This week's flicker, Trapped!, is mostly an experiment in special effects since the main image in my head didn't develop into a full blown story until way too late. Thankfully, it is a short flicker and won't make you wait around. I kept movement to a minimum just in case of difficulties with the compositing, but it would have better with more motion and maybe some ropes! I'm eager to see the other submissions to WeeklyDV this week.
The WeeklyDV theme this week is "Distortion" and I thought it would be cool to shoot distorted video by somehow modifying the image coming into the camera. It worked out OK. The footage turned out decent and I actually got an idea for it two days later and thus "The Jar-head Dog" was born. Perhaps you'll be amused. The attachment for the camera was simply a glass bowl and I zoomed through to my liking. Noted error: I forgot (duh) to turn off auto-focus and it kicked in for a short period of time.
I'm back with another flicker. Seems like it has been eons since I made a short movie and it feels good to create something new. The WeeklyDV capsule this week was "Stream of Consciousness" and I further challenged myself by trying to find a stream of constant thought - no editing allowed. I got a decent piece (I hope you agree). I did do some manipulation of the footage, but it is all one edit. Anyway, sit on down and watch my giant head talk for a few minutes in "Thoughts on Dying and Living." You in a hurry? There is a short version here. I made this flicker by just holding my camera in either of my hands, pointing at my face, and walking around talking about stuff. I used the on-camera mics and did not perform any edits besides the colorizing. The big challenge here was my computer - after upgrading to FCP HD I found I could no longer capture to my internal media drive. That took about a week to solve. Turns out I was missing the latest QuickTime update. Don't know why that would prevent my drive from capturing... Then it got really sluggish in FCP - very unresponsive. That took only a night to solve. The project's clip somehow got hosed a bit and wouldn't play all the way through. Turning off audio waveforms helped some but I ended up recapturing the clip and all is back to normal! Whew.
My latest flicker, American Idolatry, is online for your viewing pleasure. A not so mocking mockumentary about idol worship in our media saturated country. Two weeks in a row with an actual script! A precedent is being set... If you want the local link, in mp4 format (smaller and faster), click here instead.
What could be more magical than a genie in a lamp? What if you had three wishes, what would you desire? What if the genie wasn't exactly cooperative? Check out the flicker for this last week, "The Magic Lantern." Thanks to my sister Jenny for playing the role of Genie. She did great on very short notice and rememberd her lines almost perfectly. Thanks to Mohsen for a few minutes of camera operation and thanks to Meghan for "biscuits."
Talk about waiting until the last second: the movie deadline is midnight PST each Wednesday night and I didn't start shooting until after midnight CST -- on Wednesday night! I was strugging with a good idea and not having one so I just did this little mood piece entitled "Tea, Honey?" Completed the whole thing, including music, in just over an hour.
Ok, so actually my entry for WeeklyDV this week is called "Wired" because sometimes you just need a little extra juice to get you going. Yup. Extra juice. I did this whole video, including creating the audio/song, within four hours. I edited the piece together first then brought it into Soundtrack and set some markers so I could lay down the music to the visuals. I haven't always done this but it really made a big difference (duh). The visuals needed the music to build up tension and suspense and I think it achieved that goal. The red light flashing on the control box is totally fake and done right in FCP. You can also watch it right here if you want.
Mother Nature was very cooperative for this week's theme of "Arctic" -- and she didn't even hog all the food from craft services! All production by me, including the soundtrack, which was made with Soundtrack. You (yeah, you) should make a short flicker for next week's WeeklyDV.
I had a brilliant idea for this week's theme: a gritty neo-noir B&W movie of a person driven to consumption for a new theory that explains the until-now evasive solut.... uh, this movie isn't that idea, unfortunately. But I went through some... tough spots... to make this flicker, so enjoy. Boink!
Too ambitious I was... too unrealized was my idea. Still, take a look at Wanderlust and enjoy the footage from around the world. I think you'll find it entertaining even though it is unfinished and could possibly stay that way.
This week's flicker is called "Sepiatone" and is a short experiment with Ken Burns-style documentary photo editing. I collect antique photographs and search for them during my travels. This piece contains photos found in Prague (Czech Republic) and Bellingham, Washington (USA). Music was created using Soundtrack and while I could have played off the theme of "Tone" even more with the sound in this piece, I chose to just create an atmospheric background.
After many many months of hiatus, weeklydv.com is back in action and the capsule this week is "soundtrack." The theme requires you to download a song and use it as your movie's soundtrack. I considered doing a remix of the song (adding beats and such) but I think it works just fine as-is and creates a nice mood for a short piece on autumn in Minnesota.
