Time to Catch Up - Pt 2

love storytelling through filmmaking. I've mentioned this before, but the main reason I studied industrial design was in an effort to tailor the skills I'd be learning to work in pre-production design for film (costumes, sets, props, etc). I've gotten to do a some of this before - doing design work for props and costumes, gaffed and done sound on film sets, and I've also done a little bit of directing for shorts and music videos with friends years ago. All small stuff, but I loved it.

Last I left off in my previous blog post, the location for the Kickstarter video was settled. Thank God. (Also thank François, who let me cancel his AirBNB that I'd scheduled and kept till the last possible day, just in case Maddie went into labor early and we couldn't use the house...)

Anyway - 

I'd originally chatted with a friend of ours, Greta, about this shoot to get her thoughts, advice, and help. She's an animator (check out her work!), and has a solid sense of filmmaking and of what I was trying to do here. In the end, she suggested that we should have a bigger team on this project, and that I should actually pitch to her employer Animus Studios. They immediately got on board, were generous and engaged, and devoted a bunch of folks to be a part of it.

 
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We'd started out by developing an AV script (audio + visual), which would work as our roadmap for what shots we needed to plan for. We got manufacturing footage in PA early on, then spent the most time planning for the shoot at Jon and Maddie's house. 

 
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Even with all that planning, I was pretty nervous the night before the shoot... I didn't feel entirely prepared, I'd never worked with a team this large, and there was a lot riding on the end product. I have a lot of faith in people, but I'm also used to doing a lot of things on my own (which I guess doesn't really test that faith). It took being reminded that this project wasn't just mine anymore, and that that was a good thing - that there was a whole team of people that had poured their creative energy into it as well, and they were just as hellbent on making sure it went well and looked great. I eventually got to sleep that night.

 
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The day of the shoot, so many people worked so hard and did their jobs so well. From the dedicated cook on set, to hair and make-up, to props and set dressing, to the producer on set who [calmly] made sure everything happened on schedule (which to me is an especially amazing feat). Editing the footage afterwards went really well too. Their team was really patient with my "let's cut this extra second here" or "let's linger on this one just a breath longer," and "I'm saying this here, but what to actually show it..." It took some time to get just right, but it was really worthwhile.

 
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This whole experience reiterated a truth that I often need to remember: It is so rewarding, exciting, and beneficial to work in a team. To work collaboratively with artists that can bring their experience, vision and perspective, and totally different and complementary talents to the table. 

 
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Big thanks to the team at Animus, to Caspian (video soundtrack), to my friends [that showed up for this shoot and were willing to pretend to eat until they were actually directed to do so!], and to everyone that had eyes on the multiple edits that I sent out for comments and critique. I'm so glad you were part of this team.

Matt CavallaroComment