For the last five weeks we have been shooting and editing a long-form video on how to build a stick chair using simple tools (plus a few – mostly inexpensive – specialty tools that make the job easier, which are covered in the video) with wood from the lumberyard.
The video clocks in at more than four hours long with 18 separate chapters that cover all aspects of construction, from selecting the lumber to applying the finish. The video will be available to stream or download (without any digital rights management). Above is the trailer, which says “Available Now” at the end; you’re getting a sneak peak – it’ll be available on Aug. 15.
Purchasers will also receive a digital file with full-size patterns for the chair shown in the video, which can be printed out at any reprographics firm or office supply store. Plus, notes on the sizes of the chair parts and sources for tools used in the video.
The video will be released on Monday, Aug. 15. For the first two weeks, we will sell it at an introductory price of $50. After that introductory offer, the video (and its downloads) will be $75.
This is our first in-house video for Lost Art Press. For previous videos we hired professional videographers, video editors and sound technicians. While that process produced a slick-looking product, the filming process was difficult and exhausting. Hiring a professional crew is expensive, and so there was always a rush to get the thing shot because of the hourly bill.
Thanks to new technology and a lot of practice on our part during the last two years, we now are confident we can produce high-quality video (and sound) without hiring a crew. As a result, this video was shot in painstaking detail and took five weeks. (It usually takes me two-and-a-half days to build a chair, so this was a sloth-like process.)
We were also able to incorporate graphics and details that had to be glossed over with a professional crew.
This, however, is not cinematic art. (Your spouse will likely sleep through parts.)
I consider the “Build a Stick Chair” video as a companion to “The Stick Chair Book.” But not a substitute. The book took about 56 weeks of work and goes into details that are impossible for a talking head to explain on your television. But the video shows bodily motion in a way that print never can. Some things about chairmaking are so simple if you can just see the process unfold before your eyes.
I’m not saying you should get both the book and the video. Instead, start with the one that appeals to you most. If you are a visual learner, the video is probably the correct choice. If you are first a reader, the book is what I would recommend.
Above is a short trailer I put together that shows some of the processes that are explored in the video. There is a cat in at least one shot.
Thanks to Harper Claire Haynes (our summer intern) who did the bulk of the shooting and editing. And Megan Fitzpatrick, who filled in every day and helped immensely with getting the video into its final semi-polished form.
Last word: Don’t expect a flood of long-form videos from us. Our first love is books. But when we can do a video (and it we think it will help people) we now have the technology and skill to do it.
— Christopher Schwarz