Personal Technology Video

Passion Part 1

Prompt: Write about something you are passionate about that people don’t know.

This is a tough one, I generally don’t shy away from my passions. You can just take a gander at my Instagram story to see all the way-too-technical that goes on there.

I mean honestly when something becomes an interest it usually doesn’t stay hidden, I want to share it like a little kid talking about Pokémon to their parents. A bit of a confusing metaphor. Let me break it down. The little kid was me, Pokémon was Pokémon, and the parents were my parents. So, a bit of a stretch, sure, but you get the point.

One issue I have, in general, and have been unable to square is that there is so much I find interesting. I constantly feel like I’m being pulled in ten different directions. I am interested in *all* of it, and I want to take the time to explore it all deeply. Therein lies the dispute. There is a finite amount of time in each day and saying I overcommit may be taking some liberty with the word.

I think I’ve mentioned this before on this cursed website, but If I haven’t let’s retread. When I was a kid, I loved one thing above everything else, and that was video games. From the first day I picked up an NES controller, I was hooked. Well, that was the second thing I loved, the first was oddly enough, vacuum cleaners. That’s a story for a different time. Anyway, one day my dad brought home his work laptop (one I currently own again, but I’m so easily sidetracked as it is) and offhandedly mentioned that my precious NES was also a computer. Now, I don’t know what I thought a video game console was, but I didn’t even consider it was just a specialized computer. Once I learned that, I was like, oh computers are the best things ever and I should dedicate the rest of my life to figuring them out. Here is the really nasty bit, too, you know all those little worksheets and stuff you did as a kid that was like “What do you want to be when you grow up?” (Pernicious capitalism!) Well, mine were all answered either computer engineer and/or computer programmer, and that’s what I am. I have the documents to prove it, too. My sister was the same way, too, but with becoming a veterinarian. What kind of freak kids just answer those things and do not deviate from them. Honestly and truly disgusting.

Computers have been the genesis of a lot of secondary and tertiary interests; sometimes in, offbeat ways. I always liked the idea of making movies. I don’t know exactly what spawned that beyond watching a lot of TV and movies as a kid. I have some great examples of this still saved, and If I ever devote the time and get over my perfectionism, I will show them off. However, I sort of abandoned really pursing it until one of my older cousins started playing around with video production and editing. He showed off a movie he made that was a loose retelling of some Christian stories with a Star Wars motif. Cringy, of course, but I remember with absolute clarity when he said he edited in all the special effects on his computer. I was just blown away. I knew you could smash together clips on a personal computer and what not, but not this sort of this, not without some seriously expensive equipment. He just had a normal PC equipped with a FireWire port and a DV camera. I probably was the absolute most annoying person to be around after that because I wanted to know like everything about how he did it. What program did you use? How did you make the light sabers? How did you get the video into the computer? Did you need a special card or processor?

He was, sadly, vague at best, and I was mad about it. I wanted to know how to do this. It was probably possible to find resources online at the time to figure it out, but speeds and technology were still too rudimentary to give a thorough lesson. That’s what I needed. So, I sat there for years. Trying and, for the most part, failing to piece together information on how to digitally edit videos. It wasn’t until I got to high school, and, oddly enough, Japanese class. We had a video project to enforce our Japanese grammar. Essentially, we had to make a video showcasing our new grammar skills in a skit like format. Well, we could at least have fun with it right? A detail that is important in this, too, was I was in the process of making new friends. You, see I went to Catholic school from K-8, and now I was at the big public high school. Half my class was at a whole different high school, and I was determined to meet some new people. I love making friends, as absolutely cheesy as that sounds. Anyway, these very cool new people I met were in Japanese class, and we had this video project. I wanted to impress, I needed to impress. I didn’t have a MiniDV camera or even a way to capture it, one of the people in our group however did, and he was going to let me borrow it. I had to go out and buy a FireWire card, and I still couldn’t get it working. I ended up buying a way to capture it using analog composite (the little yellow, red, white plugs). Still! I had it in my computer and a pirated copy of Adobe Premiere on my Pentium III. I sat there and figured out how to edit, just purely by making mistakes and trying all the tools. I barely got it finished. I was up all night, but I was *so* proud of that. I’m embedding it below just to show what I was working with.

Watch at your own peril

Check the date on that video. Real old people hours. It’s gotten copyright stricken so many times, so I have no idea if any of the audio is even there anymore. I did use a lot of copyrighted music to be fair. I miss the days you could do that before the corporations got involved.

I kept re-watching it and showing it to everyone I knew. Coincidentally, I was looking for a way to easily show this to people without having to carry around a VHS tape. A new website called YouTube was starting to get some traction, and so I made an account and uploaded my first video. This was the start of a yearly tradition. I craved these video projects. It was my favorite thing to do, fuck around with my friends and spend countless hours and sleepless nights deep in the timeline. Editing is and was meditative. A movie is not made on set, a movie is made in the edit. I kept improving my skills. Getting a truly digital setup and learning how to do tricks and techniques. If you can’t tell with me gushing about this, it’s one of the things I enjoy so incredibly much, and almost never get to do it. Most of my video production has switched to live streaming, which was a result of hosting more events, the pandemic, and trying to always produce more with less. My setup is a bit absurd. But it is not the same as editing. I still want and need to do more of it.

Obviously, I wrote a little too much on this, so a part 2 is incoming. I tried to tell you I have a lot of things I’m passionate about.