Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Video Time Machine

In 1996, I suddenly decided I was going to become a filmmaker, and bought a Hi8 video camera.  I’m sure some of this was the intersection of past viewings of ROX, the blooming Seattle public access cable scene, and the fact that I actually had enough money to buy a video camera.  So I bought the camera, looked at video editing software for the PC, got discouraged, and eventually did nothing.  But on and off for a few years, I lugged around this thing on trips and captured some video, and then never did anything with it.

Now with YouTube and advances in software, this stuff is slightly more useable.  I mean, in 1996, you had to spend at least five grand on a good Mac to pull in and slice up the video, and maybe another couple grand on software like Avid or Premiere.  Now you can buy a thousand-dollar iMac, fire up the included iMovie, and you are set.  Add to that a hundred dollar Flip camera, and you’re ready to roll.

So I have a ton of lost video on these tapes.  I lost some tapes in the last dozen moves, and some of them are disintegrating, but others have some nice little time capsules in them.  All of the quality is garbage, and I am not a very good cameraman.  But sometimes I find little bits and pieces that are interesting.

Anyway, here is a shot of Seattle from 1999, right before I left.  I was with my friend Virginia Lore, doing my big round of goodbyes, so this is probably the last time I saw her in person.  We were hiking around Queen Anne and I shot this minute or two from the hill looking down onto the city.  This is right before Boeing left town, before the big protests, before Microsoft stopped minting millionaires and before the dotcom economy crashed, so it’s an interesting little touchstone into the Seattle that was, at least for me.

(Note: this is my first attempt at embedding a video.  If you’re looking at this in facebook, it probably won’t work, and you have to actually look at it on my journal page to see it.)