Sunday, May 23, 2004

There Will Come Soft Rains

Or really angry ones! The past couple weeks of weather here in Chicago have been ferocious reminders of just how atmospherically volatile this time of year can be in the Midwest. Numerous tornado touchdowns, wind gusts of over 50 mph, hail (on Friday, chiclet-sized tidbits of hail battered my work window). The kind of volatile where one day it’s 55 with a cold north-eastern wind blowing across Lake Michigan and the next day it’s 85 and humid. I forgot about that humidity and its murkiness. And thunderstorms. We experienced one, maybe two a year in the Bay area and the next day everybody was talking about it, excitedly asking, "Hear that thunder last night?" These past two weeks have been all about thunder and lightning, the ensuing deluge that we’ve all agreed to call “buckets of rain,” the fallen tree limbs and twigs- the violent quickness of it all. We’ve enjoyed all of this tempestuousness and more over these past couple of weeks.

Weather aside, I plan on launching my Summer video project sometime today. Still not entirely sure what the end result is going to be, but I’m leaning toward making some kind of video essay. I’m hoping to explore a few things- community, home, nostalgia and, most importantly, Summer. All in roughly 30 to 45 minutes. It's all terribly hazy, but I'm excited nevertheless. Mostly I’m just looking for a way to have fun with a video camera and iMovie. Back in high school and early college we created a fairly hefty collection of goofy video skits. Our running joke was that someday we’d edit these together into something cleaner, less sprawling and more thematic then the unwieldy collage we then had. But we never did seeing as for a long time the only editing tools we had to work with would have been a couple VHS players. But now over a decade has passed and suddenly there’s this easy to use technology on our computer and it can make all these half-assed ideas I’ve harbored into something tangible. I like the idea of incorporating other media into this project too- clips of those goofy high school skits, for example, and old family super 8 footage, scanned photographs, interviews with family and friends. I don’t know, it’s pretty wide open right now and I’m a little giddy with the possibility. The trick with this sort of thing is to make sure and keep the reigns pulled tight so as to only do what I can realistically hope to accomplish. A big step in the right direction is to begin using the tripod we own to steady most of the shots.

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