I am right now (in between other, more decisively-deadlined jobs) hard at work on the next episode of “The Game OverThinker.” It MIGHT take a little longer than I wanted it to take, read below to learn why…
Every episode of “Game OverThinker” from the beginning until right now have been made entirely using two programs – one for manipulating images, one for arranging and editing video files – made by the same Very Famous Software Company. I won’t use their name here because it’s still slightly plausible that the problem might be my doing (not looking likely), but let’s just say they are Very Famous and are named after a type of building material.
I’ve spent about a full week (in total hours) shooting footage and building FX for the ending sequence of this next TGO episode (the middle part I’m doing last so everyone can get their “Ask Ivan” questions in) and have managed to finally this afternoon cut it together into proper format. It’s a complicated sequence – one actor playing about a dozen characters via greenscreen with a lot of effects and sound elements – but also a short one, not even five minutes in length.
The “Media Encoder” that Very Famous Software Company’s video-editing software allows as it’s SOLE option for exporting those elements as one solid video file refuses to complete that task – constantly crashing a few seconds through the timeline with no available description of what’s causing the crash or what can be done to fix it. My assumption is “too many elements,” but A.) I cannot be certain because this is apparently 1983 where it’s still “okay” for software to give error messages with no troubleshooting and B.) for the amount of fucking money these programs cost (seriously, figure out who I’m talking about and look up how much they ask for their products) this should NOT be an issue… especially for less than five minutes of footage not even in HD.
Now, normally, this is something you’d fix by calling a customer service person. Oh! But, you see, Very Famous Software Company doesn’t have reps available “overnight” (because, as we all know, if people with jobs that involve the use of high-end video-editing software are known for anything it’s for keeping reliable 9 to 5 business hours) …or even in the evening. Or even on weekends. Apparently I can order a Domino’s pizza at 2am but I can’t get service for a product I’m paying… egh. You get the idea.
SO! After many hours of self-research (because, y’know, no customer service whatsoever) it seems that a seperate “effects specific” product ALSO made by Very Famous Software Company might handle this sort of project better AND I can just pop the “raw” timeline from it’s current place into THAT with little difficult. Okay, cool… granted, it’s another HUGE chunk of change and there’s no garauntee this is going to fix the problem (sure would be nice to talk to a fucking customer service person about that, huh!?,) but it’s something…
Wait! Wait! Very Famous Software Company knows their products are expensive, so they graciously offer downloads for FREE TRIALS on their website! Well, that’s good news! So I go to download it, and instead of just downloading immediately via that little “do you want to download ______?” window like every other website on the fucking planet it instead asks me to install Very Famous Software Company’s PROPRIETARY downloading service (which requires a login ID) onto my system. Of course it does, it’s Very Famous Software Company. So I download the proprietary service that I need to download the free trial… and it won’t work. Error message after error message. There is nothing wrong with my internet service. More error messages.
I have other priorities to get to at that point, so I set about those while periodically trying to make this proprietary downloading service work. Several hours later, my work is done and the download service still doesn’t work.
But wait! There’s another option! Very Famous Software Company offers a “Cloud” service whereby you pay a monthly fee and get to use various versions of their products… which includes the trial you’ve been trying to download! Hurray! And there’s even a free trial of the “Cloud” service itself – double hurray!
…except once I’ve signed up for the “Cloud” trial, I don’t see the option on it’s “Apps Menu” for the product I signed up to gain access to. It turns out that the “free” trial of the product I signed up for is ONLY available through the paid version of the “Cloud” service. Of course it is. It’s Very Famous Software Company.
I’m angry at this point. Like, Incredible Hulk angry. My Twitter looks like the private diary of an intern for the Romney campaign. Just burning up with hatred for Very Famous Software Company, their products, my inarguable professional need to keep using their products and most of all for the fact that once again something I was actually really enjoying doing (I honestly love doing what I do on this show, and this sequence was coming together spectacularly) has now been drained of it’s joy and may even need to be scrapped altogether because of all this. I work hard on this stuff, and the parts of it that are fun are often the ONLY fun I really get for days on end.
So… fine, fuck it. It’s only money. I sign up for a month’s worth of paid “Cloud” service. The level I paid at lets me have full access to ONE product. I pick the one I came looking for a 4th of a DAY ago. They process the transaction. It goes through. The “order summary” pops up with a big button for “DOWNLOAD.” I click it…
…”DOWNLOAD” takes me back to that same useless “Apps” menu on the “Cloud” service. The option that I’m looking for, that’ve now paid them to let me use for a MONTH… is not there. I sign out. I refresh. I sign back in. Try again. No change. My account, billing summary, email reciepts, etc show that I paid to be able to download this and it’s not letting me download it.
And there’s NOTHING I can do about that tonight. Or tomorrow. Or until Monday. Even though that means two days out of 30 that I’ve paid for will now be wasted.
Because I can’t call their service line and ask why I am not able to access and use this product because Very Famous Software Company cannot be bothered to have a customer service line available on evenings or weekends.
Because, apparently, it is acceptable for a software company that operates a Cloud-based download management service that caters specifically to people who need constant, ready access to products and material to run their customer service on fucking BANKER’S HOURS. …Oh! Except that term is no longer accurate, because I can call my bank 24 hours a FUCKING day.
The sun is about to come up here, and I’m fucking done for the night. The lone “upside” to this nightmare is that this is, fortunately, NOT happening to a show/project with a contractual deadline – if it was, I’d be losing my mind for real right now.
I’m telling myself it might just be some kind of service delay and I’ll be able to access it tomorrow, but I know that’s bullshit. I know I’m going to spend monday morning/afternoon on the phone with Very Famous Software Company working this out, either getting the trial that I paid for actually downloaded or at least getting my money back… money which will then go into the fund for the many, many hundreds of dollars I’ll be spending to buy either a better computer (who knows, maybe this heap just isn’t “strong enough” to render that biiiiiig scaaaaaary 4 1/2 minutes of video!) or to buy the full version of this Very Famous Software Company’s “Effects” program because apparently it’ll help and I’ll be damned if all this work I’ve already done go to waste.