An Autumn Morning With My Cat

Last week’s visual poem post was what I imagined when I set out to write and film a poem about fall, but on the same day I also filmed this footage of my cat:

Finn is one spoiled kitty! Especially now that I’m working from home, he thinks I am here to cater to his every need at any moment. His most frequent request? To go out onto the back deck where he can chew fallen leaves, bird and bug watch, and spy on all the neighborhood dogs. This used to be a strictly post-work activity, but since I’m home all the time now, any time I walk towards the back of the apartment, he goes barreling down the hall and stretches up to the doorknob in an adorably devious way that screams, “I own you, and we must go outside now!”

While I don’t give in to his every whim (we would literally be outside ALL the time), we do go out at least once a day which is how this video came to be!

I noticed that he looked particularly aesthetic sitting on a deck chair gazing up at the fall foliage so I pulled out my camera and started recording. (Honestly, this is how the best videos start: in the moment inspiration.)

And because it was such a beautiful and unseasonably warm November morning, I just kept filming. Playing with frame rates and movement. Following Finn around as he enjoyed himself. Focusing in on the various leaf colorations.

When I sat down to edit the “A Season of Falling” video, I realized I had too much footage. I ultimately decided to stick with just the park footage for that video because that’s what I’d filmed it with the intention for and figured this would just be another folder of interesting video that collected digital dust on my hard drive.

But something unexpected happened. I had *extra* time after I finished that video, so why not set this footage to music and make something fun?

And that’s how this video began: a simple edit to music because of some free time. Though as you watch it, you’ll notice it’s much more than that. It started simply but the more I watched and edited, the more realized it need something else. So I started adding animated lines to highlight around Finn. Then I learned how to use Mocha in After Effects to track and trace some of the leaves with this YouTube tutorial. And finally, realizing that while one of the trees was a vibrant red, the tree in the foreground was still rather green and the video overall didn’t have the kind of fall hues I was going for, so I went searching for some autumn-themed LUTs to download and add to my footage.

I got the idea for using LUTs after editing this photo for the video thumbnail. I realized it needed much more orange if it was going to symbolize autumn with my cat!

The final product is actually something I’m really proud of! Whenever I make a video that requires I make the time to watch tutorials or teach myself something new, I always want to scream from the rooftops, “Look at this thing I learned and practiced!” It’s a good reminder of why I started (and continue making videos). Not for the views or clout, but as an outlet for creative expression and learning. So here’s to future lazy mornings of video filming inspiration!

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