I’ve recently begun contemplating the idea of making videos to showcase my artwork, creative process, and give little glimpses into my studio and life…. simply because I find it fascinating to watch the videos highlighting other artists at work.
Of course, being the star of a video adds an additional pressure to entertain people along with getting work done. :P
Once upon a time, YouTube would have been a fertile paradise for me to explore the world of amateur filmmaking.
I was eight years old when my father purchased a video camcorder for my birthday, because I was always begging him to let me use his expensive film equipment.
He had everything a young director could wish for…. fuzzy microphones on stands, a large stop-motion film camera, recording and sound editing machines…. *sigh*
But he pacified me with a hand-held, portable camcorder that shot in black-and-white and recorded onto inserted tapes.
When my friends and relatives visited, I would persuade them to dress up and act out my original scripts.
Lacking human actors, I would direct my stuffed animals in fully staged Broadway musicals…
I costumed them in dolls’ clothes, created sets from cardboard and furniture, played the cassette soundtrack, and did all the voice-overs myself.
These videos were embarrassingly cheesy, and fortunately they were recorded onto very old Beta tapes that no longer exist. *wink*
Just imagine… if YouTube existed in 1988… those horrid videos would be haunting me to this day.
Of course, I might have become a famous Hollywood director at thirteen.
Even as a teenager bitten by the acting bug, I was “impatient for display”, as Ms. Austen would observe.
Woe to anyone surfing YouTube, if I had only known, or they might have happened upon my melodramatic attempts at Wilde or Beckett.
But I didn’t have the forethought to post videos of myself all over the internet in the mid-’90s… or I might be starring in a daytime soap opera by now… or making oodles of money selling artwork, like Jasmine Becket-Griffith – who, at eighteen, was savvy enough to jump onto the eBay bandwagon before it left the station.
No, rather I began my web-adventures playing FurryMUCK (don’t ask) and developing a website devoted to haunted toilets.
And YouTube? What in the heck was that?
I vaguely recall my impression upon hearing the site mentioned for the first time:
It stuck me as a forbidden, voyeuristic place where people uploaded naughty things, hoping for their 5 minutes of fame before the moderators shut their videos down.
Even the name itself sounds… wrong… dirty somehow. ;)
Oddly, I no longer have the desire to stand in front of the camera for very long, much less record myself actually reciting anything… and who would listen, I dare ask?
Yet every morning, without fail, I am bombarded with marketing e-mails touting YouTube as the godsend for artists to expose their work to the masses…
And anyone stubbornly ignoring the potential impact videos have to reach wider audiences?
Well, they might as well shoot their careers straight through the heart and end their misery.
So Thursday night I stuck my toes in the water, and created a short video clip of my Regency cat portraits – using a free program called Windows Live Movie Maker, that I didn’t even realize we owned, until I needed to edit some video of the kids’ trip to the park.
We’ve also been the proud owners of a camcorder for over two years… and we have a webcam… *and* there’s a video camera installed on both our cellphones.
Do I have any legitimate excuse for not shooting more videos? Hmmmm?
Apparently I’m behind the curve… reacting to trends rather than forging new territory.
I always seem to embrace an idea 10 years after it becomes unpopular… like those Spandex leggings and oversized sweaters I wore throughout high-school, à la Flashdance.
Except I graduated in 1998, not 1988. ;)
Strangely though, I’m okay with that. I might not be business-smart and savvy, quick to spot an opportunity, and ready to throw myself into every spotlight.
I’ll embrace my shy, quirky adult nature.
And I’ll embrace that nineteen year old computer nerd who coded a website in tribute to “The Ghost of the Pot Roast”.
And I’ll embrace the fifteen year old girl who wore too much make-up, tried to cut her own hair, and moussed her chopped bangs until they stood straight up in spikes.
I’ll embrace that eight-year-old child who videotaped a stuffed cat singing “Surrey with the Fringe On Top” in Gordon McRae’s voice.
Because, honestly, if that isn’t entertainment… I don’t know what is. ;)