7 Year-Anniversary + The Last MIN Episode

Sooo... I had the very best intentions to publish a vlog in celebration of today's 7-year anniversary of the weekly 1-minute Moving Postcard videos and the very last weekly 1-minute episode (published 3 days ago): Meet Luci Westphal (Documentarian) – In A Minute Portrait (Week 366)

Best intentions means: I shot the vlog a few days ago and spent 3 hours this morning editing it. And I can't watch and listen to myself for another minute of editing... and then publish it and push it on you. I just can't.

So instead, I'm going to write a blog post with the same information. I know people prefer to watch and listen over reading. But try watching and listening to yourself - and then promote that. I've already "had to" do that with the last 1-minute episode. That's enough. 

RIP weekly 1-minute Moving Postcard videos


Here it goes:

"With one laughing and one crying eye" (German saying), I have decided to call the In A Minute project complete during the 366th week aka the 7-year anniversary of the series. With this post I want to thank everyone who has been part of the series (as an audience or an active participant), give an overview of the series and answer a few questions posed to me via Twitter for my intended vlog this blog post.

Series Overview:

Every week (usually Thursdays), I published a 1-minute video showing a place or an event - without direct commentary and usually with a musical soundtrack. The idea was to send a moving postcard to friends depicting something I saw and felt was worth sharing. These videos fell into one of these categories: In A Berlin Minute, In A Brooklyn Minute, In A Colorado Minute and In Another Minute. Eventually, I also added slightly different videos, portraying other creators and travelers: In A Minute Portrait. Every once in a while, I would also publish a longer version of a 1-minute video as a bonus.

The videos have always been free to watch - on Vimeo, YouTube and on MovingPostcard.com. I'm planning to keep all the videos online.

The series has gone through a few changes. Originally, it was called German New Yorker in Berlin. Then it became In A Berlin Minute, then In A Brooklyn Minute. Finally, to lessen confusion, I came up with the umbrella name Moving Postcard, which includes the five 1-minute video categories and longer versions of those videos.

There was a time, when the series had a huge following on YouTube, and I even made a decent amount of money through licensing (Perpetual Explorer) and ads. Then everything was deleted by YouTube. I didn't stop making the videos though - and eventually re-uploaded the old videos to that channel, too. Today, the majority of the audience comes through Google+ and Facebook, and all videos are ad-free thanks to my supporters on Patreon.

The videos used to be strictly hand-held, and I used to shoot a new video every week. I finally became realistic about making "better videos" and started using a tripod and not trying to squeeze everything I saw in one week into a single 1-minute video, but save some footage to be edited and published during a later week. Imagine I had squeezed all of Cuba into 58 seconds + title!

Through making these videos, I've met so many awesome people! It's what I'm most grateful for. I'm also grateful for the fact that making a weekly video forced me to go outside and explore again and again and again... and that I have a record of all the cool places I saw during those seven years.

May 7th, 2010 the very first 1-minute video of the series was published: Plane, Bus, Still, Train – In A Berlin Minute (Week 1).




Thank you! Yes, you!

Thank you all for watching, liking, commenting and sharing!
You are one of the reasons I started making these videos. And you're certainly one of the main reasons why I kept making them for so long. I wish I could thank every person individually - but, you know, logistics. But I do want to call out a few people!

Thank you, John and Margaret of Lost and Found Travel from Chicago. John first commented on my third video: Pavement in Berlin – In A Berlin Minute (Week 3). We eventually met in person in Chicago during week 77. In honor of our first contact, I even wore the Pavement shirt I got during that concert in the vlog I intended to publish today. I'm happy to report that we're still in touch and that John continues to share amazing travel photography and videos and that Margaret gives amazing walking tours of Chicago: Chicago Elevated.

Thank you + dank je to Eddy of EdEditz in the Netherlands! Neither of us are totally sure when we met online - but that it was through talking about the Stand Videos by some other guy - and probably during the first or second year of my series. Eddy and I have nerded out on cameras over the years - and I'm always learning something or am inspired by his artistic documentary videos. I also feel like we've become quite close on a personal level. I can't wait until we meet in person one day!

Thank you to Braum Lincoln aka IrishLincoln in an undisclosed location in Appalachia. Our friendship has transitioned from the good ol' days on YouTube to Twitter - which has brought me lots of smiles and laughter.

