In the northwestern Chicago suburbs we were lucky. No one had cable and only a few oddies had the huge satellite dishes in their yard. Yet for some reason, we received MTV through some pirated signal over the air waves. This was the early days of MTV, when they used to show things called “music videos.” As a 3-year-old I was obsessed with them. I loved music, even as young as I was, but these short crazy films pulled me into the song so much more. When I was a bit older I figured out how to work the family’s Super8 projector. I’d play music on my Playskool record player and watch the reels. Sometimes the music would work with it, sometimes it wouldn’t.
I really haven’t changed much since then. When I got older I was obsessed with trying to figure out how they made these pictures work together. I think my first experience with filmmaking and editing was when I was about 9. We had this awesome JVC VHS-C camcorder and I remember my dad turning it upside down in the stairwell. When we watched it I had never laughed so hard in my life because the whole world looked like it was turning. That’s when I figured out how they made the ship rock in “Star Trek.” Later I figured out how they could make something blow up. Like any smart kid I got the camera on a tripod and pointed it down at a model car I built. It was a lovely Mustang 5.0, rag top and all. I shook the camera screaming “earthquake” and then cut the camera. I set the car on fire and then rolled the camera again. I can’t tell you how awesome this was to watch. Fortunately this tape has long disappeared and will hopefully stay hidden.
Filmmaking & editing are still oddly that wondrous for me. Given all of the tools we have at our disposal now you’d think I’d be totally bored with it. Luckily this hasn’t happened yet. This is what I do.