When I got a starter camcorder last year I found myself inexplicably unwilling to use it much, despite a long standing desire to make videos and some previous tentative experiments with the video function of my digital camera. I think this was due to being so used to framing and capturing still images that it was disconcerting to watch the world in my viewfinder moving and being recorded. Then the concept of merging numerous rough cuts into one video was new, as was getting used to the Windows movie making software, with all its foreign video concepts, that came with my computer. About all I could think to do was handheld pans which are unstable even with the image stabilization feature. Or walking around the garden or making movies of cats yawning.
Making the Nonprofit Chronowar video sparked a minor epiphany which I realized must also have occurred to the most dense of filmmakers a century ago. One of my outtakes was a close-up on the wind-up watch, and I found this a satisfying image except that, handheld, the object of course was shaking. When I used a tripod, the image with its moving second hand was remarkable. This odd little discovery, self-evident upon reflection, pushes me towards some further experimentation now.
Copyright 2013 by Michael D. Smith