anything else I can do to improve these videos!

P.S. As a safety net, I am going to experiment with releasing my videos on YouTube 24 hours earlier than I do on my blog and other channels. (That way I can catch mistakes before it is too late.) If you want to see my future videos before everyone else, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • tangeria

    this is so, so good to hear. it is such a basic part of life, but it is so easy to forget about play. it makes me sad that i have reached the point, at 34, that i can no longer think of what to do with myself, once the daily tasks or responsibilites are out of the way…. clearly, i need to relearn a sense of adventure, a sense of fun and a sense of play.
    thanks for being a good example for the rest of us. =)

    • Thanks for your support! Isn’t it strange how easy it is to de-prioritize fun?

  • Last weekend, my friends and I went out to play cricket (I was the only female playing the game, the rest of them were just sitting around. Just call me tomboy! :P), so I know what you mean. I’m also gonna take up snowboarding lessons soon. I recently realized that all my dreams from childhood can actually be realized now, there’s nothing to stop me from doing it. :D

    I can’t watch the video cos I’m at work at the mo. (you can also call me hard worker… not ;P), will check it out later.

    But good luck to you!

    • lol, that is great that you were the only one playing :-p Funny visual.

      >there’s nothing to stop me from doing it. :D

      That is the attitude! I am going to hold you to that!

  • erm… I was the only FEMALE playing. I can’t play cricket by MYSELF! I’m resourceful, but batting and bowling and fielding all by myself… who am I, Bugs Bunny? :P

    • :-) That makes more sense! My mental image of it is still going to remain the same though.

  • Great video! In building my tiny house, I sometimes wonder if it is just an adult manifestation of me building forts as a child.

    Speaking of visual story telling what is you camera setup?

    • >Great video! In building my tiny house, I sometimes wonder if it is just an adult manifestation of me building forts as a child

      :-) That seems like a fair bet to me.

      I do a video post showing the setup at some point but I am using the Canon t4i with the stock zoom lens with a travel sized tripod. As with everything, I keep my setup minimalistic.

  • Chas

    A cool topic, and well shot. I dig it! You did cut that first desert island scene a little short, though…

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