Wednesday, May 25, 2011

TB's Video, TB's Music

Robert Zimmerman was born 70 years ago yesterday in Deluth, the one in Minnesota. He grew up in Hibbing, also in Minnesota, in a Jewish family that had recently come to this country to escape the pogroms in Czarist Russia.

Eventually, he shortened his first name and took as his last name the first name of his favorite poet, and Bob Dylan started down the road to become as great a song-writer as has ever lived.

His anthems include "Blowin' In The Wind," "The Times They Are A-Changin" and "Like a Rolling Stone," as well as a catalog of others far too long to mention.

"Blowin' In The Wind" was the first Dylan song that TigerBlog ever learned, back in his Camp Toledo days. Back then, there'd be sing-a-longs at the camp, with a counselor who played the guitar whom TB can still see all these decades later, and "Blowin' In The Wind" was a staple of those evenings.

TB has vivid memories of himself, maybe 6 or 7 or 8 years old, singing "Blowin' In The Wind" with the rest of the camp, not really understanding the meaning of the song or its impact on contemporary American culture.

If you asked TB what his favorite Dylan song is, he'd unhesitatingly say "Forever Young."

"May God bless and keep you always. May your wishes all come true. May you always do for others, and let others do for you. May you build a ladder to the sky and climb on every run, and may you stay, forever young."

TB has always thought that Dylan started out with that part of the song and, after putting it to paper, stopped and thought to himself "hey, that's pretty good."

TigerBlog has used the song "Forever Young" in two senior athlete videos, the ones he does the Princeton Varsity Club Senior Awards Banquet each year. It is the only song TB has ever used more than once - though he did repeat the song "When I Look To The Sky" by Train that Greg Busch used one year.

The PVC banquet is tomorrow night, and the video is - TB likes to think - one of the highlights for the athletes.

It features an intro montage of live action footage, followed by a photo of each senior athlete, all set to music.

The video usually runs in the 17- or 18-minute range, and it runs at the end of the event.

TigerBlog's favorite part of the banquet is to hear the athletes all cheer for each other when the pictures come up on the screen, an acknowledgement - for three seconds each - of their contributions to Princeton Athletics during their time.

It always amazes TB when he puts the video together just how many athletes from so many different sports with such varying perspectives compete for Princeton.

The video itself predates the advent of I-movie on TB's laptop, and it used to be a nightmare to put together. At first, TB had to take it to a local video store and have it done for him, since the technology wasn't there. This involved actual photographs, rather than scans.

Eventually, the earliest versions of I-movie came out, and they were less-than-fun to use. If you don't believe TB, you can call Busch, now at Rider, and ask him how much fun he and TB had watching the pinwheel spin interminably as the program either froze again or simply took forever to move along as the file got bigger and bigger.

Today, creating video is simple, and the time to create the video is a fraction of what it used to be.

The big issues in putting it together are 1) making sure there are pictures of everyone, 2) making sure everyone's name is spelled right and 3) making sure that the person whose name appears on the picture is actually that person. TB has gone down that road a few times, with pictures of teammates incorrectly reversed.

And then there's the music.

It usually takes four or five songs to cover the entire project, and they need to be a good mix. TB looks for songs that have an inspirational message or speak to teamwork and loyalty. He can use love songs, if they suggest a bond between the athletes, their teammates and the University.

He's found great success with Bon Jovi, Train, Bruce and some others, perhaps because those are among his favorite groups.

As TB always says, it's his video, so it's his music.

And, now that every other part of the video is done, it's time to add in that music.

Right now, TB is unsure of what he's going to use.

Tomorrow night, at the end of the banquet, the video will be playing, and TB will have it all figured out by then.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just don't leave out the Volleyball guys...