Pecking away at the keyboard, sounds of water running in the back ground, piano in the foreground. Micro fiber cloth clashes with the cold Arctic white tile. Cherry wood and rippled glass. Rainforest marble. More precious metals in this room than anybody would know, rumors of gold. The piano plays the end ‘Dead or Alive’ and starts ‘Hotel California’. Blue light floods out from a microphone without a speaker. Click clack, water, piano is all that is heard. Imaginary ball room dancers in era costumes. Looks are ghostly white, as no one is playing the piano but this object. Small white. Sounds of beautiful music but no player. This is what I think about.
Make a black and white observation of the room you are in. You may be surprised on the how far your imagination goes when there is nothing to imagine.
This is a history of my Internet video life or just how I got to be me. A mostly untold story known only to me. I started a YouTube to watch videos in 2006. Saw there was a community there. The top dog at the time had about fifty thousand subscribers I think. Anyways I know that ten thousand views could land you a most watched for the day/week/month honor badge. This was before youtube money. SXEphil was still asking for donations to pay rent. The porn was just taken care of but nipples found ways to thousand of thumbnails as anyone could upload a thumbnail for a video at the time. The local news was starting to show the homemade rockets and backyard roller coasters of the Internet. The gossip news was showing celebrity mistakes caught and uploaded. The big news was showing the killing our country was doing in Iraq and how at home the government was starting to compare more with North Korea than anything the constitution said. I have started to upload magic tricks and there was a small group of magicians. I believe getting a hundred subscribers was a good first month of a new channel. The partnership program was rolling out to top dogs who by then had external partners or just asked for donations. I had upgraded many the coolpix cameras every year, now that shows brand dedication. By two thousand eight everything was different. Everybody reworked to a false goal of partnership. Like that would mean millions of dollars. With me in the race for partnership was many others. YouTube only let in about a hundred partners a month. I had bought my last coolpix time to upgrade to something more professional, a JVC Everio. It was amazing to me at the time. 360p while all the professional partners were at 720p. Amazing clarity and the Internet you had to have to watch a three minute video in less than ten minutes costed a pretty penny. I had started my World of Warcraft addiction by now and was playing upwards of ten hours a day. My magic video empire faded out because of lack of well anyone watching. I made a channel with my real name, Russ Catalano. Something only some people were starting to do. Seven eight nine one of the first mega YouTube gatherings was underway while I was recording my first undercover secret journalist footage. After of hours with my Everio hidden in my pocket on record. Gun threats, police, arrests, beatings, unfair fights, abuse of power, mental clinics and rehab. My Everio captured these crazy people I was living with. The day I had drunk people chase me with intent to kill in front of police while I was shouting that this had to end I was turning over tapes. The first time anyone ever knew what was going on, the recording. The police ended the craziness after placing everyone in handcuffs. I was taken to the police station where I had been asked to join a lady in a office. I walk in and she has the jump drive I had tossed the officer during the chase. She asked me to sit down, I did. She told me the paper in front of me is for me to sign. It’s a permission slip for the police department to use my video in the training of new officers. I was free to go after I had revived many thanks. I went home. Uploaded one of those clips to YouTube under a fake name. The video had some attention going to it. My idols at the time was talking about it. The people in the video did find me and questioned me about how that ended up online. This was still a time where lying for personal safety was easy. I said someone linked me to it on MySpace and it auto puts any links sent to me to my YouTube. They bought it enough to let it go. I continued upgrading equipment and upgrading news stories. Although my YouTube uploading days were over there was still a deep respect on how the website mended me and so many others in such a way. I still uploaded videos to embed on my website but my focus became photography. Mostly of a journalistic type but often I would go shoot street photos and graffiti to get my mind off of the news photos I was taken. People’s lives lost while I was standing there with a camera, all possessions collected though a whole life burning to ash. Now street photography and graffiti photography was a therapist. Still is, on a bad day I take these artsy non news photos. Not that my news photos weren’t artsy. I had some Nikon DSLR then. Only to keep upgrading. Then this last year jumping the gap to Canon EOS DSLR and gathering lenses instead of the yearly camera body upgrade. Recently gathering the EOS 7D as a all purpose carry everywhere camera. Something I carry and use all day everyday. If it wouldn’t have spawned by those magic videos, police accommodations, YouTube. I would not be who I am. Talk to who I talk to. Six years later. Good or in cases bad it’s still the history of my camera life.