Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Only Thing Playing That's Worse Than "The Grudge 2"

As I write this, I am just finishing up (as in exporting out and re-converting, the boring parts of filmmaking. Well, the most boring parts) to a short film for tomorrow morning's church service as. This month, our church has rented a real classy projector that can play movies and put pictures on a gigantic screen behind the band and the speaker during worship, without having the video play on their faces, too. It looks awesome. Last week I got a bunch of stock footage online and made a video to play while the band did Delirious?'s "Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble?" I synched it up to a click track, rehearsed it with the band, fixed it up to look perfect - it was pretty rockin', I must admit.

So this week, the decide they want another video, but no one can tell me what songs they're playing until I finally tracked down the lead singer during last night's Bebo Norman concert. And last night, you'll note, was Friday. Which left me: today.

So I shot and edited this little film together all by myself today, and let me tell you, friends, it is awful. I mean, truly awful. I can't express how bad it is in mere blogwords. The only thing saving it is the fact that it's basically a b-roll movie (in case you don't know what b-roll is, I'll explain it at the bottom*) to play behind the band, and some of my b-roll is pretty good - because it's shot on HD and looks a lot like it was shot on real film (this is the unexplainable obsession of all filmmakers - they love having their movies look worse than they did when they shot them, as long as they look more like film). Some of it, in fact most of it, is pretty freaking lousy, though.

And this is the worst moment: there's this one part where I needed a shot of a hand holding the steering wheel while the car is stopped. And the girl who I'd shot with before had already left for the day, so I went out, set up the camera, and shot it myself using own hand (sadly, I've got feminine enough hands to pull it off). But by the time I got out to the parking lot, it was 6 o'clock and the sun was down. So I shot it by the glow of the lot's halogen lights, with my own hand and then tried to color-correct the shot later to look like daylight. And also like a girl's hand.

Yeah. It's bad.

Tomorrow, it's going to get played on the 50' x 30' screen behind our band during worship, and no one besides me will have seen any of the film before that moment. And it really sucks.


*B-roll is the parts of a movie where it doesn't matter that much what's being shot, it's just something to save your mistakes and go between the actual necessary things. For example, when you see a documentary, there might be an interview with someone, let's say a zombie. And while the zombie is talking, it'll cut away to whatever the zombie is talking about: rising from the grave with a roar, absorbing shotgun blasts to the chest from cowering citizens, limping along with that inescapable one-leg-dragging zombie limp that George Romero probably really wishes he'd copyrighted. Those shots are called b-roll.

When I say that I have a "b-roll movie," it means that my whole movie is just a bunch of random footage I stitched together to tell a story. Sometimes this works very well - Mark Romanek's video for Johnny Cash's "Hurt" for example.

Sometimes it doesn't. This is one of those times.

4 Comments:

At November 12, 2006 4:28 AM, Blogger bs king said...

What's really going to make you sad is when nobody notices, and they all tell you it was as good as last week.

 
At November 12, 2006 11:26 AM, Blogger Jonathan Wyman said...

Don't worry Ben- I won't tell you it was good. I haven't even seen it and I think it sucks filthwater (as noted before, this is sweet tea).

 
At November 12, 2006 4:29 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Terrible films are overrated. You’ve got talent for making one man’s burden into another man’s glory. Don’t forget that =)

And in the meantime…pass along the b-roll cuz my films are in dire need of it!

 
At November 12, 2006 6:00 PM, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

Wow, I can't wait to tell my friends that my son did a movie for church with zombies in it, set to a Bebo Norman soundtrack! Way cool.

 

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