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editing the project of a lifetime

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grinner hester
editing the project of a lifetime
on Dec 31, 2009 at 10:35:27 pm

literally.
Man am I blessed. My Dad purcahsed a Quazar VHS camcorder in '84 and I totally bogarted it. I still have it. Since that day, I have rolled more video than anyone I know and today I find myself sifting through hundreds of hours of golden footage.
I always wanted to make a movie of the story of my life. I think in my mind I saw actors and a production at some point... I just wanted to grow up to a point first. Today, in looking at these moments captured in first person, I see that the content of that movie has been shot.
It's my belief that the greatest invition of man is the camera. Every day is the greatest day of our lives but few of us know it... until looking at a picture of that day years later and then missing that day. I have the priceless treasure of my Mom and Dad on tape before moving on to the next life, shenanigans in my teen years, the meeting of my bride, and the birth of every one of my children.
It can be overwhelming to begin the sifting process on such a pile of footage. I can't double time any viewing because I will miss something said that means something big later. I have to sit and go through every frame in real time... or get to, I should say.
25 years of raw footage. Only 4 different cameras. A life's work.
awesome. I am the richest man I know today.
Happy New Year, pasture folk. Drink deep from the cup of life.




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Mark Suszko
Re: editing the project of a lifetime
on Dec 31, 2009 at 10:39:37 pm

I hope you get it all archived off the tapes before they degrade.
You knwo that sayign about people in emergencies, where their life flashes before their eyes? Now you can do that effect:-)


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grinner hester
Re: editing the project of a lifetime
on Jan 1, 2010 at 4:42:16 pm

It's taken over a year but I've gotten every thaid off to DVD and had to throw most of the tapes away. That was hard but oxide was all over the place. Audio is all I lost and that was only ina few small places.
Post is a monster on this project and that's why I posted it here.
I selectively digitized directly from the source it was shot on. IN the rare cases the tapes only offered one pass and were done, I simply went back to those DVDs I mentioned.
It took months to sift through all of that and from the clips I digitized, I created one bigass timeline... again going selectively from those clips I pulled in selectively. I had to keep going through that timeline subtractively as I waded through the next clip because the Avid will start boggin' down after more than a few hours is on a timeline. I tried to keep it less than 3 hours long at all times as I added more selects.
Today I have about a 3 hour rough cut. Biiiiig milestone with this project. I'm literally creating conversations from dialog from one your to the next year to tell a chronilogical story. I'll be damned if it aint workin' like I did years of pre-pro.
Some of the "predictions" in the fooptage are spooky spot on. I have footage of my wife and I on our wedding day. I finger painted our family to be on her belly and drew 2 boys and a girl. We spoke of where we'd be 20 years from then and stated I'd be a self-employed vidiot, she'd be a stay at home mom and we'd most likely be home schooling. Today we have two boys and a girl being home schooled by the world's greatest momma with a vidiot daddy pushin buttons n the next room. I could go on and on with examples of this. It's enough to let me know we all know where we are going deep down, weather we know we know it or not. ;)
Will keep ya posted as I wade. The hardest part is over. I just have to make a movie out of a 3 hour timeline now.



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Micah McDowell
Re: editing the project of a lifetime
on Jan 3, 2010 at 11:29:08 pm

Wow, that is pretty awesome to have that much video of your life thus far, and to have it actually make sense.

I went through some old family videos of my own the other day and I estimate that there's about 2 hours of footage total, of everything. The camera didn't get much use, to say the least. Of course, about half of the video is when someone would accidentally leave the camera running while walking around; it's quite vomit-inducing.


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Mark Suszko
Re: editing the project of a lifetime
on Jan 4, 2010 at 12:16:28 am

In my parent's day, life had to happen in 3.5 minute increments, the limit of a Kodak super-8 cartridge. Considering they were pretty expensive and processing took additional time and money they didn't have much of, what wound up being shot had to be pretty significant to our parents, and thus heavily posed or staged, relatively little candid stuff. Generally they tended to shoot as if composing a still shot, the motion limited to little nods and hand waves and nervous shifting of feet while standing as if pinned to the floor.:-) I think Grinner you were very lucky to have the camcorder available for you to "burn thru" a lot of cheap media; it means many more chances to capture unique stuff, candid stuff, just horsing-around stuff, which often turns out to be the best material for projects like yours anyhow.

I got a little access to camcorders about 85 or so, generally they were borrowed or rented, until I got one second-hand from a friend. I got some rough footage of my kids with my grandparents using that, before they passed, which I'm glad to have now because the kids were generally too young to remember much of them. Also shot a little bit of oral history with my mom at the kitchen table, which I really should go and update some time soon, but you know how that goes...

Anyway, I'm envious of what you got, and am glad you have the materials for what I know will be a very good project once you're done.




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Mike Cohen
Re: editing the project of a lifetime
on Jan 8, 2010 at 1:25:55 am

Grinner, that's an awesome treasure you are building, for you and your kids.
From 95 to 05 I captured lots of tape, bookended by my grandparents' 50th and 60th anniversaries, with cool videos for both events. Lots of fun and now great treasures.

A fun activity was digitzing the 50th anniversary video, cut on 3/4", and remastering it in Premiere before exporting for DVD. Not sure Grandma ever learned how to navigate the DVD menu, but she enjoyed watching that video over and over during her last few years.

Since they passed on, I have been harvesting brief snippets, to share with my extended family on Facebook or wherever. A little part of them lives on forever.

Mike Cohen






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