I mentioned the class here last week -- “Tricky Dick: Richard Nixon, Poker, and Politics” -- and how it uses the angle of Nixon’s poker playing to explore his super-swingy political career that took him from the deepest valley to the highest mountain and back (to paraphrase his own words).
I’ve been preparing some videos to show the students, including some in which I’ve had a chance to work on my iMovie editing skills. In one video I’ve compiled a number of political ads from 1968. In another I’ve strung together some clips from the White House tapes, including transcripts to read as they go by. (I may at some point share some excerpts from some of the material I’ve created here.)
Today I was experimenting with pulling together another short video cutting back and forth between clips of Nixon talking about his poker strategy and much more familiar moments from various speeches (e.g., “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore,” “I am not a crook”).
I’ve always loved editing -- all kinds. Can be incredibly immersive, too, as I toil away carving something down to fit exactly with my idea for what it should be.
As a writer, I’ve often found revision nearly as rewarding, and sometimes even more so, than the initial drafting. I play guitar and bass and used to do a lot of recording with a four-track, and that, too, was always enjoyable, especially when I got around to working with some audio editing software. Editing video is fun as well, especially with a program like iMovie that allows for easy manipulation of clips and transitions.
Now that I think about it, Nixon himself intensely engaged in editing throughout much of his career and afterwards, too.