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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Sunday, March 09, 2008

How I Filled the Gap

from "Leap Day" to "Spring Ahead"

Wow. I have not been on-line to post since "Leap Day," ten days ago. I haven't even been on-line to read or write in over a week. Tumbling from Leap Day to "Spring Ahead Sunday" (i.e. the Daylight Savings Time switch) pretty much describes the time warp I've been in since I started editing the hours of video I shot last January in Thailand for a presentation in our church this morning.

The trick was boiling down six days of footage into a 19-minute presentation in a way that provided some history of the Acah and Lahu hill tribes as well as the ongoing story of our church sending medical teams to them annually for ten years. The trips began in 1998--about the time I got out of the video production business (back in the days of analog S-VHS video equipment).

A lot has changed since the 90's in the area of video production. For a few thousand dollars, the quick-learning amateur can have a good camera and a powerful editing studio on a high-powered PC. Those capabilities cost small video business like mine about $20,000-$30,000 just 15-20 years ago. The last time a I took on a large project (a promotional for a new retirement village), I was surrounded by a wrap-around editing station with multiple stacks and decks of all sorts of equipment. Adding titles and credits to my work back then involved a dedicated computer and "genlock" processor.

Now the whole shebang is in one PC and each step is a mouse-click away, but that mouse-click requires a level of confidence that I did not yet have a week ago when this editing project began in earnest on the eve of Leap Day at my brother Dave's house, who you may recall shot my daughter's wedding last June. Dave did not have time to help with the editing itself but he let me camp out at his computer and pester him with questions. Then I'd work alone while everyone was sleeping and have ton more questions for Dave in the morning.

I'm afraid I drove him crazy as he gradually re-taught my "analogue" mind the ways of this new digital age. I was confident that I could get the project done at his house in two days, but Monday came and there was still hours of editing and the adding of music and "voice over." So I bought a 500 Gig Mybook external hard drive, and transferred all of the digital video footage and edited compilations, and continued the work at home. The endless questions to Dave (via phone) continued, but I wrapped up the project Friday, and made the final audio adjustments Saturday after viewing the "test" copy on the big screens at church.

This morning, I ran into (Julie B. who sometimes comments here) and she jokingly said, " Still on Part II, I see."
"It's been a few days," I laughed, "I've been up to my eyeballs in that Thailand video project."
"We're looking forward to seeing it. Is today the day?" She asked.
"Yep, this is it," I smiled, as if this deadline has not preoccupied every spare minute of my life for ten days.

Until that moment, I hadn't thought about Patterns of Ink or writing for days. Have you ever had a week like that? For me it came on the heals of a very hard month (when we dropped my middle daughter off at college in Chicago; then a few days later, I headed to Thailand; then I got called home for Mom's last days; then the funeral, etc.)

It 's hard to believe six weeks passed, but my daughter is home for Spring Break so I know it's true. Having her here makes life feel a little more "normal" already. [That's her ID photo.]

Last night we set the clocks forward, repeating the phrase "spring ahead fall back" at each clock. [Those four words rank right up there with "righty tighty; lefty loosy."]

The Thai Team presentation went well in both services. My family ate at an Italian place called Johnny Carino's afterwards, and then we came home and took a "long winter's nap" before beginning the ritual of taking down winter. I confess... I've never been more ready for the spring ahead.
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Part III is coming... as if anyone still cares. =) And I'll soon be posting about Thailand that have been in the works since late January. Thanks for your patience.

16 Comments:

Blogger Dr.John said...

This new age has placed in the hands of average people tools they could never even hope for in the past> glad that your using them to a good purpose.

9/3/08 5:39 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Dr. John,
It's true, and I think I've gotten the hang of the new editing software. Now I just need to learn how to "compress" the video data so it plays right on Youtube. I'm eager to show you guys what we did over there.
Thanks for faithfully stopping by even when I've been "out of it."

9/3/08 7:22 PM  
Blogger jewell said...

I missed most of the presentation because of doughnut duty this morning. Hope I get to see it all sometime.

That is the best ID pic I have ever seen:)

In agreement with very ready to spring forward!!

9/3/08 9:39 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Hi, Jewell,
The "connections center" will be making DVDs available soon, but I have one you can barrow if you want to watch it before that. We'll also be making a two part 40-minute version for educational purposes in April.

9/3/08 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm "lost" as you describe ALL that you had to do since I'm really "mechanically" (hence technically) verklempt! But your word descriptions really made it clear on all that you have been involved in.
Just this morning on our Christian radio station they had a humorous segment where the man was describing a 'home scenario' of a dad coming home from work to view mayhem in grand purportions. The kids were out playing in the dirt still in p.j.'s, toys were scattered all over the yard but streaming into the house. The front door was wide open and the L.R. was something like he'd never seen. Going into the kitchen the table still had all of the breakfast "leavings" on it and the sink was piled high with dirty dishes. There was laundry on the floor in the laundry room. The man went through the house, stepping over all manner of items, going into the bedroom. There on the bed was his wife calmly reading a book. He asked her "what was going on!?" She answered him quietly with a smile, "you always come home and ask me whatever I had been doing all day and I decided to show you!"
Well that would be my homemaker's way of kind of relating to what you described! Hope you have caught your breath and that we'll soon be reading your "regular" posts. (Smile) Glad you have you back!!!! WSL

10/3/08 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoops....I should edit what I write. I meant to say I'm glad that you are back! Man this time change must have affected me more than I thought. Blessings this week...OH...and I too concur that your daughter's I.D. picture is about the best I've ever seen!!!! Mine usually look like a police/arrest photo. Not that I've ever been arrested...but it looks like the ones you might see on t.v. Anyway, have a great week! WSL

10/3/08 8:05 AM  
Blogger Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I have some old footage on analogue S-VHS. What would be the easiest way to get it converted to digital? (Look forward to your Thailand clip).

