Around the Airport

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Who is Captain Love?

Is it this guy?
Who is Captain Love? Do you know? I do, and he’s pretty damn funny.
If you fly for a living, by now you’ve probably seen the videos titled, “Living the Dream.” Currently, there’s LTD Part I and Part II and I’ve written about both. Some things are funny in a slapstick way. Others are funny in a verbal way. And as Joe Pesci pointed out, some things have to be clarified in what way they’re funny. When it comes to the “Living the Dream” videos, they’re funny because of the fine-tuned description of aviation life displayed.
Acted out on screen, by Lego people, are the situations you once attempted to explain earlier in life but quit because nobody believed you. They say “misery loves company” and that’s what these videos do. Spend a few minutes on YouTube and you realize you’re not alone. You haven’t been imagining things; they’re real. And, given the choice to laugh or cry, most of us in aviation will laugh. The rest of us, those who were missed in Part I and Part II, are doomed to appear in “Living the Dream Part III.”
But who is Captain Love? I recently found out. Attempting to choose company over misery, a few weeks ago I decided talking to the creator of the videos might be fun. A few emails and a phone call later and all my questions were answered.
Who made the video? What inspired, him to do the work of creating it? And, what are the characters’ names? These are a few of the questions I asked. The answers to most of them are below.
First of all, it’s important to know Balroc12, as the creator of the LTD series is known to his viewers, is a seemingly normal, well-adjusted airline pilot trying to stay sane. Like I said earlier, we all have a choice. Balroc12 chose to laugh.
When asked about the inspiration for the original video, B12 (if he gets to make up names, so do I) said it came from a conversation with a friend. His buddy was going off on the guys who are always saying, “LIVING THE DREAM,” and the idea hit. He’d do a video about the moronic people and things seen at work. But, it was the reason why he did it I found funnier.
B12 has a small bucket list. Prior to March 2015, “make a video that goes viral” was on it. Earlier, attempting to mark that off his list, he made one about people who have that annoying whistle tone on their phones. It didn’t go so well. But, he kept looking for a subject and his career of choice provided it when his buddy went off.
From that point on, B12 did the rest; ideas, scripts, all the voice overs, set creation, lighting, stop motion, editing and more. Had you even thought about that? It’s amazing how much effort goes into a short stop motion video. “Living the Dream” took him around 35 hours. When it came to Part II, others pitched in with ideas, but that’s it.
Check out the photos of the sets created for the videos and you can’t help but be impressed. Printed on paper, glued or taped to cardboard, lit with soft light, and shot with a focus on depth of field, they produced something appearing much more elaborate. But again, look at the photos. It’s amazing what a creative person can do with so little. As for the equipment, the idea is much the same.
Using a Canon DSLR to capture the images, and free software to edit, B12 was able to make something very nice for very little. Few of the over 400,000 people who’ve seen the videos would believe it was made on a table in his house. That’s the beauty of a driven artist matched to open source programs and a good camera.
Having never been one to ask for autographs or other cheesy things like that, I did not ask B12 to say something to me in the different voices. But, I did ask one last thing, “What are the characters’ names?
Captain Love is the guy flipping out in his chair, and Brickheart is the pilot always bitching about the contract. The main character though is still somewhat nameless. Yet, the rules for script clarity demanded something so he currently goes by a call sign of “Frustrated Pilot.” Admittedly, B12 said he needs to come up with a better name but he’s already thinking about a third video. This one he hopes will address life at the regionals. Meanwhile, he’ll go on about his life at work work work work…

Notes and Links:
Free programs used in the making of the videos were Movie Maker, and Audacity for voice overs.
Although a few of B12's friends know it is him who made these videos, he didn't want me to publish his name or the name of the airline for which he works.  To me, that was understandable for many reasons so he gets B12 instead.

Click here to see Living The Dream
Click here to see Living The Dream Part II
Click here to see the Phone Whistle video that didn't go over so well.

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