Saturday, May 23, 2009

Telling Grandpa Ernie's Story

Not long before my Grandpa Ernie passed away, my brother Greg had the good sense to sit down and talk to him with a video camera rolling. I've never watched it, but my parents burned a DVD of it for me this Christmas. I'm looking forward to seeing it, I just haven't had the time to clear a space where I could really watch and listen to it with the attention it deserves.

The picture on the right is from his wedding day. It strikes me as odd that I have no idea what day or year their wedding was (1940? 41? 42?) or where it was they married. It was in spring or summer I'd guess by my Grandpa's outfit here and the lushness of the trees across whatever body of water he's using as a backdrop.

I plan on taking this DVD of my Grandpa that Greg shot and editing it down to a 10 or 15 minute documentary. Ideally I'd refine and shape a story by gently editing (see Studs Terkel on the fine art of the interviewing edit) and adding some complimentary footage--photographs, super-8 and maybe my own narrative and video additions. Might be a good test for Final Cut Express. I have it, but I'm afraid to take a look under its hood. It's a potential Pandora's Box, I tell you!

I realize, too, that I keep talking all this personal documentary smack and have yet to produce one since the Obama documentary. I have a good as an excuse as any with Megan's arrival, though I don't think it would be setting my sights too high if I tried to complete 3 of them before summers end.

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