Video Editing and the Real World

One evening last week, as I drove my family into town for ice cream, I had the fleeting thought that the view I was enjoying out my window (sun settling towards the horizon, idyllic bay and rocky shore reflecting golden rays) was "overexposed" and needed to be adjusted. Yep, it had been a long day of video editing. 

Anyone who has worked much with images or videos on editing software has likely felt that empowered sense that the universe you've managed to capture with your camera is yours to command, or at least sharpen a bit and tone down the highlights. I've been struck that a quality as intangible as the "mood" of a scene can be changed drastically by a subtle shift in color, a cooling of the shadows, or a warming of mid-tones. Such power has its limits, though. I am confined to working entirely within the framework of the 8-second clip I am editing at the moment. I cannot create ex nihilo; I can only adjust an image that has already been captured. I can also, apparently, become overly philosophical about the process of cutting and pasting film clips together. 

Joshua and I spent part of the morning yesterday moving some tools and a workbench, and I commented that it felt good to be working with "real" things again. While it's true that I enjoy the process of putting a series of seemingly disjointed moving images together to tell a story, at the end of the day all I have to show for that work is the quick purr of the hard drive when I click "save". No pile of shavings in the corner, no finished set of shelves prepared to take a load of books, no crisply-chopped mortises. What we are hoping to do with the Apprenticeship "Foundations" video is to convey the weight, the beauty, the "realness" of working wood by hand through a medium of pixels and electrons. That is a fascinating challenge - and we hope you all enjoy the results!

-Mike Updegraff

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