Someone who I’ve met through this site asked me what I do and I was a little perplexed that they didn’t know. But then again it’s not something I wear on my chest or anything. I am a video editor because of Steve Jobs.
Growing up I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I kind of figured that I would go to college get a degree and work for Nintendo. I was a kid after all. Back then there was exactly one place in the USA that had a degree in gaming and it was Digipen. A school co-sponsored by Nintendo that taught you gaming. Was even accredited too. I wasn’t getting in. I kind of always knew that.
We moved after my sophomore year of high school from New Jersey (where I had always lived) to Wilmington, North Carolina. There I attended a private school called Cape Fear Academy. It didn’t have a dress code (outside of tucking in your shirt which I never did and always got in trouble for) and the classrooms were small enough that I was forced to pay attention. Went from a C- student to a B/B+ student overnight. Went from not going to college to going to college. I also met some new friends.
One kid, Matt, was a year younger then me. We became friends for whatever reason. He got a video camera at some point and got way into film. Even though my own brother was away at film school I never paid much attention to my own desire or my own knowledge that I gathered through osmosis. So we started shooting stuff around school. Having fun. There is one famous video of me making fun of freestyle walking, which at the time had become popular with the underclassman. I heard it was on YouTube once.
At first we shot the edit. Meaning we did everything in camera. We were just experimenting. Stupid stuff like throwing a lacrosse ball to yourself. One day Matt came in and told me about his new fancy smancy Apple computer he got. I wasn’t surprised. His family was well off and mine wasn’t. Buying a new computer for us was almost akin to buying a new car. I made fun of him because who would buy an Apple? What could you really do on it anyway. All of the best games were on windows and windows was king!
What he showed me forever changed my life.
He had just gotten a new iMac. The iMac DV to be exact. This version came with a firewire port and brand new piece of software called iMovie. It was my introduction to non-linear editing. I had no idea of it’s existence before he showed me this wonderful software. It completely changed my world. I had discovered editing.
Apple computers were still too expensive for me. I wasn’t getting one but going over to Matt’s house to edit was good enough for me. It wet my appetite. I went to college took math and physic courses because I felt that’s what would help me best in working in the games industry. I also sprinkled in some film courses because of how much story telling games had. I excelled at the film courses. Not so much at the math and physic courses. After my second year at college I transferred to a film school. It was a conservatory and I would have to do four years of hard work. But it was worth it because I wanted to be an editor.
I discovered this passion because of something Steve Jobs helped create and invent. I’m not naive and I know he wasn’t solely responsible for everything Apple has ever done. But he was the driving force. The visionary who knew that the Macintosh had to be capable of great things. That Apple as a company had to do great things. He pushed Apple to make the Macintosh what it is. He pushed them to make possible all of the abilities I use it for on a daily basis. He pushed them to make it a tool that I enjoy using, actual pleasure out of. Without Steve Jobs I wonder where I would be. I wonder if home editing would be what it is. If I would have discovered it.
When I heard that Steve had died last night I was both surprised and not surprised. We all knew he wasn’t doing well otherwise he wouldn’t have stepped down at Apple. That it was really a matter of time. I was surprised that the time came. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had never met the man and here I was mourning his death. I was devastated. I ran to TWiT.TV and watched the breaking news for as much as I could. Jena and I watched some of the news channels to see what was up. She would find quotes that the talking heads would read out minutes later. We were in full breaking news mode. We were sad. Myself probably more than she was.
So today as I go work on systems and programs he help usher in if not co-invent I’m going to take a moment and remember what I am doing. Remember that I am editing commercials that will be seen by tons of people. That I am doing all of this electronically, without tapes or physical media of any kind. That there is a reason why my two cats are named Mac and Tasha. That he was able to inspire me to be me.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” – Steve Jobs (My personal favorite quote of his besides “It’s Magical” or “It just works” or “It’s revolutionary” or “Boom”)