About three weeks ago, I was camping with my daughter and we were talking about her college application process. Naturally this had me thinking about my high school experience, and I lamented at the (I thought) lost to me video I had created my senior year. I had said to her that it ended with a much respected teacher (who did outwardly antagonize freshmen) saying “remember seniors, next year you’ll be freshmen.” He was also a coach, and I tried to prompt him to look at his bat and go “is that blood?” and he almost went for it but in the end sanity prevailed. But he still ended the video.
When I was in high school, a lot of my extra-curricular time was spent working for our TV studio. Yes, media geek. But I was good at being a media geek. I interviewed a hero of mine (Mike Pinder) and I got to question Steve Forbes as he was running for presidential candidacy.
Eventually, the end of senior year came along and the studio had a tradition of doing an end-of-year video that we aired on the last day of school sort of in place of “our regular program.” I started work on one a bit early. Of course I picked a song from my favorite band because that was, at that point in particular, “my brand” to do that. They had done a recording for the World Cup, and so what if graduating high school seemed like the same level to me at the time? So “This is the Moment” it was.
I had about half of the video done when my advisor (Nick Viscio) showed it to the principal (Mr. Whipple) – I distinctly remember being there for that, the whole studio was dark, it was projected on a large screen; it felt weird to see that way – and the principal decided it was going to be shown at graduation instead.
I think this was the first “senior video” shown actually at graduation at GHS though I’d be happy to be told I’m wrong about that. Did they keep that up after?
Either way, I wasn’t expecting it to be held in reserve. There was an empty slot for “the senior video” that aired on the last morning of school. So I created a second “real” senior video that aired on the last day of class (set to “You and Me” by The Moody Blues – as far as I know, that’s still lost to time).
But on my graduation day, they showed what was supposed to be my video dedication for seniors.
I lament now more than ever that I didn’t manage to get everyone caught on camera. When I started working on it, it wasn’t supposed to be more than little morning show send-off. Not a ceremony.
Until today, I only had vague recollections of who I had on film and who I didn’t.
Previously I had gone through my remaining VHS tapes but it (and the actual last day video) seemed to be lost to time and events. I’d even asked my high school producer about copies just about when he retired and I didn’t hear back so I thought with him gone there was little hope they’d re-emerge.
Tonight, my friend Alison sent me a link, and there it was! I am so happy this was uncovered so I can show my daughter.
“Is that a dent?”
Full honesty up front. I was at the web premiere of The Wind of Heaven as a video. I wasn’t very moved at first viewing. It could have been the interview around it, who knows. I watched it once or twice after and it didn’t grab me. Today my copy of All The Way arrived so I was afforded the opportunity to sit back and just listen to this more than seven minute journey. I also looked up more information and found this synopsis of the film it (strikingly well) represents:
“The Wind of Heaven is about a veteran that comes back home from Afghanistan and really loses himself, can’t pick up the life he had before he left. Eventually, he gets work on a ranch and he finds that he has kind of a communion with the wild horses and he finds himself through horses.”
In addition, one should know:
“The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears” – Arabian Proverb
So, with both of those in mind, I listened again, without the video. It starts very much in the area of despair, and the chorus arrives and lifts us slightly out of it before the song goes back into the sadness. But again, the chorus “rescues” us. The cycle repeats, and the length of the song gives it time to do so over and over. Thrust back into dark, lifted back out of it. Incredibly lifelike. It took me repeated listens, though, to notice how each time the chorus visits us, it is more uplifting than the previous, and by the end the keyboards are practically giddy before the end.
It is not just a beautiful song, the structure of it has made me really love it.