Earlier this week, I asked friends to ridicule me for that picture by captioning it. Freeze frames are perfect for the type of facial contortions we only assume possible during… the exact kind of things you can imagine my friends would say, and yet somehow, I feel convinced that it makes for a good introductory picture in this new blog. Oh yeah, this is a blog, isn’t it? What happened to the tiles? The credits? The portfolio?
I tried portfolios, but they didn’t allow me to speak my mind. I tried blogs, but they left me with no professional credibility. Then, I decided to combine the two, and it was just right. No, it felt so right, and now for 2016, you’ll get to hear more and more of my big mouth from an antiquated platform (Hi, WordPress). In an age of Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, Vine, and even Facebook, where does long form writing fall these days? Who bears the burden not just writing long form, but of reading it. If I have my way, this new site will become some weird mixture of tech blog, portfolio, and self-examination.
Within reason, of course.
The problem with the modern short form web is not its character limit, but its reallocation of long form content to “hubs” or central points of information. The Wikipedias, the subreddits, the listicles, and so on… In many cases, I thank the modern web for organizing and updating this information more dynamically than in the past; however, I feel we’ve lost a certain individuality to the web. What might have once been a Geocities website by the name “All The Cats of the World” has been reduced to a YouTube video titled “Top 15 Cats of the World.” Neither of these examples would represent any significant value to anyone (except the author), but in the former’s case, finding that kind of site was like stumbling upon a small mom and pop shop in a rural village. The product selection was small, esoteric, and overpriced, but its shoddy construction conveyed the owner’s passion. The YouTube version feels like a fly-by-night store in a shopping mall; destined to be forgotten, or assumed to be a scam. Usually both.
That’s not to say long form content doesn’t still exist. Collections of essays; transcripts of absurd stories; documents of how a film, piece of software, or art was created. You can still find these things if you’re interested, but it’s not as easy as it used to be, and requires a sort of word-of-mouth (of type?). For example, as someone with a fairly intense interest in the technical side of filmmaking, it is an absolute pleasure to read LightIron’s blog that covers digital cinema data management and DIT work. In a similar vein, Stu Maschwitz’s excellent Prolost blog dives into both technical and conceptual details of digital filmmaking, often taking an opinionated, though highly educated approach to his writing. I only wish I found more and more sites like them. The long form web isn’t dead, but it’s in desperate need of more writers with a need to teach, document, opine, and complain.
It’s with examples like those that I aim to turn a career into a story. I’ll write about interests, obsessions, passions, and (natural) highs. Maybe it will be a disastrous film set, a snooty client, or an amateur mistake that nearly ruins everything. Who knows! All I can say is welcome to the first of many posts to guarantee I’ll never work again.
And to answer the question of who will read this?