Two issues ago we left Vince Codak growling at the ceiling from his therapist’s, Monty’s, couch. We now rejoin Vince and Monty in the same place two months later.

Vince brings his therapist up to date, “After your counseling I decided to patiently continue down the road toward nonlinear editing. I took my entire computer apart, formatted the hard drives, and put it back together, one piece at a time.
“Even after that I couldn’t get my non-linear editing software to talk to my digitizing board long enough to capture a video clip. Then I discovered my system registry.”

“No, no!” shouts Monty, his laconic professional veneer crashing to the floor. “Stay out of there, I tell you. Better men than you have been lost down there. Never, ever edit your system registry without professional supervision! Going down there is like a one way ticket to the Islets of Langerhans.

“Oh, er, sorry,” says Monty composing himself, “I didn’t mean that about…”

“‘Better men than me’? Forget it; it’s the plain truth. See this twitch in my right eye? Wasn’t there before I discovered the registry.” He stares into space wistfully. “To think that a year ago I thought Ms. Dos was a software product manager in Seattle…”

“Go on,” croons Monty reassuringly, his normal pallor returning. “Did you finally get your system to work.”
“Well doctor, almost, almost. But that’s when my big problems set in.”

“Hmmm?”
“With all this involvement in my system I started, how should I say it–losing touch.”

“You mean ‘forgetting things’?”

“Well, yes. Like dental appointments, but also dates with my girlfriend Wanda. Then my rent.”

“You forgot to pay your rent because of your nonlinear editing system?”

“Not really ‘forgot,’ ‘couldn’t’ is more accurate. You know, I was still making payments on all those gigabytes. Found myself in the street before too long.”

“No. Really?”

“Lost everything. Including Wanda. She said she could see where I was headed, and she didn’t want to come along for the ride.”

“But I tried to apply what you always tell me. ‘Breath deeply. Keep your focus on what’s important.'”

“Very good, and how did that work?”

“Turned my life around. Even in the gutter I didn’t lose my sense of priorities. I watched others and learned how to cope.”

“And what did you learn?”
“Dumpster diving for computer and video components really pays. I was able to patch together an editing bay with a 286 computer and other parts I found in some choice dumpsters. I was able to edit together some street weddings I shot without spending a dime on hardware. ”

“People hired you?”

“When you do good work, word gets out, you know,” says Vince with a twinkle of pride.” I’m not talking nonlinear now, but still computer-controlled editing–straight out of the dumpster. I wish someone had told me sooner what’s possible if you start slowly. At the rate people are upgrading, I’m sure I’ll fish out a Pentium soon. Then, as I feel strong enough, I’ll move slowly back to nonlinear. It’ll be OK this time. I’m making money as I move up. And, I’ve got a consultant to help me.”

“You’ve hired a computer consultant?”

“Well, sorta. He shares a refrigerator box with me sometimes, and he gives me installation tips in exchange for the RAM chips I find. He’s good too; used to engineer for Intel.”

“Well Vince,” says Monty, “looks like things are on the fix for you, no?”

“That’s what Sheila says.”

“Sheila?”

“My new gal. Says she admires a resourceful man; one who can do a lot with a little.”

Stephen Muratore isVideomaker‘s Editor in Chief.

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