I never had a video camera growing up, despite my repeated attempts to convince my parents otherwise. That didn’t stop me though. I borrowed my neighbor’s camera, got some friends together, shot some footage and found a place that rented editing bays by the hour so I could crudely stitch together a few raw movies.
I bought my first video camera during my college years. Yes, there is footage that would prevent me from running for office. No, you can't see it. There has either been one strapped to my face or within easy reach since. And it’s only gotten worse since the kids came along.
Technology has only served to feed my habit like a Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting. Digital video lets me shoot forever and powerful editing software lets me pluck out all the good parts. Treating my life as my own personal Truman Show, I’ve captured all of the major moments—marriage, honeymoon, births (or more accurately the moments just after), first smiles, first food, crawling, steps…
I obsessively spend days going over the footage and editing together sixth months of my kids' lives into little 15 to 20 min packages. My goal in making them is to not only entertaining my family, but anyone else who would see them. Even though nobody else does.
I estimate that for each one, I probably spend anywhere from 10 to 15 hours before they are ready to be burned to DVD and shipped off to a very select group of people on my mailing list.
These movies are filled with my love for my kids. I’m extremely proud of them. And I have a close connection with my audience, small as it may be, who I know are rabid fans.
Sadly, I cannot show them to you. You know how it is with me. The names have been changed to protect the innocent and all that. I do realize that this makes this whole post one giant tease. But this never-ending movie project is an increasingly important, and time consuming, part of my life, which makes it fodder for the part where I document my kids’ lives in print.
But I promise you this: if you ever see me, and if you’re truly interested, I promise I’ll show one to you.
UPDATE - Although it has no pictures of my kids, if you want to experience some of the home video goodness, check out this audio version of one of my favorite segments ever. It's still wildly entertaining.