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On Patrol July 26, 2008

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Fun.
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Here’s our second video, put together last weekend for the 48 Hour Film Project.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “On Patrol“, posted with vodpod

Here are portions of what I wrote on the 48 Hour Film Project blog:

Along the way, I think we might have an entertaining movie, but it was the by-product, and not the point.

Background: This is our second video project, the first having been the 5-minute video that my older son and I shot over Father’s Day weekend. Neither of us have any significant photography or video experience. We had no idea what we couldn’t do, so we just jumped in and figured out ways to make it work. Maybe if we were smarter, we’d have been too fearful to have jumped in this way.

The Good

Our Friday-night plot & story collaboration session had a wild disparity of political views, personalities, and ages. It went amazingly well. By midnight, we had a solid story, with good understanding of the various characters, simple staging, and something that would fit the 7-minute limit. I stated early on that I would much prefer for us to have a great story, marred by technical issues than to have a technically excellent presentation of a mediocre story.

The Better

One of our crew members loves to cook, and agreed to provide meals for all three mealtimes on Saturday, and they were FULL meals, including coffee cake & cheese & sausage grits Saturday morning, humongous burritos for lunch, and sandwiches with Oreo cheesecake to end the day. She had veggies, sweets, snacks… you can’t imagine a Hollywood production having better food on the set. Really. I was blown away.

The Best

In spite of having nobody on our team having any significant experience with film/video projects, I split people up into three teams: Script/Story Development, Cinematography/Storyboarding, and Props/Supplies. I let everyone start working, and went to scout locations, based on the plot. I did this because after a few minutes, I realized that they didn’t need me looking over their shoulders, and my presence just slowed them down.

Because of some casting and technical issues, we didn’t start filming until 3:30 PM on Saturday. However, by 9:00 PM, we had all of our video except for the one indoor sequence (the opening, getting-ready scene), and we shot that with just a couple of people involved. Or script/story team had not only come up with the dialog and stage directions, a teenage member of the team had used some public-domain software for formatting everything in traditional “movie screenplay” format. We ran off copies for the entire crew, so everyone had this wonderfully formatted document with all the important details of the story.

Around midnight, my son and and I started editing, taking turns getting sleepy and getting all the audio & video tracks synchronized. We used iMovie for NLE, which probably made things more complicated than if we’d used Final Cut, but ultimately, all we really needed were some simple transitions, and the ability to bring together video clips, a single channel of external audio, and the music/foley track.

One of our story collaborators was also our music composer, so by midnight on Friday, he had a decent idea of what we were doing. Unfortunately, he had commitments on Saturday that kept him from doing anything until late Saturday night. (This is the same guy who is our church’s worship leader.) He started working around 11:00 PM on Saturday, and had all the music done by 1:30 AM. Unfortunately, I had his Macbook Pro, so he wasn’t able to convert the songs into MP3s and email them. I picked them up around 7:30AM on Sunday, came home to do some more editing, and then we went to church, brought fast-food lunch home, and had a decent cut on tape by 4:30. My son and I spent the rest of the time tweaking things. As someone later told us, “you’re never finished, you just get to a point where you have to stop.”

On the Bus

One of my best friends says that the right way to do something involving a team is to make sure you’ve got the right people on the bus, and then decide where to go. I was fortunate to have a lot of smart people, which made the whole weekend a lot of fun.

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Comments»

1. jenefur - July 26, 2008

That was great! You guys crack me up.

2. Bonnie - July 26, 2008

Tim, this is awesome! I can’t believe you put this together in 48 hours. Well done. Kudos to everyone. Start writing your acceptance speech!!!

(In the interest of full disclosure I should acknowledge that I am Tim’s sister – but I’m still impressed!)

3. Tim - July 26, 2008

Thanks jenefur and Bonnie.

One thing I can’t emphasize enough… this was NOT the two-person project that the “Post-It” video was. This was a team effort, requiring lots of work from about a dozen people. I think it shows, as the story and execution are far greater than one or two people could have accomplished, no matter what your equipment was.

As before, we had a great time doing this, but the scale changes quite dramatically when you get additional people involved, and that was the case here. I have no idea if our effort will get any official recognition, but I honestly am not worried about that, because it was very well received during the public screenings. – Tim


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