For most of recent history, up until about 60 years ago, the act of creation was just a part of life. Everyone sang or played an instrument or wrote or performed or danced or Something.

But recording technology turned creative output in to a path to fortune and fame. Suddenly, if you weren't exceptional, then why were you trying at all?

This concept is, of course, bullshit.

TV never had a real amateur moment, and filmmaking barely did.

TV came close in 69 with the videofreex, but the FCC made sure that any potential home video might have had for artistic expression would be stiffled by distribution problems.

The video resolution of the 80s unlocked film a little (toxic avenger, El mariachi, an absolute glut of horror films and pornography) but distribution was still limited to single physical copies.

The internet changed that. Even before YouTube there was Wax, or the discovery of television among the bees.

But now we're well in to the Era of Professionals. TV is what other people do. We're left with infotainment and lifestyle vlogging and playing video games.

If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing badly.

We shpuld participate in the act of creation. It is a vital part of human existence.

We have nothing to fear but failure and ridiculue.

Failure isn't worth being afraid of. It is worth celebrating.

Ridiculue is trickier, but it's cultural. I have done my best to establish a culture free from ridicule at the maker space. People have room to try new things without having to worry that they won't be good at them.

Not everyone plays by this rule, and most of us slip up occasionally. Usually, recognition and apology comes a moment later, trust is important here.

We have a few regulars who are bad at this. Cynics. Children of the 80s. Those whose self defense mechanisms are dependent upon casting dispersion. Ridicule is a good mechanism for stifling that impulse.

Set new norms. Make a space in which creativity can be explored.

Every one of us has a high quality camera. Most of us are reading and writing on it right now.

Video editing isn't a mystical unknowable art. The software is free (kdenlive) and reasonably easy to use. Basic special effects are possible. Simple editing is easy.

I'm not good at this! I mean, I'm good enough for my purposes, but others are faster, more precise, more purposeful. That's fine! Sloppy editing doesn't render a thing unenjoyable.

@ajroach42 I've been making videos long enough to remember when a frequent lament was that there "wasn't any good video editing software for Linux."

Maybe there was, but a decade ago it wasn't well known.

Now we have more good video editors than we have good audio editors. That competition is important, I think.

(I personally have been using OpenShot, because it has Mac and Windows versions so I can recommend it to my students regardless of their OS ... as long as it isn't ChromeOS.)

@crash Openshot isn't bad! I've used it a lot when I had a mac.

I settled on kdenlive because it was more stable, and *significantly* faster on my linux boxes.

But I don't really care what folks use, you know? As long as they *do* something.


@ajroach42 We're on the same soapbox right now, I think.

On the HS level there's a trend towards Premiere or Final Cut, because those are industry standards and some of our kids are getting hired right out of High School.

But here in Middle School? If it can trim a clip, string a few clips together, and add a title/credits, I don't care what the students use.

Most use Capcut on their phones if given the choice. Having seen it I can't stand to use it myself, but THEIR learning isn't about ME.

@crash I've been trying to find a good video editor for Android to recommend for folks who don't have computers.

Is Capcut usable? I know you said you don't like it, but does it work?

@ajroach42 It's good enough and the kids like it, but for phone editing I've been recommending Kinemaster. It's "freemium" to remove the watermark but otherwise it's multi-track editing on iOS and Android.

I have counterparts on the high school level who rave about Kinemaster.

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Aaron Smith

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