There are no rules here

Film school is dead

If one could go to film school, and learn exactly how to do it, everyone would. This is absolutely and positively the best job ever. But that’s not how it works. This is a creative space, filled with abstract ideas and undefined processes. An entire world, where you can do anything you want.


I lit this scene in 15 seconds

You can watch hours of videos, waste thousands of dollars “learning” about how to properly light a scene. Or you could get right into it and figure out that this shot looks bad on your camera and spend a few minutes playing around with lights. Clearly, I’ve never been to film school. I think the closest I’ve come is watching a video by another YouTuber who also, hasn’t been to film school. Consequently, I do it all wrong. I rarely take time to set up lights so I can marvel at how great the white wall behind me looks. I never bother with recording background audio so I can spend hours in Adobe Audition, studying waveforms. I don’t know how to make videos, but I make anyway.

I don’t know how, but whatever

Inventive spelling is a technique used to encourage young kids to use words to express themselves they may not know how to spell. Riting lik dis is ok. People get the impression that new media is much easier to succeed in. WRONG. Entry is easy. You just create an account and agree to more legalese than forms the U.S. There are no agents or moving to Hollywood. Just pure, unbridled creativity. And in a space of more than a million competitors, standing out is hard. If you educate 2 people how to create a video the same way, how you decide which to watch. Because in a world where we yell at microwaves, you don’t have time to watch both. If you educate the masses how to make a video, why would I watch any one of them in particular?

I subscribe to this idea of inventive living. Like how I thought myself to edit in this train wreck of a piece of software, I thought myself all about computers. My curiosity for these binary creatures spiked at the launch of Windows 7: the saving grace for windows. I didn’t care that it supposedly worked 20 times better with printers than it’s predecessor. My sole interest was in the 1000 features they added. Every one of them a treasure hidden deep, some deeper than others, in the start menu. I made sure to fined each and every one. I studied every one of them, memorized every single button, and took note of the ones that didn’t properly adhere to the new design principles. A few months later, I had set up so many features that the poor thing with it’s 3GB of RAM just broke. I mainly attribute the memory leakage to the brand new Windows voice engine that on launch, didn’t properly release its resources after executing a command. After, you had issued about 100 commands, the system would overload, RAM would quickly fill up, until the system would crash. One day, it didn’t recover. Dad told me I shouldn’t have played with it like it’s not meant to. I didn’t know what that meant, so I treated it as an opportunity to learn how to reinstall Windows. The first of many times to come.

I’m writing this on my freshly reformatted desktop

That same curiosity for learning new things has followed me forever. I taught myself Scratch, Python, PowerPoint, Photoshop, and then: Sony Vegas. This was right after I had build my first gaming PC, also taught myself. Naturally, without a camera, I recorded some gameplay and tried editing that. That was a bad scene. But slowly, things took off. I developed my own personality. A new persona, told through jump cuts, short cuts, over cuts, hard cuts, and cuts that bring this sentence to an end. My favorite technique was how I would insert a half-second clip of television static whenever a thought was coming to a screeching halt. We then skip the part about switching to Adobe Premiere as to avoid a rant about After FX and it’s non-linear usage.

Then, a YouTube channel was born. Another set of 25 distinguish digits going to battle against all odds. But despite about a month of forethought, and hours of previously acquired experience in Premiere, my first video sucked. It’s understandable for stuttered speech to be present. If you don’t believe me, distract yourself from write a negative comment down below by finding the videotape of your First Grade presentation. The first 5 minutes of that video were just all my excuses for why that video would suck. Which, in retrospect, is just irony because that preamble was the only thing in that video that was boring.


Follow Charles Pickering on Instagram @pretzeltech and add him on snapchat: charlespick

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