Sunday, January 21, 2007

Our Film Project, Part 2

We first set out by thinking of the questions we would be asked when we returned home by members of our families and our church. The questions we anticipated included a definition of The Vision Forum Inc., the roles we played at VF, aspects of intern life, an explanation of some of the activities we participated in, and what exactly we learned at the conclusion of our internship.

From there we made a time line on our whiteboard and wrote out how much time we wanted to give to different sections. Jason sorted through music with a program called URGE, Chris edited the outlines we had all worked on for our interviews, Tait kept spitting off great ideas and worked on our story board (his initial efforts are displayed here), and I worked on our scheduling and planning while attempting to extract from the other guys as many ideas and insights as possible.

From the onset of our internship we exchanged ideas and worked on our interview outlines, but the real work started right before we left for the F&F Tour. As I started looking at the schedule and planning what needed to happen next, we all realized that even with five weeks before our deadline, time was moving faster than we were.

As our trip to Boston neared, we were able to complete some last minute planning and coordinate time to film our interview segment. Initially I assumed we could get our segment done in three hours, but considering lighting and camera set up, as well as mic checks and aesthetic concerns (“I think that book should go there.” “Well I think it should be out of the picture completely. ”), it turned out to be more like 7 hours (6:30 PM-12:30AM). After we finally left the office that night we wondered if there was any good material produced. After all, when you sit in a chair for over an hour, with bright lighting and a live camera rolling, all while trying to shape your thoughts on four months of various learning experiences and business training, not all thoughts come out as clear as you might have wished.

After doing the interviews we then hopped on a plane to assist in the F&F, a once in a lifetime event which we were able to experience in a very unique way. The entire time we were in Boston, Plymouth, Lexington, Salem, etc, I had my little HandyCam ready to capture the highlights of the trip. However, by time we returned home I realized that only some of the best of these clips had to fit in a very brief segment. Sorting out the 4+ hours of footage was a chore in itself, but what I did was give each guy a large segment of raw .avi footage, have them cut out all pointless or ill shot scenes, and then render this new, cleaner segment into another full .avi file and put in on my 250 GB external hard drive. This made my job much easier in finding a specific shot and put it into the film.

As time moved at a quicker pace than our progress, we soon found out that a lot of the interview footage had to be cut out because it was too long. This meant reshaping our story structure. After working all night two days before our premier, we realized that the story needed voice over’s to help it flow better. After borrowing some gear, we did the recording that needed to be done, but later found out that it was done in Mono instead of Stereo. This proved to be a major problem when we actually showed our presentation and discovered that whoever hooked up the DVD player to the sound board had only connected one channel, and guess which one was left unconnected.

Finally, the day before I needed to submit our completed project to our supervisor for his review, we made a final push to get the film done. We worked from 10:30 PM through 8:30 the next morning and then handed our finished production in at noon. Since I was doing the final edits towards the end of the project, none of the other guys had any idea what the completed product actually looked like when I put the DVD into the player at our company end-of-the-year dinner.

Thankfully, with the exception of the audio problem (a quite inconvenient issue that was resolved after first trying my backup, then narrowing the problem down to a few plugs and settings on the sound board), our project was brought to a satisfying conclusion. Though it was far from perfect, all four of us were happy to have the opportunity to work on this special film project together. We learned many things and will always remember this period of our internship.


Christopher Berkompas said...

Those long hours putting together that film will be etched in our memories for years to come. Thanks for the update.

Anonymous said...

sounds like a great adventure with four young men trekking the wilderness together. Keep your friendships, for these will last you the rest of your life.