Sunday, November 1, 2009

Digging Down the Creative Strata

Digital artwork affords a perspective previously difficult in the creative arts. The ability to go "backward in time" through the stages of a finished piece, from its finished state back through to its earliest drafts. It's a really interesting process, even if you only just recently finished work.

For me it works like this. Each time we make revisions to a commercial, video, graphic design, etc. for a client we upload it to our servers. Each further revision is posted under the same name with the version number updated by one. Therefore, at any point after the project is complete you can go back and watch each previous version in reverse order, back to the earliest posting. It's a great way to get perspective on the finished video as you see it deconstruct itself one revision round at a time.

What strikes you often is just how different the final is from the initial conception. Changes are gradual, and often made by committee. So you have multiple viewpoints changing a single vision in a stutter-step fashion over time. Sometimes the only way you can truly appreciate the genesis of the final project is to watch it's creation in reverse. Many times it helps you recognize why the changes needed to be made, but just as often you find yourself lamenting excellence lost in the edit.

I'm glad I work in a medium that allows historical viewings. I like having that record of where a project came from. Sometimes I appreciate the final outcome all the more because of the path followed to get there.

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