It’s time for another quick short story. This week’s prompt was “production.”
I hope you enjoy the story.
Meredith pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration. They had done this so many times and yet, something always seemed to go wrong. She had turned on the computer and the recording software, but that needed to update. Whenever the program had updates, it usually took a good chunk of time. It was about halfway done and it had already been thirty minutes. She had taken the microphone out of the closet and set that up, but hadn’t plugged into the computer just yet. The program didn’t like to have everything plugged in right away when it first opened. It was fickle like that.
However, when you’re first starting out and you decide to do an expensive hobby such as film making with your friends, you start off with the cheapest equipment you can find – as long as it works. Theirs worked, it always took its time though.
Isaac stood on the other side of the room setting up the camera on the tripod facing the green screen. Well, it wasn’t exactly a green screen. They had bought a bunch of green poster boards and stuck them together to make a green screen. It was on their list to buy, they were saving up for an actual green screen. Again, the cheaper route was the best route for now and the green posters worked just fine. At least, they couldn’t tell through the footage while editing. (Hopefully their viewers didn’t notice either.)
“How’s it going over there?” Isaac broke the silence.
Meredith shrugged even though her friend’s back was to her. “The program is still updating. I think we’re going to be a bit behind schedule today.”
“No worries, we were going to be behind anyway,” Isaac replied.
He took out the battery from the camera. “We forgot to charge this last time we filmed.”
Meredith groaned. She buried her face in her hands.
“Hey, it’s no big deal. It only takes an hour or so charge. It may take that long for the recording studio to finish updating anyway.”
Meredith looked back at her computer screen. “True. Still, this is quite annoying.”
“It happens. You have to roll with the punches. We’ll get to the episode today, don’t worry. Besides, Gabriel isn’t even here yet.” Isaac looked at his wrist watch.
Meredith stood making her way to the window. She looked at the street seeing her car in the driveway and Isaac’s parked on the street. Two cars drove by, but neither of them were Gabriel. “Did he say he’d be late?”
Isaac shook his head. “Not to me. I have no idea where he is. I guess I could text him. If he’s on his way, he’s not going to reply though.”
“Well, I guess we can take that a good sign then, right?” Meredith walked back to the couch picking up her cell phone. She silently decided to reach out to their other friend despite Isaac volunteering to do it. Meredith typed something in the group chat between the three of them. She hit “send” and tossed her phone down onto the cushion.
“We should have stuck with live streaming,” she said.
Isaac snickered. “Live streaming is just as difficult. And we’re live so if any tech issues happen, we have to deal with it in front of an audience.”
“I know, I know… but I feel like sometimes setting up to record not live is more difficult.”
“This will be good in the long run. We try to live stream quite often and that requires all three of us to be on at once all the time. If we create a video series with different features and stuff, we can cut back on the live streaming,” Isaac explained. “I think it’ll be good for the channel because we’ll be able to have more freedom behind the camera if we record rather than being live. Plus, if we can’t live stream for some reason, we can upload a video so there’s still consistent content on the channel.”
Meredith nodded. She knew all that. They had a team meeting a few weeks ago and while it was Isaac’s idea, they mutually agreed it would be a great addition to the channel and help it grow further.
They were a gaming channel and they live streamed about three to four days a week. It was tiring and time consuming, but they had a lot of fun with it. They alternated someone being behind the computer and camera while the other two hosted the show and played a game.
They had decided they could do more with recorded videos. They could start a podcast-like show, maybe schedule guests on now and then, and they’d be able to have more gaming content other than them just playing games.
Would the viewers like it? They weren’t sure. The trio of friends wanted to create a decent backlog of videos before going live with the news. They were each busy with their own lives and it wouldn’t look good for any of them if they uploaded a video and then couldn’t find the time to get together to record the next video.
While they didn’t want to stop live streaming, they hoped to cut it back a little. College started in a month for all three of them and they knew they weren’t going to be able to live stream three to four days a week. They’d be happy if they were able to live stream just two days a week. They had already told their audience the schedule was changing soon and the live streams would get cut back a tad. However, the videos will be a nice surprise and will be uploaded on the other two days they normally live streamed but didn’t have the time to do anymore.
It would add a bit to the channel without taking anything away. Isaac especially hoped they’d be able to eventually upload a video daily and continue to live stream at least twice a week. Gabriel had agreed and while Meredith thought that would be a fun idea as well, she wasn’t so sure how realistic that’d be – at least, not anytime soon.