There seems to be a chronic lack of time around here lately, but still, another flicker for this week's WeeklyDV theme of Green: Tossed Greens. So very simple. Hopefully you like it. I also did a version with Pantone labels on each color, but chose not to submit that one. On top of that, I also did a stereographic version after reading about stereographic photos on kottke.org. You have cross your eyes to see the 3D effect. I have a feeling this would be much better if there were more distance in the shot - it's just too close to the lens. Plus, it is very difficult to take two shots of something with only one camera and keep the exact same rotation speed on the plate (by hand)!
I had literally no time to produce a flicker this week, but I couldn't let this week go without producing something, so just minutes before the deadline last night I put this piece together. A micro production of a micro idea for a micro movie. Took about 1.5 hours from start to finish. Sure wish a few more people would join in the weeklydv site! hint hint.
Instead of me just making a statement (or more likely a whole rapid-fire string of them) for this week's weeklydv, I'll let some people I know express their opinions -- everybody's got one. I guess in a way that is my statement: listen to other people and have enough courage to respect and allow their expression. It takes all kinds of people in this big crazy world..... peace.
Work schedule almost prevented me from doing a flicker this week, but I pulled one off just the same. Extremely limited time went into this and I felt like a creep driving around at midnight videotaping holiday lights on houses. WeeklyDV's theme this week is "winter" and my piece, "Winter 02" is viewable, as usual, either here or there. Also, I've been listening to Tom Waits lately.
Another short flicker out of my brain for weeklydv.com called "Attack of the Ninety Foot Toys." The theme this week was (as you may have discerned) 90 Feet Tall. Going with the "B" movie approach and shooting wind-up toys in front of a blue-screen was perhaps a bit too ambitious for this week. Especially as I have a tendency to start these things on Tuesdays. Doh. But I did learn a lot of blue-screen technique. I wanted to make it look like an imported movie with some fake subtitles, but didn't get those in before the deadline. This is the reason the dialogue is so messed up with dubbing. It is intentional, do not adjust your set. Feel free to watch the movie here or at weeklydv.com and comment on either site as well. Thanks. One thing that would have helped me (this particular project maybe not) would have been an actual script. I just had images in my head and went and shot them very rapidly. Then I was challenged with how to tie them all together and come up with fitting dialogue. The crew was difficult to work with and the cast was so dang demanding. Ugh, actors. Anyway, it wasn't until two days later that I noticed my unconscious brain is far smarter than my conscious brain -- the song in the intro and outro is from a band (one of my favorites) called Lamb. How appropriate, what with the giant toy sheep! I was shocked when I realized this and burst out laughing (at work). Go figure.
The theme this time around was "120 seconds" and I had a few ideas, but decided to go with this one. I'll be interested in your comments. It was all shot and edited during the day on Wednesday. I had the concept and willingness to appear in the movie and enlisted my friend Jack to run the camera. Whew! This was the closest one yet -- almost didn't make it in time for the midnight deadline. The challenges were as follows: I had a normal work schedule and Jack and I went and picked up the Panasonic DVX100 video camera for a demo early this morning! Wowzer. This camera rocks hard and appears to beat the competition soundly. This is a 24p prosumer camera for under $4,000! It does 24p, 30p, 30i, 60i, NTSC, PAL, has 2 XLR inputs with phantom power, great design/balance, nice lens, full manual control, stellar features... we couldn't stop playing with it! It is super cool. Anyway, not that you can necessarily tell from the video clip online, but some of the shots were from this camera. We just turned it on and shot. Reading the manual would have been a good idea! Do some research on this cam -- you'll be amazed.
I finished up my entry entitled "Girl Haunted" for this week's WeeklyDV.com assignment. Everyone's movie should be online by tomorrow (halloween) and I'm very interested to see what people came up with. I think my approach is not at all expected, but I hope that doesn't disappoint anyone. UPDATE: only two other entries this week (bummer) and they all took the same sort of approach that I did! Funny. All production was by me, Jeremy, and I wrote the dialogue as well. I shot the video at work in a brightly lit spot with a white-ish background. Coby was walking and talking with me while I shot. Once in Final Cut Pro, I edited the pieces together, slowed it down to 20% of speed, desaturated the colors, blurred it slightly and then used the 3-way Color Corrector to blow out the highlights, adjust midtone color and tint/lighten the shadow areas. Music is from a royalty-free library.
I finally got around to creating an entry for WeeklyDV.com! I am very excited so see what everyone else did and what the reaction to my piece might be. Mine is entitled "Dirty Steve" and it was tons of fun to make.