10/3/08 9:44 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I'm so excited that you are back and what a great feeling to have the project almost finished. Lucky you to have a brother to help you... I would really pick his brain if I had a brother like that! Now you are way out of my league on this technology stuff.


Spring break and things are almost back to normal for you and that is a blessing indeed. (That is one gorgeous daughter... look out, with all of that beauty, there will be another wedding before you know it!)

We have 60 degrees, with our bulbs blooming and that is another blessing indeed!

Enjoy this time with your daughter home and give yourself a pat on the back for all of your hard work!

Time warp- great description of your last several months and hopefully the worst is behind you. I continue to keep all of you in my prayers.

10/3/08 10:03 PM  
Anonymous Ryan A. said...

Cool! I'll be waiting for it. My brother-in-law also edits video for our church but I have no idea what he does or uses. My experience in that field is limited to monkeying around with my friends with a video camera in the back yard...

11/3/08 6:29 AM  
Blogger Cris said...

Welcome back! I'm looking forward to seeing the video. (And a bit of spring ahead myself too. :P)

11/3/08 10:32 AM  
Blogger Ang said...

Tom,
The video was beautiful...the images, your words, the editing. Amazing.

I did expect that it would be very thoughtful and well-done. But I was even amazed.

-Ang

11/3/08 4:37 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Wisconsin Sandwich Lady, (WSL)
I should remind readers that you do not run a deli but rather live in Wisconsin which you once described as sandwiched between MN and MI.

Sorry it's been so long since I've read here. I'm still getting caught up...
Reading your description of a housewife's hard day makes me think you should start a blog--you've already got a great name! By the way, my mother could relate to your words.

I probably should not have posted my daughter's photo without her permission, but I am so glad to have her home for these two weeks!

LGS,
As long as you still have an S-VHS player, you can purchase a DVD burner for not that much money ($100-200) or ask around a friend may have one. Then simply hook up your S-VHS output into the burner and make a DVD of your old tapes. I have a ton that I need to do that with one of these days. I do own a DVD burner but I have not found the time to take on this huge "back up" project. It would be wise to do it, though, because once S-VHS equipment becomes extinct, your tapes will be orphans.

Nancy,
Thanks for your continued prayers. I stopped by the grocery store on a errand for Julie today, and I couldn't fine the corn starch. There was an older lady shopping there, about the size and age of my mom. I asked her if she could help me find the cornstarch, which she did. It was a brief but friendly exchange. I thanked her and walked away thinking about Mom and how she would have enjoyed helping someone find corn starch as that woman had done, and how she would have probably struck up a conversation about the gravy it was purchased for, etc. It's odd times like that when it doesn't seem real that Mom is gone.
We're not reaching the 60's but we are supposed to hit 50 soon. =)

Ryan,
My brother and I started our "creative productions" with tape recorders when we were kids. I still have some of our original "radio plays." That was fun!

Cris,
Did you get that big snow/ice storm last Wednesday where you are in Michigan? We did not get any of it, but my brother and sister's schools in Macomb County were canceled that day.

Ang,
Thank you so much. Coming from a creative, artistic fan of short films like yourself, your kind words mean a lot. I must say that the story of the Hill Tribes is one of the most compelling I've encountered, and they are extremely photogenic and "natural" subjects to work with.
Thanks for stopping by.

11/3/08 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

POI...thank you for your kind words! I have considered doing a blog...don't know if I'm ept (as in "inept") to do one! SMILE!! I should look up "ept" to see if it's even a word shouldn't I??!
So glad you come back and respond even though you aren't "blogging" entries.
BTW...I'd never do well in the "food industry" so not to worry about a deli! :-)

12/3/08 10:00 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Tom,

Both Dan and I really enjoyed your video. Dan liked the graphic parts better than I did, But I guess that's just the nature of his job. He thinks that stuff is "neat" Ugh! ;>) Seriously though, after watching I felt as though I had been a part of the trip and I found myself saying that I could get used to the icky stuff And I would really love to go. We have been talking takinga missionary trip for a long time but know that it will have to wait until the kids are older. We find ourselves getting excited to go. I never thought that would be something I would want to do.

So anyway, I found your presentation very inspiring and uplifting. I also loved the music! GREAT job!

Julie B.

12/3/08 9:44 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

WSL,
If you did have a deli, you could have plenty of Wisconsin cheese. =)
If you decide to blog, start out slow. You might enjoy reading an old series I wrote here called ”Why Bloggers Blog”
That link should take you back to the April 2007 archives. It starts on the 15th.

Julie B,
If Daniel liked those shots, he will love the shots in the longer version. Sunday's cut took out the multiple tooth pulls that made my Julie wince when she saw them. There were much "bloodier" shots of the foot surgeries, but I decided to use the less graphic shots for a general audience.

Someday when the kids are older, you guys would enjoy going on a trip like that. He'd like the triage stuff and you would like the kids.

13/3/08 6:54 PM  
Blogger Cris said...

OH BOY did we get some snow that day. I think we received about 8-10 inches.

13/3/08 7:48 PM  

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