Student Reflection – A Golden Age (2.2)

By Ron Macdon

For the final project of Issues in Composition, we had to make a video project incorporating textual, audio, and visual stimulants. The video as a whole is about friendships and, at times, love. I was mainly concerned with how people meet each other and how relationships between different people start out. Overall, I think it turned out pretty good: the piece is, at times, aesthetic in the context of visual and audio and I think it also has a clear sense of purpose.

I started looking on Youtube for different ideas, and I came across Post Secret’s Fifty People One Question video. Immediately, I thought that the video was doable and interesting so I decided to go along with this idea. Instead of asking random strangers, I decided to ask my friends. Instead of one question, I actually asked them a couple: “Who is the person you’re standing next to? Describe the first time you met each other and what were your first impressions. What is something you always wanted to say to each other?” What intrigues me the most is the idea that most, if not all, human relationships hinge around this critical moment of meeting, whether it is an actual formal meeting or a meeting of chance. I guess I wanted to capture this idea not only for the audience but for the interviewees themselves, to give them a chance to look back on their friendship/relationship with people and examine it.

The biggest challenge with this video was mostly in the editing stage. I really wanted to have the video presented with this sort of indie, homey type of feel, just something aesthetically pleasing with transitions and effects that complimented that. I wanted to work with iMovie this time around, but it did not work out because iMovie could not read MPEGS. It was a sore disappointment for me, especially since I have heard so many good things about the program. I ended up using Windows Live Movie Maker, which did the job a bit better than I expected. It was extremely frustrating though because the transitions between clips would sometimes get all mixed up. There was always this short one second pause between the clips, and the playback was even more aggravating because it took forever to watch through. The audio between the music and the actual video was also hard to balance out. It may not look too bad, but from an editor’s point of view, it is just frustrating at times.

Despite the technical problems, I think the project turned out well. I think it was a matter of doing the best with whatever resources are available, and not being discouraged by any of the limits in technology. This project, from a amateur filmmaker’s point of view, has been about it. Furthermore, conceptually, the idea of exploring the relationships between people is interesting in itself. It gives the audience, and the interviewees, a personal look at the people surrounding them.