Videoing Writing

Posted on April 16, 2012

It took me just under an hour to write 2 minutes of voice over for the introduction of a video piece I’m working on.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my own process, especially in terms of the solitary academic tasks of reading and writing.  I’ve been trying to think how to link them more with the satisfyingly embodied experience of my filmmaking art practice.  When I’m up and shooting, I don’t get tired or lose focus.  But when I sit and read and write, it’s easy to drift and lapse into habits of procrastination and distraction.
So I felt compelled today to pull my video camera out, to put on a wireless lapel microphone, and to document myself writing this little piece of text.  I tried not to think about how this would be the most boring piece of video ever recorded.  Tried not to think about what the point of it was and if it would be worth the disk space required to shoot it and store it.  I just setup the shot, turned it on, sat down and did my writing.  And in a way, I think it worked.  Some part of myself knew it was a performance, and I could let the distractable part of my brain inhabit that space, so that the thinking writing part could stay focused on the task.

It also motivated me to read back what I had written outloud, to feel less silly doing that, and to really pare my words down to the essentials.  This was particularly necessary since I was writing voice over, but I find that to be a helpful practice whenever I want to write clearly and succinctly.  So all the time.

But what do I do with the video?  I have a phobia against erasing anything.  Once a piece of data exists, I’m loath to annihilate it.  It’s an extension of me now, a new body of my body that has the potential to live forever.  So I guess I’ll just let it live here for now.  Why not?

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