- Process -

For a video project, I think of a topic and define the parameters. I think of how the final video will appear or how it will be distributed. These early planning stages affect the rest of the production of the video/art project.

I initiate the project by writing out extensive notes of my first impressions. For a few days, I keep a journal/sketchpad with me at all times and jot down any notes that come to me as I brainstorm ideas. I like to use the technique of free association and writing down the raw data of my unfiltered mind. This was a technique I learned in a creative writing class I took as an undergraduate at the University of Texas at El Paso.

As part of my video process, I compose several storyboards or thumbnail sketches of things I hope to see. I marry the sketches with the text I have written and see what interesting juxtapositions I come up with. I refine the most potent images and text and think about shooting. I try to shoot economically, as I usually have an idea of what footage I want to capture and use. On occasion, I will take extra footage or will take extra shots of objects which will help me formulate new ideas and editing decisions.

Once I have my footage down, I digitize the video and immediately begin constructing or editing. As I edit, I like to maintane a loose structure but try to adhere to the parameters I have defined for the project. If I decide to try a different approach, I will start up a new "sequence" say in Final Cut Pro, and re-edit in that editing environment without futzing or changing my main raw timeline. If I like the changes or the new direction I am taking, I will go with it and incorporate the new changes into the main timeline.

As I progress, I can add or delete items I am editing. Because of digital video, I can go out and reshoot any footage I need to or find necessary to alleviate any blocks or specific footage I may have misplaced or overlooked. I continuously edit and "sculpt" my footage to meet the required lengths and specific look of the piece.

If needed, I add the soundtrack or narration that will enhance or reinforce any images as necessary. If possible, I show the piece to anyone available so as to make changes for clarity as they are needed. To finish, I export to DVD or compress to QuickTime so that I may upload it to the net.

- miguel angel tarango 2004

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