If I could, I’d go back in time and film many events in my life in slow-motion so I could see exactly what the hell was going on! It wouldn’t work for my kids growing up, of course, because that happened slowly enough, day by day, though it sure seems to me now that it all went by in the opposite of slow-motion: time-lapse.
Slow-motion is when something is filmed at high speed, and when it’s played at normal speed everything is slowed down. Time-lapse is when a frame is taken every few seconds or minutes, and when it’s played all together at normal speed everything is sped up. Slow-motion is mostly used for sports and animals. Time-lapse is mainly used for plants and insects.
My first encounter with slow-motion was at the movie theater where I watched sports newsreels, mainly football highlights. When I finally saw a live game on television, the action went by too fast to follow. Later I saw documentaries about big cats chasing prey. Whenever the same segment was shown in real time, I usually missed the action because I blinked.
Time-lapse documentaries were also fascinating to me, but once you’ve seen a bean rapidly sprout from the ground and grow to make more beans it gets old; perhaps not for a scientist, but certainly for a layman just looking for scientific entertainment. Same for watching a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis.
Oh, there are many other examples of slow-motion footage, car crashes and explosions. Movies over-use it; I don’t want to see the same car crash or explosion eight times, from six different angles, with four of them in slow motion. That just makes me not want to watch it again. Less is more.
Exwork-wise, I would have loved to make time-lapse recordings of certain employees. Store cameras might work, but I’d prefer insect-sized video drones, so that at night in my easy chair with a TV tray in front of me and sipping soup and munching crackers and cheese, I could watch them racing around doing nothing. I’m sure it would be comical, like an old-time movie.
But mostly I’d like to edit my memories. I haven’t looked online because I know it doesn’t exist (though I’m sure someone would try to convince me they have it in stock… fitting room at Exwork!), but I’d like a magical reel-to-reel editing machine with which I can leave all embarrassments and conflicts—military, Exwork, and teenaged children—on the cutting room floor. I’d keep only the good times, spliced together as a sort of “best of” my life. I used to have such devices for repairing cassette tapes and video tapes, both Beta and VHS, which also worked on 8mm home movies. I don’t know how many feet of film that would be from me, probably a lot, but I’d work on it. Pull the reels out, fix them, and put them back in the theater of my mind, open 24/7.
Since that can’t happen, I would love to have absolute control over my occipital lobe and wherever its tendrils reach. I don’t necessarily want to age faster, but if I could I would mentally time-lapse through the future boring and stressful hours and slow-motion every good moment with family and friends.