I am pretty darn old and have had plenty of amazing physical journeys in this world. I have been stopped by gun-toting border patrols in Cote d’Ivoire and gotten lost backpacking along the “Lost Coast” of California. I swam with whale sharks in Western Australia and tracked snow leopards in the Himalayas. But I want to tell you about a recent journey that beats all of these experiences for shear, unmitigated, nail-biting suspense and drama: I learned to video.
Sure, for most of you who grew up with iMovie and Roombas and smart phones that do everything but walk your dog for you, that may not sound so transformational. But for me, a relative luddite, one could say a technophobe, learning how to shoot, edit, and produce videos that don’t look like total doo-doo was a huge and very satisfying accomplishment.
I’ve climbed lots of mountains, and learning to produce videos was a very similar kind of journey: namely steep. There was the moment near the beginning where it all looked so big and overwhelming and lost in the clouds that I considered waiting until another time, when I was more sure. There were many times when I was in the thick of it, deep in the forest of new techniques, overwhelming material, head-down plodding, when I didn’t know if I would ever come out on top of it all. And there was the exhilaration of reaching the top, and being able to see all that I had accomplished with new perspective and sense of purpose.
Unlike a mountain, which has a finite top, videos can always be improved upon, adjusted, tweaked, fine-tuned, honed, and otherwise fiddled with. In fact, one of the greatest challenges is knowing when to stop. At any rate, I share this sample of my work as an example of my journey, and perhaps how far I still I have to go:
Philip Johansson, Marlboro College staff