Friday, March 11, 2005

eulogy for a videographer

I've been asked recently about my involvement in the video industry (or lack thereof). And considering that I spent a significant portion of my life studying telecommunications at the university level and working at the professional level, it's a fair question... Yet I find myself having to admit that much of this part of me has died over the last couple of years.

Actually, ironically, the dream-oriented and creative part of me seems to be as alive as it’s ever been. Perhaps even more so. For one thing, I find that creativity is a vital component of church leadership. Furthermore, I love to express my creativity and artistry in alternative ways (deze blog, bijvoorbeeld). Sometimes, something comes up like a writing project or even a video project-- and I find myself excited to play a meaningful role. However, I think the part of me that I’ve let die is my membership in that video technology culture. I don’t continue to read the latest journals. I don’t keep up on the latest stuff being put out by Sony, Panasonic, JVC, etc. Even when I was in that culture, it wasn’t the technology that drove me (I would always hate it when video guys would size each other up based on what kind of camera package they were working with). I was in it for the art… the creative expression. The time in my video career that I was most happy and most satisfied was when I was shooting on a crappy 8mm consumer-quality handheld camera and editing in a simple A/B roll editing suite (no effects, no bells and whistles, just simple cutting). And there’s just a part of that culture that doesn’t accept such “mediocrity.” You’re kind of made to feel ashamed if you don’t keep up on all the latest information. I just didn’t have the heart or the time to give to that culture. So when I made the decision to step out of that culture (a year before moving to Amsterdam), I knew that a part of me was dying. Since, I’ve become a dinosaur. Technology changes so quickly and opinions by professionals are so strong that I just cannot keep up… at least not at this stage of my life. But I’m actually glad to resign myself to this death as a video professional.

So now, when it comes to videography, I’m not up for jawing about the latest industry trends or ogling at fancy state-of-the-art equipment. It’s become like a foreign language again to hear someone saying, “Dude, have you seen the new Panasonic XX-1234? I’m so stoked about the future of HD technology. It’s wicked cool.” But I am up for involvement in the creative process, for blending technique and thought, and for living out artistic expression through development of the church and through re-discovering myself as a writer.

The videographer in me wouldn't ever want to rule out the possibility of a resurrection, but for now he's content to nap in the grave.


At 1:03 AM, Anonymous Slack said...

Do you remember the first video you ever shot on a "crappy 8mm consumer-quality handheld camera"?

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Eric Asp said...

The first video I ever made was a piece for my TCOM 360 (Video Production I) class at BGSU: a short "mood piece" about my beloved car, a decrepit 1985 Chevette that was affectionately dubbed the "Cherry Bomb." I used composer Aaron Copeland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" as the background music for the video and edited to the music with all these various cut-aways of the car. It was a pretty funny video, staged as if I was trying to establish this grandiose vision of my pathetic car... It wasn't a bad first effort at video production, if I do say so myself.

The instructor for the course, however, didn't get my attempts at humor and chose a more semantic rendering of the quality of my work: B-minus. Said the professor on the grading sheet, "It's really not that nice of a car!"


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