I discovered my passion with video editing back in high school. There was a project I needed to do for my Japanese language class and it involved summarizing a TV drama we had just finished watching.
In addition to my basic summary, I also had access to the video files of each individual episode as well, so that I could refer to them when needed. I thought it would be a cool idea to create a “video summary” of the drama by splicing up a short montage.
The video was cut and edited with Windows Movie Maker — it was all I had at the time, but you work with what you got, right?
During the editing process, I chose a song to go with the overall vibe of the drama, and basically just made cuts on every beat eventually putting together a really ragtag shortened version of the drama. It was about as basic as you might imagine, but when I presented it in class, everyone loved it.
More than the recognition itself, I loved that *I loved* putting together that video.
It was a completely new and creative process I had not experienced before, and realized this would be something I’d probably continue doing into the future.
During the summer of ’04 or ’05-ish, I got a part-time job and saved up to buy a camera I had been eyeing — one that would have been in my financial reach at the time.
It was a Panasonic MiniDV camcorder and looked like this…
Completely outdated technology now, but I had a good run with old faithful.
I was so hyped to get it, and started to record all the things! Well, maybe not all the things, but I knew I just wanted to go out, shoot something, and create.
I got my camera at the perfect time, as I was just heading into my first year at university, and that’s where all my first video projects were born.
July 1, 2006 | The Lorien Documentary Tribute
This was a music video that complemented a “documentary” I made for the dorm I stayed at during my first year of college. Both the documentary and music video was what I’d consider my first “major” project, and was done purely out of passion. I basically volunteered to do something for our dorm that no one really proposed or asked for. I just thought it would be a nice idea to have some sort of “closing video” to look back at the end of our year.
October 25, 2007 | B-Boys Anonymous Trailer
Yet, another video I made on my own accord. B-Boys Anonymous was the dance crew I joined during uni days, and it’s also where I picked up my passion for breakin’ (breakdance). Being in the dance scene, I was naturally shooting a lot of dance events, practices, jams, and such. It was also a time when the crew/club was still growing and trying to establish its identity among the campus groups. To further that cause, I made the crew’s first trailer to promote who we are and what we’re all about. I’d say this project was also the first I did that helped me practice & develop one of my favorite editing techniques — cutting clips to the beats of the music. It came rather naturally to me at the time, because as a dancer, we also focus on ‘musicality’ i.e. dancing on beat.
August 19, 2008 | The Definition of SPOP
This video was maybe the last major project I did for a group I was involved with during my time in university. SPOP stands for “Student Parent Orientation Program”, and as much as it’s a program for new incoming freshman, it’s also a program to train the orientation leaders who run it, I was one of those folks. The program “training” to be a SPOP leader was rigorous in many ways, and was commonly known to have a huge impact on staffers that participated in this program. I interviewed over a hundred of these staffers and asked what SPOP meant to them, and presented my video to everyone at the end. This was a very unique and fun project for me because I used an editing technique I had not really tried before, which was to essentially cut my shots in a way that joined everyone’s sentences into a single cohesive message.
June 13, 2010 | Personal Dance Reel
Kind of self-explanatory. I wanted to put together a video of my progress as a dancer (it was a thing…). One of the rare instances where I’m in front of the camera, instead of behind it. Since, I wasn’t the one filming, this project was purely focused on just the editing aspect.
June 12, 2012 | Life In Sapporo
In August of 2011, I bought a one way ticket and moved to Japan! And I upgraded my gear to a revolutionary device (at the time) — the iPhone 4. It was the best thing I had for shooting video, and so I shot everything exclusively with this phone.
By summer of 2012, I explored Sapporo enough to have enough footage to put together a video. I’m pretty sure I edited everything on that tiny little iPhone 4 screen with some third party video app, since Windows Movie Maker was just not cutting it anymore. Nonetheless, looking back at the editing of this video is somewhat cringeworthy (along with some of the shots of my old self).
A lot things happened since that time and now, and didn’t have much time to focus on making more videos — if you’re curious about that part of my life, feel free to read more about it here 🙂
At any rate, you can see how the origins of my editing started and evolved into what it is now. Many of these early projects were actually very personal, either for myself or for a group I was affiliated with.
I’m nowhere near to being a professional creator. I never went to film school. Everything I learned up to this point was self-taught through trial-and-error, reading massive amounts of articles, and watching endless YouTube videos learning mostly from Peter McKinnon (…guilty).
Nowadays, I just want to share what I’ve learned along the way. And hopefully inspire others to pick up whatever camera they have, and just go out and shoot!