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208/365 – Technical Difficulties
© 2012 Timmy Tamisiea. All rights reserved. I'm editing a film, not landing the Star Ship Enterprise.

208/365 – Technical Difficulties

Tonight was the premiere of my film screening for Oracle Theatre’s Aperture Series.  This whole week has been a technological fiasco in getting it prepped and ready to go.  From 4-6 hour renderings of the films to sound issues to misspelled credits to plug-ins I don’t own, my stress has been at a constant high.  When I thought that everything was fine, that the films had been compressed and ready for screening, we find that the sound for one of the films was off by about 5 -10 seconds.  So, we sat in the booth trouble shooting till 7:50pm when we found a manual loophole to getting the thing projected right — that’s ten minutes before the screening.

It was just like this film I’ve never seen or heard of staring that “Show me the money” guy. . . no, it probably wasn’t.

The increasing sophistication of technology has a direct correlation with the ease of our lives . . . that statement sure sounds smart.  Doesn’t it?  That actually means we’re getting lazier.  But I digress — The more that I incorporate these technological marvels into my life the more frustrations I find.  And this is awful for two reasons: 1) my career demands I be technologically savvy and 2) I love new technology.   So I’m stuck between a rock and a . . . robot?  Now a rock and a mother board?  A rock and a robo-rock!  Yes!

Or, in other words, stuck between a rock and a Keanu.

I mean, this shit it supposed to make life easier, right.  But it’s so frustrating.  I feel like my dad . . . his job, being a Radiologist, required him to be up to date on the newest technology on a monthly basis.  He even had to take tests to keep his medical license.   I think this created an dichotomy between animosity and passion.  He loves technology but hates it at the same time.  And I’m running down that same path.  Technology feels like the show Lost.  Answers to questions create even more questions.  Except Lost is entertaining while my anger and frustration are not . . . well, not to me.  I think others find it amusing.  Or frightening.

Wait, what do you mean, Lost. Boat’s don’t cost a penny . . . or do they?

The fact is, I love technology, but it has this uncanny ability to ruin my day or week or life or my life’s week or the day’s week — it sucks sometimes . . . especially when it comes to my films.  Out of all the stressors in my life, technolgy has this monopoly on getting my blood boiling and it always comes in the form of technological post production work.

Once, when I was trying to upload video for a found footage film, I discovered that the file type was not playing correctly.  I had spent HOURS trying to get it to work.  I rendered the film — which took about an hour — and found that it was screwing up the sound.  I was so frustrated, I took off my ear buds and threw them across the room . . . but they didn’t go across the room.  I;ve told you I;m somewhat athletically retarded — my aim was off and they hit my laptop screen.  Which dented it.  When I closed the laptop and reopened it, the dent turned into a crack . . . which turned into a spider crack across the whole screen.

I had to work on a laptop like this for a year because technology got the better of me.

Another time, after working my ass off on the first digital film – the first time I used Final Cut Pro  my hard drive crashed and I lost EVERYTHING.

Sometimes, those mishaps are actually creative ventures in disguise.  My film, Bob Seger Rocks, was an exercise in patience.  The Documentary class that I was taking required that we edit our films on Avid — Final Cut’s competitor program.  Avid is widely revered by professional editors.  They love it.  I HATE IT.  To me, it’s like DOS.  It’s antiquated and far from user friendly.  Final Cut Pro takes out all the BS technical issues so that the editor is free to create and explore.  Avid, to me, is abojut being technical and only technical.  There’s 2-3 steps to doing anything while FCP has one.  So in the time it takes you to try one possible cut on Avid, I would have seen 3 different variations on FCP.

I’m editing a film, not landing the Star Ship Enterprise.

So, editing Bob Seger Rocks was the bane of my existence.  I couldn’t edit at home because Avid requires a system of it’s own that I don’t own.  It’s not really a program I can get.  I’d also have to buy hardware.  So, Columbia has that system set in place and I have to trudge over to Columbia everyday to work on the film.  It was a nightmare.  Besides taking me three times longer to edit, the program kept shutting down on me causing me to lose all my work.  More that  3 times I had to start all over — I’d say Avid lost me two weeks of time in getting to a final cut.  It was awful.

On top of that, the program was also freezing up at regular intervals.  Why?  Well, after complaining to the post center numerous times, the head of the department sat with me . . . and we discovered the simple reason.  Every time I put titles over picture the program froze up.  Avid had a patch for the problem, but Columbia could not implement it till after the semester ended.  So, that’s why you see black title cards in Bob Seger Rocks.  I had no choice but to ue them . . and, quite frankly, they work. So sometimes these technical snafus work in your favor — whether you know it or not.

Just like Keanu!

I any case, this whole day has been one big ball of stress.  From a 14 hour fast for a physical to eating a hamburger and a shake that made me feel awful to this technical fall out with my films . . . and to cap it off, my lovely, caring wife brings me some Advil and two packs of M&Ms . . and I lash out at her because I I kept my frustration in all day.  But because she’s awesome, she calls me out on it and puts me in my place.  Sorry sweetie.  Sorry . . .

I’m ready for a break . . .

No, I don’t need Chocolate . . . I already had a shake.

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