Friday, 28 October 2011

Sofia The Show trailer - finished!

Sometimes it's hard to find a good balance between a full time job, home life, and not one but two time consuming hobbies. The night before last I spent the entire evening putting together a video for Bacalao Performance Company, the footage we shot a while back (mentioned in my last blog) and some footage I had shot since, when I met Marianne, the director of the piece, to film a spoken-to-camera pitch asking for help or funding for the project. The aim is that the finished video trailer will go on the Bacalao website, whereas the trailer followed by the video pitch is now live on a website called, which is a place where people can show snippets of their work and ask for help funding their projects. Please, check the page out, read about the project, and if you can spare some change, please make a contribution to the show and help Sofia and Marianne, they've worked so hard to get the show off the ground. You'll get a beer out of it!!!

I was really pleased to get the video done. Putting the parts together and making something that works is really satisfying. I love editing, it's probably my favourite part of the whole project. It's like building something out of clay. You start with a mess and end up with something beautiful. Now I'm not saying my work is beautiful, but I'm learning about how to get there!

I had actually put together a trailer a few weeks earlier, using a scene we filmed of Sofia singing some fado (a beautiful genre of classical style Portuguese folk music) with some shots from the footage. Ultimately though the trailer focused too much on the sad elements of Sofia's story and not enough on the redemptive, joyous part, and wasn't quite representative of the whole performance. Sofia and Marianne were both very honest and forthright and gracious, and their openness was refreshing and really allowed me to see what the video was lacking and what parts of it worked.

I cut a second trailer using a piece of fado music by Amelia Rodrigues recommended to me by Sofia and Marianne and it's a very beautiful piece of music. I've heard it 100 times and I still really like it. This time Sofia and Marianne collaborated with me to help get the right feel across, and sent me detailed notes. I've been working on it for a few weeks, but last night I put in a solid few hours and got the video to a finished state. I then spent the requisite hour exporting the video by trial and error to produce a copy that was the correct ratio, a good size, and below 500 megs (Vimeo has an upload cap), but I got there in the end! The new trailer was uploaded last night and has been met with positive comments from Bacalao, so I'm very happy!

I've created an account on Vimeo to upload the videos and as a newcomer to the service (having only really used youtube before) I'm impressed by how open, friendly and directed the site is. It's specifically created for people like me who want to upload their own work and it looks really nice. I don't know why it took me so long to get here!

I have to say I'm a little intimidated by the visual quality of the videos. There is a sharpness and crystal clear quality that I have just not been able to replicate so far. There is a also probably a bit too much slow motion. It seems these days that you're not showing off your tech or your talent if you're not filming in HD and in extreme slow motion. Makes everything look like an advert for Sky Sports or the latest flatscreen TV. If I had a HD camera capable of slow motion like that, I think I would go crazy with the awesome novelty and document my entire life in slow motion, so it would take ten lifetimes to watch. But I'm digressing!

Anyway, get your ass over to the page so you can see my video. Read about the show too, it's an exciting and ambitious project.