Recording Myself: Footage & Movement & Me

Alright, I was gonna maybe say this in a video because it's about videos and seeing yourself on video, but I figured it was easier to write it down and I wanted to ramble on in a way that was maybe more accessible, as writing often can be versus video where everything is said in a particular space of time and so on.

So for quite a while most of the videos I make on YouTube have an interesting relationship with movement in that they are made up of still images, rather than straight up normal footage. One thing I like about this is the sense of calm that comes across from that particular kind of motion. It's gentle, it's relaxing, it's very casual and loose and nice.

But one thing that I miss from footage is my own motions. When I take pictures of myself for my stop motion vlogs, it feels like a half step up from photographs because it's still about a more-or-less still image with the added gentle jostling of slight movements as I shift with the camera or form a smile. When I'm doing this it's a bit like if I was to capture a five second video or make a gif. There is movement, but there is a general stillness of self and no time for all my unedited mannerisms and unprepared movements to come across in the way that they would have to in a longer video where my face and body become their whole visible selves in a more all-encompassing sense.

This probably had something to do with my brief phase of making private video diaries around four years ago. I wanted to record my moving self. And I still want to do that now, and I find myself returning to that idea and feeling curious about it. I want to be more familiar to myself as a moving, smiling, loudly laughing self.

I think I get the same feeling, or a very similar one, when I see other people's childhood footage. No one in my family had a video camera when I was a kid, although I do remember being eleven or twelve and using my best friend's grandfather's camera to film the two of us being silly all day. I'd love to be able to watch footage of myself as a little kid, but similarly that's how I feel when I think about recording myself now, and seeing it now and knowing myself, and then seeing it in years and years and years and knowing myself then too.

I want to record myself in so many different ways, and I do, and I know there's not time to do everything in every possible iteration, but maybe I will find some time to record myself on video in a more traditional and straightforward sense soon. Maybe just for myself, maybe in the dark in the middle of the night, maybe whispering strange and sudden thoughts to myself. Who knows.

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