Daily photos by John Godbey|
Reginald Tremain, left, and Pat Underwood perform “Elbow L Kick,” part of their tricking routine, which combines martial arts with tumbling and breakdancing.
their inner Tube
Locals are expressing, sharing and promoting themselves online
By Danielle Komis Palmer
Pat Underwood and Reginald Tremain “tricked” one afternoon last fall at Rhodes Ferry Park in Decatur. The two athletic young men somersaulted, twisted and jumped so impressively that onlookers’ jaws reached the sidewalk at the unexpected show.
But luckily, the greatness of the unique show wasn’t wasted on just a few onlookers who happened to be at the park that day. People from around the world saw the impressive display, too, thanks to one of the best-known sites on the Web — YouTube.
The popular video sharing Web site has exploded in popularity since its start in 2005, as posts include everything from backyard videos of testosterone-driven teenage guys pulling “Jackass”-like stunts to montages of President Bush’s “senior” moments.
For 21-year-old Underwood, posting samplers of his routines is a great way to spread the word about tricking — a relatively new underground sport best described as a mix between martial arts, gymnastics and breakdancing.
For other video sharers, YouTube is a great way to entertain, inform or promote, or to network with people from around the country or world with similar interests. For viewers, the site also serves the same purpose.
“It’s sort of my way of expressing myself and to share with other people,” Underwood said. “Everyone is on YouTube ... I like that people can go on YouTube and type in my name and my videos come up.”
Reginald Tremain, left, and Pat Underwood execute a flash kick, part of their tricking routine — which combines martial arts with tumbling and breakdancing — that is also online at YouTube.com. Underwood and Tremain have received a number of comments on their videos from people from all over the world.
Underwood and Tremain have received a number of comments on their videos from people from all over the world.
“One guy said he was interested in learning everything (about tricking),” Tremain said.
Depending on what’s uploaded to the site, users can learn not only how to do tricking moves, but also how to build a plane, bake a cake or take a good photograph, thanks to the many do-it-yourself videos users post on the site.
Some trickers videotape themselves performing a certain move, post it on the site and ask for critiques from other, more advanced trickers, Underwood said.
Kevin King, a 32-year-old Sheffield pilot, said YouTube has been an asset to him because of videos users have posted on how to build airplanes. He also enjoys the comments he gets on the things he posts, such as his clip of a floatplane taking off from the back of a moving flatbed trailer at Hartselle Airport.
“It’s just fun to share all that stuff,” he said. “You get a lot of comments.”
As well as fun to use, YouTube is a great way to promote yourself or your business.
Athens cosmetic dentist Dr. Brad Beasley has one of his TV commercials posted on YouTube, while University of Alabama filmmaking student and Hartselle High graduate Lee Fanning posted the trailer for his upcoming short film “The Metal Wings” on the site.
For those who simply have no interest in uploading videos but love to watch them, you can still register as a YouTube member, which will allow you to rate videos, create a playlist of your favorite videos and communicate with others on the site through e-mail and message boards.
“You can find anything on YouTube,” Underwood said.
“Type in anything you’re interested in — fishing, kayaking, base jumping or whatever it might be — and there’s a video of it on YouTube.”
You can do it, too
Don’t be intimidated.
Recording and uploading videos to video sharing sites like YouTube (AOL, Yahoo Video, and VideoEgg are some others) is surprisingly not too difficult, even for the technologically challenged.
You don’t even have to have a camcorder — you may use a digital camera with a video setting, a webcam or even your cell phone (if it has video capabilities). Kevin King of Sheffield used his Fuji FinePix digital camera for his videos, while Pat Underwood of Decatur used a 7-year-old Sony Handycam.
After you record what you’d like to upload and create a member account on the site, check that the video clip is in one of the accepted formats and that the length is under the maximum time limit of 10 minutes.
Then, simply click and upload. Uploading times can vary from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the file size and Internet connection.
If you would like to restrict who may view your video, select the “private” setting.
For further instruction, visit www.google.com/support/youtube/?hl=en_US.
Tips from local YouTube users
Do make sure to “tag” your video with as many keywords as possible, so that when people search the site using keywords, your video is more likely to show up. For example, if you shot a swing dancing video at a local studio, you might tag it with “swing dance,” but also with “ballroom dance,” the local studio’s name, the city’s name, the name of the song, etc. “If you put down one tag, you’re limiting yourself,” said Kevin King of Sheffield.
Do give yourself time to edit the video to make it into what you would like, advised Pat Underwood of Decatur. Many computer packages come with basic video editing software.
Do link your videos on YouTube from other Web sites so more people will view it. For example, if you have an account on a social networking site like MySpace, place a link to the video on your profile page. Or place a link on your favorite message board to your video, especially if it’s topic-specific.
Don’t upload using anything but a broadband connection, King said. The upload could take a long time, leaving you discouraged and annoyed.
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