Total Fail in Editing

By: Erik Lewis

Growing up my parents always pushed me to excel in athletics. The season determined what sport I was playing at any particular moment. I played on three sports teams for Damien High School: football, soccer, and baseball. Participating on these different teams required a lot of my time as I would constantly be at practice or in the weight room in order to enhance my ability. For this reason I had developed very little knowledge about technology and especially video editing. This began to change my junior year in high school as social media became an everyday use, and I was assigned to a group project in English class that would change my relationship with video editing. During this year I finally became active in social media as I decided to make the jump from MySpace to Facebook. My connection with MySpace was strictly to stay updated with friends as I would not upload any photos or change my background in order to make my profile unique. This was something that I never got involved with because I did not have the time or interest in media at this point in my life.

I joined Facebook because my sister came home from college ranting about how much better it was than MySpace. She told me, “MySpace is a thing in the past. Facebook is the next big thing.” After initially messing around with Facebook I could not agree more with her statement. Once I was connected to the Facebook world I actually learned how to upload and edit pictures using Photoshop. This was something that I always viewed girls doing when they would hang out. I did not realize that I was engaging in media production with a friendship driven participation.

The group project that I was assigned to consisted of three other football teammates. Trevor, Tre, Nick, and I had to create a video that would entertain the class for about ten minutes. Our defensive coordinator was the teacher of the class and grouped all of the football players together to see what we could come up with. Between the four of us nobody had any particular interest or relationship with video editing, but Nick’s father had a passion for editing videos. Chris, Nick’s father, was known for yelling at Nick religiously as he has an extremely short fuse. Although it was intimidating to work with Chris we knew his assistance was needed in order to successfully complete our video project. Chris, would always create a highlight video for baseball after every season for the team to view at the end of the year banquet. Luckily for us, Chris agreed to help us out once we completed the filming and agreed on what we wanted the video to look like.

Damien is a private high school that is made up of all boys. We have two sister schools that are nearby which makes football games a big deal. Every Friday night students and parents who support any of the three schools come out to Damien and cheer on the Spartans. Playing in front of 1,000–3,000 fans depending on the opponent was the most exciting thing I was able to do in high school. We all shared this feeling every Friday night when we got to run onto the field and play in front of the other students. I specifically remember what it was like to run off the field and look into ‘The Pit’ and wave at my friends while checking to see if I could find any attractive girls that I could try and talk to after games. Our group decided to make a video on what it was like from the player’s perspective of a game from warming up to all the locker room antics that partake on game day. We took videos of us suiting up for the game, taking film from actual games, and went through the aftermath of what a locker room looks like after a win.

Once we had all of the filming complete we went over to Nick’s house to edit the video a week before it was due. This was when we hit our biggest problem with the project: video editing. Chris had his own office at home where he would create all of his videos. He used an Adobe application in order to edit everything that he put together. Within the first fifteen minutes of Chris showing us the basic functions and edits we got yelled at three times for not paying attention. We figured that it would be easier to play around with it rather than listening to his tutorial. This was a huge part of why we had a problem figuring out how to do basic steps in editing our video. Chris ended up getting so frustrated with us that he left us alone with his computer to figure it out. Just adding background music took us an hour to figure out because we had to look it up online and go step by step with YouTube videos.

We worked on editing this video for four hours everyday for a week. When we finally showed Chris what we had come up with he laughed in our faces. Once Chris saw that we had put forth an honest effort he took us back upstairs and fixed up our video. After Chris worked on the video for thirty minutes it looked completely different. The video was exactly what we wanted and it had taken him only thirty minutes. All of the cuts were clear and matched up with the music. Chris then went on to explain how he changed it and demonstrated how he made the step-by-step process. At that moment I realized how out of touch I was with technology, and especially with dealing with creative productions. I realized my interest was not with technology but belonged outside playing sports. In my youth I was always told by parents to go outside and play instead of secluding myself inside and messing around on the computer. I believe that this is part of the reason why I am not technologically savvy today. I was not given the opportunity to mess around with computers and video editing at a young age, which probably explains why I am not educated on this topic today.

I agree with the book HOMAGO on certain topics, and especially when it suggests that youth who tend to have technology around while growing up are more likely to become involved with and master certain applications like creative production. But HOMAGO’s examples always seem to end with a happy ending, featuring a particular person that would already be involved with technology at a young age and have knowledgeable adults guiding their success. I don’t identify with these examples, since in my own life interactions with technology never seemed to go over smoothly. Although I may be an outlier amongst our supposedly technology savvy generation, this chapter showed me that even editing a picture is a gateway to creative production, and people engage in these creative tasks without even realizing the skills they acquire.

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