Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs: Failure to conform

30 years ago, I was cutting and splicing 16 mm film by hand wearing white gloves. The process was called "conforming." You had to cut the original negative, and if you got a fingerprint on it, it's ruined.

You have a print made of the original, called the work print, and you edit the film, cutting each section, taping it together, running it by hand through a reel-to-reel setup. Once you're happy with your work print, you conform the original film to it. It's an expensive and enormously time-consuming process. At that time, making a film cost, at a minimum, $10,000 a minute.

The whole class would be laboring on their films, disappearing into tiny, hot, dark rooms to work. We'd come out for air, light, coffee, and ask each other, "Are you finished? Have you conformed?"

I didn't end up working in the film industry. But I made this film in iMovie on my MacBook Pro. In about 30 minutes.

I talk to a loved one almost every night through iChat.

I shot this time-lapse sunset on a beach in Hawai'i on my iPad.

I edited this podcast in Garageband. It's available on iTunes.

The iPhone I carry in my back pocket is more powerful than all the computers I used from 1984 through 2010. Together. (Okay, I made that up. But it's probably true.)

Thank you Steve Jobs, for not conforming.

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