Another "once upon a time on YouTube, now on Twitter" thank you + muchas gracias goes to someone very mysterious... Pedro, who may be a real human or an anime character ;-) doing his thing with a gang of musicians, animators and anime characters at Unthinkable! Entertainment. Hopefully, we'll meet at a film festival showing both our projects one day soon!

A special thank you + vielen Dank an Will, who switched from YouTube to Vimeo - I hope we'll always stay connected!

Oh, this is going to get too long. But there are a few more online friends who have stuck with me for the long-haul I want to mention: Reinhard Bock aka boKens (rbockberlin), Thias (Pure79er), David Thomson (keekabo), Yoz (CreativeYoz), and Chris (Berlin-av). Not only do I feel a personal connection to these guys and gal, but they also have published video nods to my series and me. So thank you all for sticking around, communicating (if now more via Facebook, Google+ or Instagram) and those special videos!

And one more individual thank you goes to Stefan from Laggo Maggiore (ticinus) - who has transitioned parallel with me over to Google+ and who inspires through his cinematography and photography expertise.

There are so many more online friends I'm remembering right now with whom interaction fizzled out - but who were extra important during the early or middle years. A lot of them left YouTube after that big sweep in 2012 - but I also became pretty much inactive over there except to publish my videos once a week. But I still think of you: Helena, Klaus, Alessandro, Ernesto, Azzarb and the Mysterious Mr. B, Mike (whose name isn't Frank), Lutze, Ernie, Digilinus - and a few others who do still show up every once in a while, like brokkenstar, Mau, Uli and Geoff! There are so many more I can't all name here. Thank you all for watching, creating, encouraging and for being you.

My biggest thank you to online friends who became real friends goes out to Franc Tausch (FilmKritikTV), who had an incredibly popular film review channel, and who passed away in 2012. I am so lucky to have known you. I savor the time we met in person and all our long phone calls. You not only made a huge difference for my web series, but you've made a true difference in my life. I continue to miss you but I carry your spirit and wisdom with me.

A big thanks to everyone who has organized a screening of the videos or has licensed footage for TV shows and commercials. It's been amazing to see my footage off the computer and in other contexts!

Of course, there are lots of people to thank that I knew IRL before I made the videos. Again, too many people to all list here. But I have to mention and especially thank Kate Guttman, Ellie Snapp, Dianne Darr Couts, and David Whitfield and Anne Hanson - for all the regular attention and all your lovely messages. Thank you!

Can you now imagine how long that vlog was getting with all these thanks and words?

An extra grateful thank you to the musicians who provided the soundtrack, especially Jason Matherne, Josh Woodward and Jason Shaw.

Anyone who has enjoyed the Moving Postcard videos over the last year, should stand with me and thank all the generous and fantastic patrons on Patreon. Their financial and moral support has made it possible for me to continue the series for another year. You people rock the most!!!

Now the super special thank you to everyone who has ever shown up in one of my videos - or tagged along on one of my shoots. I know I tested your patience. Out of those, Scott Solary and Judith Hecktor deserve my biggest gratitude (for the most videos) - and Jess Gould for inspiring me to explore the most exotic and distant destinations with her! THANK YOU!

Of course, my husband and love-of-my-life Scott gets the ultimate thank you for supporting, encouraging and helping me throughout the years. Scott, you ARE the best!


QUESTIONS ANSWERED


How many videos are there?
Asked by Scott Solary.
There are now 366 official 1-minute videos. If you were to watch only one a day, you'd have enough for an entire year, including Leap Year Day! But... four times, I published an additional 1-minute video, making the total count of 1-minute videos 370. As of today, there are 25 extended videos... Which means, altogether there are 390 Moving Postcard videos!


Why did you start the series and why 1 minute?
Asked by Scott Solary.
Several reasons came together... although the idea to start the actual series popped in my head very spontaneously while on the subway in Berlin a few days after moving there from Brooklyn in May 2010. Scott and I had finally published our documentary All God's Children (which we started filming and fundraising for in 2004), and I had just finished editing All's Well and Fair 2 (filmed in 2006 - and not published until 2012).
After experiencing the often unrewarding long time spent between filming and publishing long-form projects, I was looking for something that would go from filming to sharing quickly - something that didn't have any gatekeepers but direct access between creator and audience - something that would be a creative inspiration so I wouldn't fall into that post-post-production black hole.
One minute seemed like the right time-frame: longer than a commercial, not too long to get boring. Fortunately, I had filmed the landing of my plane in Berlin - so I started shooting the bus ride to my parents house and sitting in their beautiful backyard. I began editing right away.


