I have carried this “Janky Craftsman” skill set into my adulthood and applied it to various jobs and projects. It wasn’t until I was 25 that I came back to making videos. I had taken an 8 year hiatus so I could go to school for, try out, and eventually give up on a career as an actor. It’s not that I gave up because I wasn’t any good or I couldn’t get cast; it rather had to do with the fact that I liked having a greater hand at telling a story. Being a character in the story was only one slice of the pie. I wanted to be the baker. This is where video making came in. It, as many things do, began with small pet projects that I did when I wasn’t working at the restaurant (an actor working in a restaurant - what do you call a cliche of a cliche?). I was quite surprised to learn that, and bear in mind that this is 2005, all you needed to make a movie was a Macbook and a $300 camera. Macbooks - as they continue to do today - came with iMovie which is, for those of you who are PC users and/or live on Jupiter, a consumer-friendly video editing program.
My relationship with story telling - in tandem with a theater background and an inherently robust verbosity - went absolute bonkers when I cut my first movie in iMovie. The thrill of making something out of nothing and having the ability to construct a visual timeline of images that would communicate a story that Ithought of was just too thrilling. It was like a drug. I used to tell my co-worker Laura (who is now my wife) how I couldn’t wait to finish work so I could go home and edit. I taught myself pacing, L-cuts, expo, wide/close, dolly moves - all tricks of the trade from scratch. Well, I say “from scratch” - if you can call growing up watching countless hours of moving picture “scratch”. These skills were all impulses that came from my broken in ability to view moving pictures. If you look at raw footage of something you can almost snap at the very moment it feels like you should cut to a new shot. This comes from being accustomed to watching movies with good editors. We have an inherent affinity towards pacing and order of moving images. It’s like subj-verb-noun sentence structure that comes naturally to us with language. Usually if you see a shot of a house you know to expect that the next shot is going to be of an interior location somewhere in that house. Same thing with dialogue; you see someone talking and you can feel the impulse to want to see who is listening. We are all like the short kid trying to find a spot looking at the monkeys at the zoo; we want to see!