2019: Making

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

In 2010, I made xmas photo. In 2011, I made metaphorical things—that were intentionally symbolic of relationships and history. In 2012, I made ice cream. In 2013, I made design. In 2014, I made “my room”. In 2015, I made the last line of Ice Cream Travel Guide, literally. In 2016, I made my annual holiday video. In 2017, I made another annual holiday video. In 2018, I made scones (from the Tartine cookbook)!

Well, of course, literally, the last thing I made as popcorn as a snack for myself as I idly worked on my penultimate day for my job. My stomach rumbled and I craved some salty snack. Knowing what would happen if I tore open any packages, I decided to make something…perhaps more healthy. Chris had procured some fancy popcorn kernels now stored in ziploc bags in a fancy cardboard box. I used one of our fancy saucepans. Dunked some olive oil—likely went rancid. Then popped 2 kernels in and covered the pot, following some recipe out there that said this was the best way to make popcorn. Waited until a kernel popped then I poured in a quarter cup of the kernels. Then once the popping slowed down to one every ten seconds, I poured it into a bowl. And ate it.

But really, what I made was a holiday video. Proud! Like every year, I suddenly realize that it’s holiday video time just before Thanksgiving. It’s time to think of the concept. A meme?! A viral video? A message that I want to say?

This year after debating two approaches—one of which was a version of the Peloton ad. Instead for ease of use (and decreasing the burden of acting), we decided on Succession, a VERY GOOD show from HBO. But then began a collection of clips and photos. Being a lifelong collector of photos and videos (of my life), I already had a lot in store. I asked my dad to get the DVDs that contained digital versions of the many home videos. Unfortunately, Chris didn’t have that much of anything from his childhood. So I cobbled together videos and clips in iMovie. In studying the title credits for Succession, I realized that there was an old VHS filter and large flashes for transitions. iMovie was limited in that respect. For a moment, I considered using Adobe Premiere Pro, even to the extent of downloading a trial. But when faced with the immense app, I could not bring myself to use it, especially in figuring out everything that I needed to know.

So I decided to just use iMovie.

Over the course of a week, I clipped videos and photos (and took the audio track from the Succession clip). For all videos and photos “before us”, I made it black and white with the old movie filter. Then I added some title words to emulate Succession as much as possible, but instead of a collection of words…I just used our names and locations where we lived. (although I just realized that I left out Pittsburgh, PA…ugh!)

Then I played it over and over again until it was done.

As always, we created a top ten list of things…and then carefully selected a group of recipients!

And then done!

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