What personal rewards did this project bring you?
Asked by dlfphotography aka Debbie Foreman.
The answer to that question also answers "why did I keep going for so long"? Since I also mentioned that this wasn't a money-making project, it must be clear that the personal rewards were huge. I love the whole creative process. Being out and looking through my camera at something new or seeing something old in a new angle, allows me to be completely happy and in the moment. I can forget about everything else. There's a reason I've referred to this series as my religion, my therapy and my drug. I love editing and putting it all together and the feeling I've accomplished something. A big benefit of doing such a strict series is that it forced me to leave the house and explore something new almost every week! Connecting with new people online and sharing experiences was probably the biggest reward. Nothing beats knowing that you've brought someone else joy or inspired them to explore and/or be creative. I'm not just saying this - people told me in writing! :)


Which 1-minute Moving Postcard is the most memorable to you? Got a favorite?
Asked by BraumLincoln.
Sooooooo many!!!
All the ones I filmed with other people in them are the most memorable and probably also my favorites. While I have savored most of my solo shoots (when I could allow myself to get completely lost in capturing a location) the ones with friends have such a lively dynamic. I immediately think of two I shot with Judith, one on a road trip in Germany: Road Trip To The North Sea – In Another Minute (Week 58)




... and another in Colorado: Rocky Mountain National Park – In A Colorado Minute (Week 208)




Personally, I'm also very fond of the street art videos. Here's one: Berlin Street Art 2012 (East) – In A Berlin Minute (Week 124)




Last but not least, I am most proud of the ones that tell a bit of a story in just one minute with footage shot over time. For example: ICE Train View (Berlin – Hamburg) – In A Berlin Minute (Week 41)




and 9/11 Ground Zero – WTC 2001/2011 – In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 72)




And then there are all the time-lapse videos. My favorite out of those is probably this amazing sunset because watching it live with Scott and Whiskey was so magical: Colorado Sunset Time-Lapse – In A Colorado Minute (Week 341)




Oh, and then there are the videos that Whiskey shot, like this one: A Day in the Life of a Dog – In A Colorado Minute (Whiskey Business 5)




Why the shift away from the 1 minute videos?
Asked by dlfphotography aka Debbie Foreman.
There are three main reasons.
First of all, I always knew it had to end one day - and I didn't want it to fizzle out or slowly disappear by starting to skip weeks. I wanted to set a date - and 7 years sounded like a solid number.
Also, I've been living in Colorado much longer than I had anticipated - and I think I've run out of interesting things to film for y'all. Actually, it's been a struggle to find new places nearby for a while - but I kept thinking I'd move somewhere else soon and could start a new In A Minute chapter. I'm happy to live here... but I don't want to bore you.
Last and main reason: I need the time and energy spent on this series for other creative projects...

... which leads to the last question...

What's next!?
Asked by Elizabeth H aka Elizabeth Hahn
Finishing post-production of All's Well and Fair 3 - the not-so-creative title of the third installment of the long-form documentary project I began in 1996. Every 10 years, I've been filming three mothers in Florida and their children. The 1996 version was a short film. The 2006 version is available as feature-length documentary on DVD and as a web series on YouTube. The 2016 version is bringing the project full-circle because the children from 1996 are now in their 20s as their punk rock single mothers were when we began filming. Don't you want to know how the kids turned out?


More as a hobby than anything else, I will keep up the photography - sharing it online and through blog posts, paper postcards and my photography website LuciWest.com.

As of right now, I believe I will continue to occasionally publish longer Moving Postcard videos. There are still several longer versions of 1-minute videos I've promised my patrons on Patreon. And I expect that I'll continue to travel and see amazing places I'd like to share with you.

And... there's a dream documentary that I would love to film. I just got off the phone with someone very dear to me... and while it doesn't look like we'll do this project this year anymore, there's hope for next year...

That's it! 


With all the "up next" in mind, if you want to get exclusive looks behind-the-scenes for any of these projects, get extra online content and physical gifts in the mail... AND give moral and financial support to my creative projects, please become a patron via my Patreon page.

Soooo long! I wonder if anyone has read this whole post... Well, it was a very long-running project and I think the project and its audience deserved a final post and closing words. And now, I'm really done.

Thank you all, and please be brave and be kind.
xx Luci