Saturday, 20 March 2010

First draft of the Grenade video filmed and edited.

Yesterday I took my camera, tripod, notepad and dog (I was babysitting!) to Mark's house to film the draft for the Grenade video. First of all, we took a detour to Perry Vale Studios to meet Pat Collier, the owner, and to check out the studio as a possible location to film at. My dog Louie marched on in to the studios and made himself at home. He even barked at Pat a little. He's 6 1/2 months old, despite his size (he's a big boy, an Estrela Mountain Dog) but he meant no harm. He's just... barky. Even when he's being friendly.

The live room looked good, the walls weren't as light as I remembered, and we might need to set up some kind of screen for the projection because there are some light fittings we need to think about too. There is a skylight, but Pat has assured me it would be no problem to climb up to the roof and throw a tarpaulin over the skylight. Pat also has a nice kitchen/lounge area for musicians to relax in which will be great as a set for one scene in the video that will be taking place in the hero's house. We were originally going to use a purposefully minimalist set up for the interior scenes (a living room and an office) but by using Pat's lounge we now need to find a realistic office.

Back at Mark's, the draft went well, filming was much quicker than before, I guess every bit of experience helps! I filmed all the "story" sections of the video very roughly, one take per shot and in chronological order (to save time when i edit it together), and then several takes of the band performing the song in the basement.

At home the next day, I put the video together very quickly using iMovie. I plan to use Final Cut Express for the proper video but iMovie is still the editing program I have the most experience with, and because I wanted a very quick, rough edit, I stuck with iMovie for speed.

The video works, it needs more story scenes because the performance footage dominates and drags, mainly because I didn't have enough good takes for different parts of the song to keep it interesting.

I also found when it came to filming, that the final act of the video actually wouldn't quite work. I hadn't given it much thought, and expected it to come together by itself quite naturally, but when it came to it I realised that I needed a lot more planning. We talked and worked some ideas in on the fly. It took a long time but we actually got some good stuff down that was nothing like what I thought the final scene would be like.

The finished first draft is okay, the reason I'm doing it is to find out what works and what doesn't. And I'm really seeing it. Doing these dry runs with a camcorder really helps to show you the holes in your work and the areas you need to think about. It also lets you see things in a new light as you're doing them, and lets you go back to the drawing board and come up with some stronger ideas. I've also seen some flaws in my plan to use projected patterns on the actors, which I should be able to fix by filming them individually in places and by having greater control of the light, which is something we didn't have at Mark's place.

At the moment the video is for my eyes only, and the band. Nothing to share, sorry everyone! Looking forward to the getting the video together, the next effort should be something I'll be happy to share!!!!

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