• rileysoloner

Late Night Video Editing

Yesterday I made four videos from scratch for my show.

I moved some furniture and set up a green dollar store tablecloth on a clothing rack for a backdrop.

I shot video for a few hours, speaking into the camera in stream of consciousness bursts of played up dumbness. I tried hard to weave together some jokes on the spot, which is never very fruitful. When it really started to feel bad and embarrassing, I tilted the camera down and shot some footage of my hands (wearing tiny hands on my fingertips) playing with orange Silly Putty. Before I knew it, I was wearing an old puppet on one hand and playing my Kaossilator with the other.

I got back in my chair and shot some footage of me grimacing in a lucha mask.

Zero idea what I'm doing. I wanted to give up. I wanted to quit and cancel tomorrow's episode.

I found a flamingo toy and hung it from a bright green finger tentacle, attached to a curtain rod, in front of the green screen.

I ate lunch, I doomscrolled the terrible news, and then I got back down to business.

I edited for hours and hours. I gathered all my footage into a new project. I taught myself how to key out the green background and put in a beachy background and free stock footage. I synced up lavalier mic audio with the camera's footage. I animated a primitive motion graphic title card. I selected the best clips of me saying dumb shit and cut the clips down to size. I recorded new music, I searched and found old music recorded years ago unused in some other video project. I edited the silly putty and puppet videos together into a music video I didn't realize I had shot.

The whole time I thought about how slow and pointlessly I'm working. I compared my process to the workflow of TikTokers pumping out 15 second memes. No. That's not me. This is artisanal, old school, useless video content.

I took that clip of me, utterly clueless sitting in my lucha mask, and recorded some more voiceovers, turning this dumb thing into my favorite piece of the day. At around 1:30am I told Ellena that it felt like one of the videos I used to make.

And in that moment, feeling connected to a past version of myself that I missed for a long time, I realized the day spent making dumb videos for the people who like this kind of thing was worth the trouble.

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