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When I was a kid…

April 5, 2012

Here’s a link to Mark Evanier’s “News From ME” blog talking about the changes in Comic-con since 1970. He’s one of the few guys who’s been at every single one, almost every single day, since it began. He now moderates a lot of the panels on comics, especially on the history. He also was an assistant to Jack Kirby for a number of years, so, in the world of comics, the guy’s been around.

I really like the end of the column, as he discusses the two ways to look at change. The film industry is in a constant flux, and has been since I began working in it with any seriousness, and especially in my low-end side of budgets. Every change that moves filmmaking outside of Hollywood in a stronger direction brings huge shifts in workflow and concepts that can be a pain in the ass. And the reality is that these changes aren’t going to change.

I was just looking at a piece I made for a client recently, and marveling at the look of it. We did things that five years ago would have only been possible at five times the price, and would have been at lesser quality even then. Five years – that’s insane.

I remember a friend of mine playing an audio recording for me that he had made on tape, using an old-school 4 track recorder, challenging me to hear the difference between that and a digital recording. It was straight-forward rock and roll, and he’s right, I couldn’t. But I don’t think that’s the point. Not completely. I think the comparison would be the number of hours and difficulty of mixing. For me, I’d rather be making stuff than having to mix and remix and remix. That’s the beauty of digital over analog for me – the freedom to make the thing instead of making the equipment work.

And I think that’s part of my issue in change in filmmaking. It’s not the dislike of the new tech – I LOVE new stuff. It’s the time taken away from actually making something, learning yet another new tool. Personally, that learning time is multiplied a number of times, because I don’t have to just learn the tech, I have to teach it, and I make manuals to help our students learn it. So it’s a big deal for me to pick up new stuff.

But Mark’s right – you can sit around lamenting the loss (and I do enjoy a good complaining session), or you find what’s good in the new stuff and enjoy that.

I’m not looking forward to figuring out what we’re going to edit Sympathy Pains on (let alone doing audio or color correction or FX)… I’ve been putting that decision off as long as possible, but it’s getting time to make the choice. So that we can get to making the thing, which is point, right?

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