This morning, two friends forwarded me these two videos that were filmed and edited by young people in our armed forces. I couldn’t help but smile and watch them a few times. Really fun, really creative, and so cool to see young people having a chance to express themselves and to show off their talents. My personal favorite is the “Tik Tok” Air Force video, but the Lady GaGa one is pretty great, too.

A few years back, when I was a budding young film student, technology was not what it is today. In order to edit video on a computer, you needed an AVID, or something similar, which consisted of about the biggest Macintosh tower you could buy along with what amounted to another computer that was just the AVID hardware. The AVID components were additional processors, memory cards, video cards, and a bunch of other things I couldn’t even begin to imagine.

Retail on a system like this was, I believe, minimum $60,000. And that didn’t even include the hard drives, video tape machines, sound system, monitors, and on and on.

About two years later, however, things started to change. Computers began to get so powerful that we no longer needed all that expensive hardware to store and edit video. Software-based systems with lots of RAM became accessible to the average individual. The “PRO-sumer” grade video camera was born – which offered rather striking high-quality video at a fraction of the cost of a traditional broadcast television camera.

And then came the very collegiate debate… Available technology would soon give everyone the opportunity to become motion picture and video artists. But should everyone have the opportunity to be an artist? Or would access to affordable, powerful technology overrun us with an endless supply of “bad” or “self-indulgent” video art?

I have always maintained that the advancement of technology is a wonderful thing. And if people are compelled to shoot a video and edit it and display it for all the world to see, then they should go for it! Listen, elitists will always be elitists, and they will have their reasons for excluding people from their little clubs. Hollywood has shown time and again that just because you have access to tons of money and the newest and fanciest tools, doesn’t necessarily mean that you that you have good taste or even the ability to produce something worth watching.

So why not celebrate the fact that the latest technology has given anyone who has a couple of thousand dollars lying around the ability to make something fun and eye catching? I think it’s great, and I also think it’s fabulous that the internet has provided a means for people to distribute their work easily and basically for free.

Keep the creativity coming!

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