Monday, May 16, 2011

Recording

I have been trying to collect the last few moments of my time at Skidmore. It isn't easy. Claire decided—and I agreed—that recording some interviews and candid footage of people right before graduation would be a good idea.

Realistically it has been hard. What do I keep, what do I record? Editing starts before I even enter the room to look over the footage. There is so much life that I miss. And it is hard to be the cameraman when I am a participant in life's events as well. When do I turn on the camera? Should I show only the happy moments? Do I show the complex lives we lead? The pain, the drama, the tragedy of being a group of people all facing a sudden and inevitable end to what we have known. It is difficult to capture in words, in pictures, or even in videos the things that make up our lives at Skidmore. I have footage of places. I have footage of people. I have interviews. I have candid moments.

But I am missing everything in between. My life, what I've been asked to record, are the bricks. But the problem is that the building is mostly mortar; a sloshy glue that holds the building up. And I am trying my best to show people what they have asked me to record. I have done my best to try to capture the building in its entirety. But the lens is narrow—figuratively as well as literally—and much of life—the building—resides outside the frame.

I am dedicated to doing my friends the favor of capturing the moment. The moment escapes the gaze of the camera. The moment is not attached to the frame. And what I capture is just a time capsule—an encyclopedia entry. It is an explanation of the life we live, edited heavily for content. It is not the gritty real-life we face.

And I am a hopeless romantic, too scared to train the camera on the moments we are truly vulnerable; too scared to capture the difficulty that we do face. I hope that the memory I capture is not the memory everyone has. I hope it is the memory everyone deserves; the memory that calls on us to remain hopeful in the face of the unknown, strengthened by our friendships and experiences. I hope to give my friends the memory that I know I will always hold of them; noble humans that can persevere greatly to change the world in a meaningful way. It is my long-winded way of saying that beyond our struggles, beyond our drama, we are agents of good.

And I hope that I can capture the magnanimity, the kindness, the power that these people are.

Also, getting interviews is very difficult as well. My friends are surprisingly camera shy. Not sure what's up with that.