In my Master’s program last week, we created a video.
In 4 days.
Here it is, with a reflection on the process following.
My [very first ever] iVideo is called BE YOU, and I am so proud of it! I thought about it often during the school year because coming up with ideas and sticking with them are two things that I struggle with. All that worrying before the actual assignment, however, didn’t do any good. I didn’t come up with the story until the night before storyboards were due and I have learned in this program, just like with my cinemagraph, that while the idea is important, it’s what I do with the idea that really makes or breaks the final project. My guiding principle when deciding on a storyline was “keep it simple”, and I then tried to incorporate everything our video expert Sean taught us about video.
Thinking in shots means a lot more to me now than it did before I started shooting! I was so surprised at how hard it was to set up the shots! It took me forever in the cafe to figure out the lighting and arrangement of people, tables, chairs and the camera.
I was also amazed at how hard it was for me to ask for help! Ideally I wanted no actors in my video but I knew that was because then I wouldn’t have to ask anyone to help me. I felt a sense of urgency while we were filming because I knew my actors were just as busy as I was; this led me to cut a couple of corners which I now regret. I originally had the main character walking in and out of TK Maxx and Life Style Sports, but I didn’t use a tripod because of the time it took to set up. Lesson learned! As you can see, those scenes didn’t make the final cut because they were too wobbly. I went back the next day, used the tripod and reshot the scenes without my actor. I really get it now: Take the time to do it right the first time. Someone told me once, “it’s all about the prep time,” and I keep finding this true in all areas of life.
What I discovered during this project is the same thing I initially dreaded: everything matters. Or at least, everything must be given consideration. And I love that the not only the visuals but the editing and sound and transitions serve as parts of the story, becoming analogies to the story being told. The best example of this was matching the audio with the mood change in the middle of the video.
I tried what felt like a million different ways of changing audio tracks and finally gave up. During my first “public” screening I knew this would be a cringe moment and it was! It was jarring and I’m pretty sure everyone jumped.
However, I am so pleased with it now! After consultation with my professor and playing with it more, I am super happy with the outcome. I love that the two tracks just barely overlap as the first fades out and the second fades in. It inadvertently became analogous to the story of the video: when we discover ourselves, we don’t just get rid of who we were before, the true person just sort of takes over as time goes by. Just like an audio or visual “fade in”.