Video/Film

I'm having a bit of an identity crisis in that I'm not sure how to properly name what it is I do in the realm of shooting and editing. In most cases I begrudgingly call myself a video editor but to me, and this could certainly just be me, the term "video" comes with something of a stigma.

If I sat back and thought of the word video, I get images of home movies shot on Hi8 camcorders, family vacations from when I was younger, and funnily enough, frenetically cut YouTube clips people shoot with their laptop cameras.

Are these the things other people think when they hear the word video? If that's the case, then maybe their follow up thought is the same as mine: cheap.

Cheap in the sense of low-fi, not necessarily related to cost. In fact, it often takes someone very skilled a handful of hours to emulate a video look from the pristine HD footage your standard DSLR produces today.

On the other hand, the word film produces an entire different set of emotions and adjectives. I think of romance, art, warmth and a hundred other contrived (but often true) terms when I hear film, and yet I've had no firsthand experience shooting in any physical format.

This all comes back to my identity crisis: what makes a film versus a video? If you had the choice between two equally qualified, charming, hardworking people with great portfolios but they self identified as a video maker and filmmaker respectively, would you be more inclined to hire one over the other based on that distinction? Is there a distinction at all?

It's true that there are some awful films out there, also true is that there are a great number of videos you can find on Vimeo and YouTube that are nothing short of works of art.

What qualities define a film? Is it a strong narrative? Production quality? On-screen talent? Run time? I realize it isn't just the difference between iron oxide emulsion versus electromagnetic storage as the medium, as evidenced by this mostly-impressive list of films shot on digital, but beyond that it's hard to nail down.

Right now I'm a video editor, video shooter, and overall video producer. I think I'm right on the threshold of crossing over into being a filmmaker, even if I'm not entirely sure what it means just yet, and I'm excited as hell to take that step.