Meredith looked at her phone. Gabriel hadn’t replied yet. The recording studio on her computer still hadn’t updated, though it seemed as though it was almost done. Isaac had left the room to do something for the camera. She stood and looked outside the window again.
There was still no sign of Gabriel but that was alright. They clearly weren’t ready to begin anyway. She was nervous to begin school in a month. She and her friends had been live streaming for about a year now and they had a decent sized audience. They all enjoyed it and were happy to continue on with it through college and beyond. They had convinced themselves their internet video channel would kick off and they’d be rich and famous in no time. All of their parents, on the other hand, were all in agreement that their children should go to college for a backup plan. They were supportive with the videos and live streaming, yes, but they were afraid of the “what ifs” of life for their kids.
So, Meredith and her friends worked it out so college would work in their favor. They all got into the same school and scheduled their classes around one another as best they could. This way they could still maintain a steady recording and live streaming schedule.
Gabriel was attending college for business. He was a math whiz and academically the smartest out of the three of them. Knowing their channel may take off and pay for itself within a few years, Gabriel was the one who knew it would turn into a business. There would be budgeting, ad revenue for the channel, getting game review codes from developers, possibly merch down the road… he was ready to take on the challenge of being the business manager for their channel and Meredith and Isaac were both okay with that.
Isaac was attending college for marketing. He was always the best at social media and had no problem hyping the channel up to strangers on the street, family and friends in real life, or just shouting it into the void of the internet. He always did research on various social media platforms and had always looked for bigger and better ways to spread the word about their channel in the gaming industry. So, marketing seemed like the way to go for him. He’d learn new skills for it in college.
Meredith, on the other hand, was attending college for film making. She was the one who was the most tech savvy out of the three of them. She often got frustrated with the various tech issues they always had, but she knew that’s what happens when you have to buy cheaper equipment. Of course, they just needed something that worked and honestly, all their equipment worked great. It had been a year and (so far) nothing had blown up on them.
She wanted to learn more about film recording and video editing. She’d love to see what kind of equipment other people had and what her professors would recommend.
Thinking about college was nerve wracking for her. Meredith felt a bit better knowing that Isaac and Gabriel were in the same boat as her. She wanted to learn these new skills, despite doing a great job at teaching herself this past year. However, she wasn’t looking forward to the homework and the projects. She certainly didn’t want to sit in during a lecture either.
However, all their parents were nice enough to let them all take a year off after high school. None of them knew what they wanted to do and instead of wasting money on possibly useless classes, they took a year off to explore their options in the real world. Gabriel was the only one out of the three of them who had a job and when he came home from work one day, Meredith and Isaac had roped him into recording a video with them. From there, they decided to live stream and somehow, it kicked off and became a thing they did. It became their purpose.
Now it was going to become more than their purpose. It was to become their jobs.
Isaac had already sent out messages to their followers and subscribers as well as on social media that a new addition to the channel was coming, especially since their live streams were being cut back. They had a great audience. They were all kind to one another (yes, they were still pretty small) and they were supportive of the three of them going to college to hone their skills in the film industry. In fact, some people even donated money to them for the college. Meredith and the boys split the donations, as small as it was, evenly and put it toward their textbooks for their first semester.
Gabriel walked through the door breaking Meredith out of her thoughts. He let out a groan. “Sorry, I’m late. There was an issue at work and I couldn’t leave.”
Meredith smiled. “No worries, everything’s going downhill anyway. We can’t do anything. The recording studio is still updating and none of us thought to charge the camera from last time.”
Gabriel stared at her shocked for a brief moment and then let out a chuckle. “Ah, okay. So it’s going to be one of those days, I see… work was already annoying, so let’s get down to business with this thing.”
He took off his jacket, tossing it to the side, and sitting down on the couch beside Meredith. Isaac entered the room and gave a small wave to Gabriel. He leaned against the wall on the other side of the room and the three of them stared at each other for a moment.
“Do you think college will recommend any new programs for us to get so this doesn’t have to update all the time?” Meredith chuckled.
Gabriel grinned. “Well, my classes should teach me how to budget and stuff for a business so we can certainly start saving for a new program.”
“I’ll be able to market a fundraiser.” Isaac winked.
The three of them laughed.
Meredith didn’t want to go to school, no. She was nervous, yes. But there was a little part of her that was actually looking forward to it. She only hoped it will be as good as she thought it would be.