Friday, November 28, 2014

Filmography, The

While I have a Flickr and a Tumblr photoblog (and a forgotten Blogger photography blog), I never really touched on my minor filmography.

While I was in the Photography program at Algonquin, there was a video component, just as there was a web design component - both in a class called multimedia. The result was several short videos I created due to assignments. They're all on YouTube, but you can't find them because they're all unlisted. Until now.

I created four videos in that class, all of which I'm going to embed here, with a short description. Some are simple and others are intended to be funny or interesting.

"Justin Pushes a Tripod Around (Like Usual)"

I should note right away that all videos were required to have their own music, which didn't appeal to me, so instead of doing what everyone else in class did - using free music that I wasn't going near - I simply added my own simplistic demos as background music. They're not great or perfect, but it was a stupid requirement. The Nikon camera I used had a time-lapse function. I simply just inched the tripod after the camera took an image during class time.

"Missed Call"

Other than the horrible-sounding demo music, this was based off of the simple direction that we had to film someone answering the phone. Creativity was up to us. This was the first time I had my friend Benny help me out. He filmed using a Canon 5D (which was required for all video assignments due to its full-frame sensor).
I should note that I did not actually throw a cell phone at the end. It was actually a black plastic case my clip-on shades came in. I accidentally threw it at a truck parked just off-camera. Driving at speed up the driveway took two takes (no, I did not crash or otherwise miss the driveway the first time. It was Benny's blurry filming).

"How to Make Iced-Tea"

The instructions were a silent instructional video. Benny filmed again, using a video tripod. The requirement was ten scenes at least, so I just multiplied the scenes of my spooning iced-tea powder into the glass ridiculously. I'm missing my facial hair in this video. The colouring is horrible thanks to my incompetence at colour-correction in Adobe Premier.

"Restoring Audio Gear, etc. With a Focus on a Bose 1801 Power Amp"

This was the longest and most intimate video I had to make. It was an interview video. My longest friend, Duncan, fixes and restores audio gear from the 70s and 80s in his basement. I filmed while Benny held a makeshift boom mic. It was quite fun to do. The only drawback is the incessant music. The demo itself isn't too bad but I had to repeat it to finish the video with it. The only other issue is the limited depth of field (difficult to focus perfectly as a result). If you listen carefully you might hear me whispering at Benny not to play with the microphone.

"Soma Commercial"

The last video (that I at least put on YouTube). This wasn't my first idea - originally, I was going to make a spoof of a 1998 Volvo commercial featuring Tony Hale moving to music in a car (shown from the silent exterior view, so you don't realize exactly what he's doing until a friend walks up and opens the door, revealing the music). Benny had helped me out on that one as well, filming me in the car from outside, etc., and entering the car at the end. Unfortunately, I'd handed in the 5D camera without taking any of the footage off of the card, having forgotten, so all of it was wiped out. Overdue by that point, I came up with a fast idea to spoof those Viagra commercials and filmed the whole thing in the ER at the college. The name - 'Soma' - is a direct reference to the psychedelic drug featured in the dystopian novel 'Brave New World.'

Out of all of these videos I like this one the most because of its simplicity and editing. Also, instead of using the normal low-quality boom mics I'd been using in some of the other videos, I used a proper Hn1 Zoom recorder (the highest quality sound recording method available to us) to get the sound in this video. It's hidden behind the stuff sitting on the counter, just out of camera view. The only issues I had were, once again, the unusually limited depth of field focusing. Otherwise it's simple and kind of funny, especially the way Dave just dumps five tripods on the counter at once in the end. Benny didn't take part in this session. It didn't take too long either, other than the students coming in to get equipment (Dave had to deal with them). There weren't too many interruptions, thankfully.

That's the basic filmography. I never really thought of it until I looked back over these videos again tonight. A few are simplistic basic boring things like the time-lapse, others are plain silly like the missed call, and a couple aren't half bad like the interview or the commercial spoof. Maybe I'll make more in the future. Who knows. I've written a few little scripts. I tried filming a pseudo-television episode called 'Bearded Escapade' about me trying to figure out what to send to my father in Jordan, and I approach people in my family as well as friends. Only two scenes ever got filmed though, and with a replacement cousin for my intended cousin (her brother) which screwed up the whole process and just made it look and sound extremely amateur. Then circumstances happened that summer that effectively made me uninterested in continuing.

Anyway, those are there as a start. I really like the Soma one. It's neat to look at them again.

Red Cloud

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