Friday, November 03, 2006

Almost a Disaster

I have been working on this film for over a year now. The editing itself began in earnest earlier this year and we have a rough cut of the film complete. It runs about 90 minutes or so.

The editing is, by far, the most tedious part of the production. But, at the same time, it is also very rewarding as I can see before my eyes the vision of the film---which, up until this point has been contained mainly in the recesses of my brain---come to fruition.

That being said----my heart stopped the other night as I was saving a small edit that I had completed. The computer froze.

And it didn't save.

In fact, once I restarted the computer, the project file would not load at all nor would any of the auto-saved files (I have the program set to save every 10 minutes). I don't know how long I sat, staring at the screen as the load meter that pops up when loading a project file simply stopped at around 90%.

I took a deep breath, walked upstairs and told my wife, "I think I lost the entire film."

I don't even know how many hours I had already sat at that desk editing the film...but for the moment it seemed like all that work was gone.

After trying several more times to load the project without success, I turned off the computer and walked away. In a daze. As if a part of me had been extinguished.

What would I do?

Before going to bed, I turned on the computer and attempted one more time to load the project.

And a miracle happened. After about 20 minutes, the project loaded. I don't know why or how, but the project was back. And I was ready to edit once again.

You realize something in those moments when technology fails: our lives are inexorably linked to our computers.

This incident highlighted one of the strange dichotomies of life in the modern world. To the people of Sudan, computers mean very little--their everyday realities are tied to sustenance and survival. Yet, in order to tell their stories we have to rely on things they do not have access to: email, computers, digital cameras and video, internet and blogs.

Much of what we know coming out of Darfur is from people on the ground--aid workers for the most part---who record and write via the technologies of the industrialized world. It is through this technology that we even know of the plights of these people.

Here are some blogs worth visiting, from those people using this technology to get the word out in hopes that someone out here in the digital wilderness is listening.

Bloggers for Darfur
Sleepless in Sudan
Genocide Intervention Network
Darfur: Hell on Earth
Jan Pronk
Coalition for Darfur
Sudan Watch


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