letting it evolve

One of the best parts of keeping a blog, as I have sporadically in the past, is the beginning phase, when you’re not really sure what it’s gonna be. You just throw random crap at it and see what you like.

I write a bit, as a hobby. I’m currently working on a brand new project, a “novel”, which I put in quotes because it sounds pretentious as all fuck, but it is what it is. It’s set in an apocalyptic setting, possibly zombies, I’m letting the story evolve in my head as I write, which has advantages and disadvantages.

With the story, I could sit down in an afternoon or two and write out a detailed outline, with plot twists and all of that stuff. But then the writing, to me, doesn’t feel as organic. It’s just not as fun to write, and since I’m not getting paid for it, fun’s the only thing it’s about.

Instead, I start with a character, whose name is likely temporary but whose personality is well-defined in my head. He meets other characters, who are only very slightly less defined in my head. The situation they’re all in is clear in my head, and their individual and group goals are clear.

So what I’m doing is just letting it flow. Sure, a lot will have to be cut out. I have entire paragraphs where I’m just describing things, and they’ll have to be cut or condensed. It’s all for my benefit, because once I write it, it becomes more clear in my head, more concrete, not just a nebulous fuzzy vision in my brain.

The characters act the way people would act, speak the way people would speak, and it’s a story that’s unfolding as I watch. It’s exciting.

It’s kind of the same way with this blog. I have an idea for a post, and I post it. I don’t care if anyone reads it, I’m having fun. I don’t have a direction to go in, I just go.

footage

I had a weird question pop up in my head this morning: Why is the word for “a recording”, specifically film in my experience, footage?

As usual, Wikipedia had my answer.

The origin of the term “footage” is that early 35 mmsilent film has traditionally been measured in feet and frames; the fact that film was measured by length in cutting rooms, and that there are 16 frames (4-perf film format) in a foot of 35 mm film which roughly represented 1 second of silent film, made footage a natural unit of measure for film. The term then became used figuratively to describe moving image material of any kind.

When these random little questions pop up, I like to try to answer them myself first, by thinking about it and bullshitting an answer to myself, and this time, I wasn’t far off. I had figured it was some sort of old term for those big film cans. I imagined some weird 1930’s director saying they shot a thousand feet of film.