Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Super Blah Sunday

Wow! No posts in nearly a month.

Worry not. I'm still alive and have managed to survive the crash and burn of my once-mighty Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl. In fact, I celebrated the occasion -- I mean, the occasion of their APPEARANCE in the big game, not their shocking and disgraceful performance IN it -- by allowing the crazy woman who cuts my hair the opportunity to exercise her creativity:

And while the Bears' almost comic ineptitude was reminiscent of the "Upper Class Twit of the Year Competition" on Monty Python's Flying Circus, I still wear my Chicago "C" logo proudly, because the Bears are competitive with the best teams in football (rarely the case in the past) and I have faith that the team's management will actually correctly identify the Bears' problem areas and fix them, as opposed to prior management's usual approach, which often has been to open the door of the clown car and pluck out the most unpromising of the clowns that tumble out.

Okay, enough sports. While my hair stylist is flexing her creativity with dye and hair clippers, I'm using my cleverity (all six atoms) and creativity (maybe up to double-digit atoms) on my video editing course. I finished the first of the three course projects last week -- a re-editing of an action sequence in the old TV series "Gunsmoke." And I do mean OLD. The clips we're using are from the early black-and-white days, and feature Dennis Weaver as "Chester." That's before MY time even, so you KNOW they're old.

All twelve or so people in the class have the same assignment: use about 15 minutes of rough takes to create a tightly paced sequence with good flow and good continuity. It's been interesting to see how everyone's approach to the same source material has been a little bit different. There are a lot of parallels between music composition and film editing. You must work to find the right rhythm, pacing, emotion, and determine the most important elements and then figure out how to emphasize them while maintaining a pleasing balance. And also like any artistic pursuit, film editing is incredibly time consuming. The "Gunsmoke" sequence is an amalgam of probably 10 takes of varying quality. My final sequence is just shy of three minutes, and it took probably five hours of niggling around to get it there. I cannon IMAGINE how much time must be involved in editing something like the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Months and months of work by dozens of people, I'm sure.

I'm unlikely to post the results of the "Gunsmoke" exercise because I can't imagine anyone being interested in it. But the next project, if it turns out well, might be worth a You Tube distribution. We'll see!


Eric said...

O.K., why aren't you writing about sports for a living ? You are a good writer, you actually have a sense of humor about it (sorely missing in so many - hello Jay Marrioti) & you enjoy it. And not just football, but I have also heard you comment intelligently on baseball, basketball, bicycling & even Olympic skating, (although maybe you were making lewd remarks about various female skaters). Just a thought. Me, I only liked watching Prince play at half time.

Andrew said...

Thanks for the kind words, Eric, but I think I'd rather clean out public lavatories than be a sports writer. For the glamour of a by line, you get lots of travel, low pay, grueling deadlines and have to put up with a bunch of guys who think they are God's gift to the world yet perform no useful function in it. No thank you.

I agree with your "Moronoti" views, though. I rarely read the actual sports columnists (Marrioti in the Sun Times, Morrisey in the Tribune, etc.) because their purpose is to stir up controversy and get people talking. Fine as far as it goes but not very illuminating. I prefer the beat writers (David Haugh and Don Pierson in the Tribune particularly) as they provide relatively clear-eyed analysis without the muck-raking.

Anonymous said...

It's been about six months or so since you last post. What's the deal ?