What I'm Working On Now

Three short films are in Post-Production, soon to be submitting to film festivals.
Producing/editing a pilot for a new web-series inspired by the Alice in Wonderland tales.
Producing/editing a documentary on Gene Roddenberry and the genesis of Star Trek The Original Series.
There are a number of other projects in development, just waiting their turn to be produced.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Complications and Solutions: My First Documentary And When Less Is More

   Years back, while in film school, I worked on a small documentary project. My fellow classmates wanted to do a piece on a graffiti artist. My only experience with graffiti was from way back when I was about 9 or 10 years old, and ended with me getting red spray paint in my eye and needing a very rough scrubbing of my eyeball in order to restore my vision. As such, my knowledge on the subject was rather limited and I was interested in learning more about the subject.

   One of my classmates knew a graffiti artist and, after a few phone calls, we had our main subject. We laid out all of our schedules, and after some discussion, a shoot date was set. Unfortunately, the date that everyone had agreed upon was the only date I was unavailable for. Still, with everything else in place, they went forward with the shoot. They captured several hours of interview and B-roll footage, and I was quite excited when they brought back the tapes.

   And then I saw what they'd captured.

   Of the three interviews done with the graffiti artist, one had him wearing a make-up mask, done up like a clown, and with flashing lights around him, another was outside in the wind with terrible audio, and the last interview was in a moving vehicle where he didn't really say much of substance. The B-roll was great, but that wouldn't help piece together a cohesive story.

   I searched through the footage, finding the sound bites that worked, and placed b-roll over it all. In the end, I trimmed the film down to barely a minute long. Everyone else in my group had longer edits, but due to the limitations of the footage, none of them flowed very well. There was either too much B-roll (to cover up the interview), or they didn't cover up the interview footage and had to use the awkward imagery. By keeping my edit so short, the audience didn't have as much time to begin wanting to see the subject, and so I got away with it.

   Looking back at it, there's a lot of things that I'd do differently were I editing it again now, but still, a good little reminder of when less is more.

Here's the link to the documentary. What do you think?

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