My Life Flashing Before Me – On Video

lifeIt’s officially “The Day After.”

The day after my firstborn got married. I’m about to slip into a coma, so you just enjoy a leisurely read while I visit the afterlife. I promise to give the full scoop about that next week – if I decide to come back (if they let me come back, I’m not sure how it works down there).

The final project I had to complete for the wedding was a doozy: the montage video.

You know, that sentimental movie playing in the entryway of the reception showing the bride and groom as they grow up, meet, fall in love and live happily every after. It lasts about twenty sappy minutes and you watch it, sigh and say, “Ahh, how sweet!” then go eat free cake.

What you probably don’t realize is that twenty-minute flick represents hours and hours of meticulous, painstaking work. Finding, gathering, organizing, editing, scanning, converting, correcting and digitizing piles, boxes, folders and files of photos and video footage spanning a lifetime. And that’s all before you actually even start creating the video!

I’ve made three of these suckers in recent months: one for my teenage son’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor, one for my mom’s retirement party, and one for my daughter’s wedding. My sister wanted me to make another one for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary party a few weeks ago, but I just couldn’t do it in combo with wedding preparations.

Life has just had too many freaking special occasions lately!

If these videos are so much work, one might wonder why freaks like me do it. Well, the finished project may provide twenty minutes of amateur entertainment for viewers, but the process of working on the videos has provided me with a priceless experience. These projects have been timely for me because I’m at a crossroad.

My life is changing fast.

My kids are growing up and going away (and so is my memory). I’m in mid-life crisis mode where I wonder about my life and what I’ve done with it so far. Then I see it in pictures.

As I organized materials for my son’s video, I found pics of him as a little boy sitting on my lap, holding my hand, hugging and snuggling me. I remembered for a moment how it felt to be allowed into a circumference near his physical being, and included affection. As I put photos in order and set them to a soundtrack, I watched my boy grow up before my very eyes, which were spouting tears.

In the process of gathering and organizing materials for my mom’s video, I came across video footage from the years Mom had us perform as kids in a singing group wearing matching pinafores, then later as young adults in a cover band with matching permed mullets.

I didn’t know if I’d have enough time to make a video for my daughter’s wedding, but this last week I cannibalized even more sleeping hours to crank one out for the occasion. I’ll sleep when I’m dead, right? But when I die I’ll know I lived a full and meaningful life, because I set it to music and compiled it on video.

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