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On the LIVE tip

Sometimes in the creative process there is no moment like the one when you are throwing paint at the canvas, drawing the bead on a weld, chipping at the wax with a little chisel...

Most of the time I create content using tools like After Effects which is necessarily an iterative process: I try something, I preview it, I tweak it, I try it again, I find my way to what I'm looking for.

I've spent the last few days taking myself out of that creative comfort zone, and using tools that create in the moment. Sometimes there is magic in that all or nothing moment. It's there to be mined, if you have the heart, art, and courage to join with it.

To that end I have been using Livid Instruments Union software to create content very fast, and very much in the moment. It inspired me to go out and do more in the moment stuff... I used my phone today while waiting for a lunch date to shoot a whole wad of pictures of peoples feet on the sidewalk as they passed me. When stitched together, showing up for maybe 9 frames a piece, I got an amazing, kinetic yet stopped montage of sidewalk traffic.

I brought this into my clip bin for Union, which is essentially a dual channel video mixer with effects banks and live input. It's been targeted at the VJ and live video performance market, and it does "in the moment" extremely well. With some great tunes dialed in, I've taken my foot traffic piece and whacked it around, applied effects, mixed and mashed it. One great aspect of Union is the ability to record your output. So all of this experimentation has quickly led to about 30 different, wickedly cool clips, each affected remarkably differently, each an expression of what I was grabbing and tweaking in the moment, without a lot of conscience thought.

I think that choosing to create this way has an analogy in musical jamming. Sitting down and jamming is a great visceral experience. There is definitely a part of our brains that is wired to do this, and may I add it comes with the reward of extraordinary endorphin rushes when you are really nailing it. One could also create music by composing, which is the other side of the analogy: a process much closer to that try, tweak, and try again process I mentioned before.

But today I am jamming, and loving it.

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