The “Dancing Inca” and Video

When I was a young woman, newly married, my mother decided to have a psychic come to her house one evening and hold individual sessions with all of her family members. My mother was searching for something at the time, which I didn’t know then but I do know now – but that’s a story for another time.

There were two things that I remember from that “psychic reading”. One was that he told me that in a past life I had been an Inca and that I had fallen off a cliff and had broken my hip. The second thing he told me was that I was going to be shooting video.

As for the Inca past life comment – I recently had to consult a chiropractor after a night of dancing at a fundraiser had left my right hip inflamed, sending shooting pains down my sciatic nerve. When the chiropractor asked me what I did to cause this, I told him about the dancing, but not the Inca part – that was probably best left unsaid.

As far as the video prediction, he had a crystal ball into my future, but at the time I thought – video? Are you kidding? I equated video with soap operas and really bad late night commercials. I was a young still photographer just getting a name in the magazine world and starting to make some money in the corporate sector. I couldn’t have been less interested in video at that time.

Fast forward to now. I’ve been shooting video with traditional video tools for over ten years. I give seminars to still photographers who may be thinking of getting into video and I have just made a big investment in both money and mental power and have embraced the HD DSLR tools for an upcoming project I am working on Opening Our Eyes.

I’m not the only still photographer thinking of video these days – it seems like everybody is. As print platforms give way to electronic ones like the iPad that debuted this past weekend, the way we communicate is rapidly changing and along with that there is a huge demand for video. On the April 12th cover of Time Magazine is a portrait of Steve Jobs and inside a review of the iPad entitled “Do We Need the iPad?” The writer Lev Grossman wraps up the article nicely:

“If I have a beef with the iPad, it’s that while it’s a lovely device for consuming content, it doesn’t do much to facilitate its creation. The computer is the greatest all-purpose creativity tool since the pen. It put a music studio, a movie studio, a darkroom and a publishing house on everybody’s desk. The iPad shifts the emphasis from creating content to merely absorbing and manipulating it. It mutes you, turns you back into a passive consumer of other people’s masterpieces. In that sense, it’s a step backward. Not much of a fairy-tale ending. Except for the people who are selling content. Read more: http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1976932-2,00.html#ixzz0k3oIUDqY

In Time’s editor’s column “Ushering In a New Era”, Managing Editor Richard Stengel talks about making the magazine available on electronic devices like the iPad and Time will soon be delivering it’s entire contents to paying customers as a self contained application that can be downloaded to the iPad. Sports Illustrated is ready to go electronic as well.

If this doesn’t send a signal to still photographers the need to diversify and embrace video – what will?  With print moving to electronic delivery – the demand for video will increase. I sit on the National Board of ASMP and we recognize this changing paradigm. In fact that is exactly how I came to be involved with the Board of ASMP. I was asked to run for the Board because of my video experience. It’s been a year since I’ve been on the board and in that time I have set up a motion/video committee with the intention of gathering and sharing information about video production.  So far, through the efforts of the committee  an online resource for video was developed and has been uploaded to the ASMP website.

I continue to learn as technology drives us forward and I continue to network and collaborate with people. One person that I’ve learned a lot from is Richard Harrington of Rhed Pixel. Richard is one of those guys that never seem to sleep. He runs a successful business, teaches, writes and shares a lot of information on various forums like Creative Cow and on his own blog. I’ve also worked with Richard’s team of motion graphics animators on an industrial that I produced last year. I continue to learn from Richard who has just written a book called “From Still to Motion” that I can’t wait to get my hands on. It’s all about working with the hybrid DSLR cameras.

Looks like that psychic was right – at least about the video. Not sure about the past life Inca thing but it makes you wonder doesn’t it? Was it destiny? Or was it just that I was a restless soul at the time wanting to learn more about how I could tell a story and with what tools.  Not really sure – I’m just glad that I followed those instincts.

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2 thoughts on “The “Dancing Inca” and Video

  1. Ethan G. Salwen April 9, 2010 / 1:42 pm

    And you, too, Gail, like Richard Harrington, are one of those people who never seem to sleep. This is an amazingly rich post, addressing so many interwoven topics, which clearly relates to how much you are interweaving your crafts and outlets — always in the name of the story!

    • Gail Mooney April 16, 2010 / 11:09 am

      Thanks Ethan,
      You’re right I don’t get much sleep these days.

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