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Wednesday, December 03, 2003

I went to Orin Buck’s new residence on East 49th Street tonight to dub his video of "The Marriage at the Statue of Liberty" (TMATSOL) the latest addition to the Cinema VII Catalogue of projects. For the past three days I've enjoyed editing the different tapes. There are three, two are of the last performance, the other, Orin's, from the performance the night prior. Both nights contained and lacked different elements of music, movement, dialogue and song. By editing the two performances, there was the possibility of assembling a complete version of the play.

The digital formats copy, full length, into the computer, and the VHS dub of Orin's rather professionally shot tape copy into the computer 3 minutes at a time, which made the assembling process somewhat primitive, like editing in 35mm with 400 foot reels of film.

I was editing in my old fashioned way with the modern computer system. Before computers, I edited film that had sound already printed on it, recorded on a magnetic stripe, or, preferably, visible to the eye on an optical stripe. Film sound is ahead of its image. In digital video the sound is married to the image. I don’t think it has to be. A program, proprietary in that it must create its own files, called Final Cut, has separable sound/video capabilities. I've chosen, instead, to edit a big "avi" file, perhaps the product of Avid, that familiar word in film production over the past 20 years, and I'm using a program called Videowave. I use the program, maybe, because it came with the purchase of my videocard, and maybe I like it because its video graphics have film sprockets.

As to why bother, two reasons, the first being that I wrote to our Mayor suggesting that the show, A Modern Ballet with Dialogue, could be used to assist in fundraising for the reopening of the Statue of Liberty. The second is a phenomenon created by the dance troupe involved. They performed the last of their three dances in blacklight, assembling the statue with different pieces in white.

Being a "hands on" videographer, if I am also the subject of the video I tend to make horrible mistakes that result in faulty preservation, the best example being forgetting to press a record button.

The last night was the best night, of course, and there are two videos of the last night, both incomplete. About 40 minutes before the performance I pressed record on the one-hour tape in the camera used by my wife, Diana, giving me the first 20 minutes to work with. Roy's fiancée, Linda, has a public access cable show so I got her tape at first off the TV, and eventually from her video camera. She chose random moments to video but got about half the show, perfect to splice in with Orin's complete tape, with Diana's adding additional angles. Orin, however, although not already familiar with the show, did a good job. He laid mikes on the floor, and he even taped the whole show! I needed his original to match the originals of the more arbitrarily taped versions.

This essay is called Incidental Terrorism...