Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Keep the Momentum Going

Wow, I have so much to do! I'm feeling the pressure to keep the momentum going. It's been very exciting to work on this film. I have been educated on the Montagnards, learned details of technical documentary-making, and even refreshed my investigative journalism skills.

One of my coworkers has seen my excitement and commented,
"It's almost like coming in to work each day is an inconvenience because you have so much exciting stuff going on!"
She meant well, but the statement keeps ringing in my ears. I keep replaying it over and over, hoping that I'm able to keep all of these balls juggling well enough. I have noticed that I've been tired when coming to work, and my level of patience with a barrage of innocent questions from all directions has been significantly shortened. But then again, my level of stress at work is incredibly high as we transition, yet again. I have a lot to juggle all day while I'm here, and rarely get out to lunch (which makes my blood sugar drop, too). It's not a good combination.

But, we hope to have the film finished by October or earlier, so we don't have too much longer to keep this speed up. If I can keep the speed going, we can have the interviews wrapped in the next month or two. Then we can start on the post-production process.

I've already spoken with Wil Kazary of Guerrilla Productions, who gave me great advice last night. Wil and I met on a project back in 2005, where he was shooting a local reality show that's not too different from The Apprentice. I grew to appreciate his creativity, enthusiasm, and pursuit of excellent photography. He and his crew were very professional. Since that time Wil and I have brainstormed about creating feature-length films, from script writing to production and distribution. The conversation we had last night was incredibly helpful, and I hope that we might be able to work on another project in the near future. Ironically, he filmed my father once many years ago before we were ever introduced.

One of his suggestions was to digitize the footage ourselves. I had been thinking about this, and was curious about the process and cost associated with it. Having a G5 already, I think it would be pretty feasible. And back in 2003/2004, I spent a great deal of time working as a video editor for a local wedding photography shop. We used Macs and Final Cut Pro, so I learned a great deal about it then.

The only big concern I have with doing this ourselves is the amount of time I don't have to work on it. Right now I would like to stay focused on managing the entire project, and I fear that taking the time to digitize each of these tapes to get them to the transcription agency might take my focus in another direction. Always willing to weigh pros and cons, I do see the point that I will have to have these digitized for delivery when we start to edit the film down the road. Might be worth the time and money to do this now rather than later when we'll need to deliver them to the editor.

Wil also shared a great bit of detail about the editing process. I was curious about how to clearly communicate to the editor (whomever this ends up being) which shots we want. He walked me through delivering the footage to the editor all the way through to what is essentially a written storyboard. He shared how we can save time and money by writing all of this down so that the process is much more streamlined, and that was very good information to have.

My to do list has grown from one full page to two, as we distinguish best steps for moving forward. My introduction with the Montagnards on Saturday is still with me, and as a result of meeting them then I have been invited to High Point to hear them perform. I've still got to get more information on this and confirm that it is alright for me to (1) attend and (2) film.

Recently I also did some research on funding for documentaries. If I do more reading, I can confirm this, but so far I have found about $7,500 (potentially) from local groups supporting this type of work. Of course, grant writing and applying to festivals is a slow process, but I am hopeful that we could at least reimburse ourselves for all of our expenses incurred to date. If anyone reading this has ideas for funding, please let me know!

Oh, and the camera arrived this week! I have gotten two voice mails about it, but haven't been able to go pick it up yet. I won't have a lunch break to do that this week, so I will have to do that after work one day. Also, I have to remember to pick up the loaner camera from the house when I go pick up ours...my mouth is watering. This camera is bea-u-tiful! I am so anxious to review the footage from last weekend to see how it all turned out. Hearing my own voice is an incredibly painful experience (a reason I think I'm destined to be a producer, not actor), so if I can overcome that then I'll be set! Mike and Greg shared such great information; I'd like to hear it again to let it all sink in. Another (belated) reason I think that we might want to digitize the tapes ourselves. I just have to create a cost estimate so we can weigh that against having someone else finish it.

More details to come. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Chris said...

Let me just tell you that I love working on Final Cut. It's a very intuitive and user friendly system. I don't know how you're planning to save/store your footage & project, but I highly recommend looking at some Lacie portable drives and not slowing down your processor by storing everything on the computer itself. Just my .02