CH CH CH CH CHANGES

TURN AND FACE THE STRAIn

I make a little film—no, I mean video – for Mary. She comes here, sees it once and loves it.

“Put it on our YouTube channel and make me a couple of DVDs.”

Six Kodak Carousel projectors controlled by either Electrosonic or AVL boxes

“Want to see it again?”

“No, it’s perfect. Send me the invoice.”

A week later, via e-mail: “Stefan, we all love it but the general feeling is we should add a title at the start. Ken has written some words….”

How come last week it was perfect and now it needs a title?

“Mary, while making changes in video is easy, YouTube will not let you insert shots into an existing video. I’ll have to replace it with a new video. Oh, and shall I scrap the two DVDs?”

“Sorry Stefan, I thought you could just add a title.”

How I hate changes, and who’s this guy Ken? I find his web site. OMG, he’s a multimedia consultant. Spare me!

Days of Wine and Roses

It wasn’t always like this. In the good old days of film—yes, I mean film—when finished and client-approved, the whole lot went off to the lab.

The ice froze over and changes were nigh impossible. Yeah!

If changes were really necessary, it became a BIG DEAL, with a new quote and a week of expensive lab work.

Those were the days my friend, those were the days.

The Beginning of the End

In 1980, I build the Moliplexer. It has six projectors with a choice of dissolve modules, a TEAC 4-track 1/4-inch and a Philips LDK33 camera. Using all six projectors, you can change slides at 5p. That’s five frames a second.

It’s a huge, booked-out success. In Molinare’s complex of television studios, edit suites and audio studios, the Moliplexer is the top money-spinner, the undisputed cash cow.

Little do I realize: it’s also the beginning of the end. Finally, clients can make instant changes. No need to wait for the lab.

There you go, Ken—pop in that extra slide. Oh, it’s a title at the start. In it goes. Ping! See if I care….

Jump Cuts Are Cool

And then there’s Wayne. No, that’s not his real name—but Wayne rhymes with Pain.

He phones me, tells me he’s fallen out with Neville, one of the interviewees in his video.

“Cut him out. It’s easy.”

He phones again. “You know the guy who died last year, Oswald, we’ve still got his interview. When you take out Neville, replace him with the dead guy.”

“But he’s dead.”

“I have a signed release. Dedicate the DVD to him.”

It isn’t easy. Neville is all the way through and Oswald is saying different things. Wayne comes over to see the result.

The legendary Jean-Luc Godard, inventor of the jump cut (so says Wayne)

“No, no. You’ve still got her (another interviewee) talking about Neville—cut it out.

“The whole interview?”

“No, only his name.”

“Just his name? It will jump.”

“Don’t tell me. It’s called a jump cut, invented by Jean-Luc Godard. Jump cuts are cool. Godard won a prize for it. Just do it.”

I do it. In the video, she’s about to say the forbidden name and … the picture jumps.

“Wayne, it looks as though I’ve cut his name out.”

“Good. I want the bastard to see it and know he’s been chopped out. Thank you, Jean-Luc.”

Clients! What would we do without them? Hmmm … not a bad idea.

So goodbye Mary, goodbye Wayne /

Will we ever meet again?

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