Was that a music video? I guess so. Huh.

So the first big assignment in the video production class was to tell a story or convey emotion using a bit of music, some video and no dialogue.  I made an attempt toward that in small windows of a few hours in each of three days.  (We had more time to plan and plot and organize than that, but within that time many other things happened.  Bother.)  What I ended up with wasn’t exactly what I had in my head, but it was as close as I was going to get with the time I allotted myself.  Very poor planning on my part.  (So sad, so sad.)  Music is “Silhouettes” by 5 Star Theorem.  A friend of mine and my husband helped me by being talent at the last minute.  They are wonderful for that.

There are a lot of things I really wanted to do and a lot of ways in which I found I was limited by time, the poor planning to which I referred earlier, and a definite gap in my camera work/directing skills.  Behold, part of my sort-of-storyboard:

Sad, stick-figured storyboard
I have a serious love of stick figures

I had a plan and an image in my head.  I found actually trying to get those shots wasn’t going well.  I think part of it was that I was not very clear in communicating what I wanted from my talent and what the story was.  I had a sense of what their “motivation” should be in each shot, but couldn’t seem to get it across.  They wanted details I didn’t have/apparently couldn’t put into clear enough terms.  Plus, each developed their own interpretation of what the song was saying (the clip I was using, anyway) that sometimes conflicted with what I had decided the video was going to say.  The other part of the problem was that I had managed to pick two people with vastly different heights.  April is just under 5 ft. and James is 6’3″.  Trying to get a tight shot of those two without unbalancing the shot or put one or both of them in a strange position was damn near impossible.  I’m sure it could be done, but I couldn’t get it.  This probably precipitated another problem.  In several shots, I wanted them walking across, moving a lot.  I didn’t want them static, which is really what I got in the end.  It’s hard to have people walking across, shaking fists, having a pretend intimate moment together when you can’t even manage to get the right composition.  Not to mention there were several shots that I didn’t manage to get because I didn’t know exactly how to get some of them (working with the lighting and making the camera do strange things), and because others required my talent to be closer than the 4 to 6 feet they insisted on keeping between them.  (Yes, I understand my friend was uncomfortable with holding hands with my husband and my husband was more uncomfortable with being asked to make “tender, lovey” eyes at my friend.  I get why they felt weird about it.  But, but… the shots!  It’s not like I was asking them to make a porno.  I specifically said we weren’t making a porno.  That should be reassuring enough, right? Absolutely!)

Aaargh!  There is so much I would do different, so much I would change.  (Like the white balance, for one, and the sad camera work, and the not-so-careful selection of talent, etc.)  I still like the music, I still like the potential for story and the original concept.  I don’t like the execution or that the editing was rushed.  I really appreciate that April and James were willing to help me on such short notice.  They were terribly patient with me and put in a lot of time and effort.  They are good people.

On a mostly unrelated note, I managed to create a little bit of sideways social awkwardness with the people involved.  What a strange, small world.


Anyway, not a bad adventure in the end.  Definitely a learning experience.


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