Blogging over, this post is based on what I actually made whilst I was out there. Two videos and a poem in a nutshell – this will not be university standard:
The Turtle Conservation Promo Video
This video was the one that changed the most. The original cut featured simple ‘stock footage’ of turtles with text over the top. I found the best online footage I could, compiled it all together and sent it out onto the press:
The feedback was generally negative – the music for one seemed okay to start with, but went a bit too ‘waltzy’ towards the end. Apparently, the shot of divers feeding the turtle was bad as well, as feeding turtles can damage the ecosystem of an area. My argument was that feeding animals was only bad if it was a prolonged activity, but I was too tired to argue, so I just cut it out the final cut. I felt this made the one shot with the diver seem a little out of place – luckily during the interview, I got Jesse to talk about diving. However, the shots of the turtles I had chosen to use certainly looked the part – if possible though, I just needed footage of more variations of the species.
The interview was the main thing that was missing – every other video had at least one in it. The lack of one seemed to destroy any human element in the video, which is why it was important that I did one. Jesse put himself forward as the person to be interviewed, so I drafted up some quick questions with him, and we did the shoot in one night in about five minutes. I lost half the footage by accident during the upload, but it ultimately had little effect on the final piece. I gave Jesse a strap-line so people knew his name, and could perhaps relate a little more to him.
I added some extra footage of different turtles. Jay finalised the logo and I placed it at the end. Also, when hunting for music, I always find several variations of a similar ‘mood’, so if one doesn’t fit, I simply change it. That’s exactly what I did here, and the final piece looks like this:
Sitting in the initial presentations in the earlier days of the workshops got tiring after a while. Whilst listening to the ‘Plant A Tree, Fund A Dream’ talk, I wrote a poem about trees (as you do). This was probably around the time me and Marko had that ‘Poetry Night’ thing as well:
I once stood on the shoulders of wilderness
Amidst an army of towering royals
To reap the seeds of our gentle labour
Where the only thing we feared was soil
We marched over mountains of hardest earth
And down through deepest, dampest vales
We breathed the air and churned the ground
Upon the remotest of meadows and dales
But now the time of balance has passed
As the once rich army will now see fall
The fruits of our labour consumed and destroyed
As the children fear ancestors no more
I foresaw an age of changing winds
But no royal soldier expected this
Material things for a material world
When I once stood on the shoulders of wilderness
The React Team Promo Video
By far the most challenging of all the videos made out there was this one – the React Team promotional video, co-directed by Chris Light with the help of his media crew, and spear-headed by Lara and Sara (who were coordinators of the project to start with). Whereas almost every other video featured interviews inside the meditation tent nearby, I knew that would look boring and repetitive, so in talks with Sara, we decided to use use one morning to drive around to various places and conduct interviews.
Me and Lara planned the video fairly in-depth, with me even having a rare moment of drawing some rough stills of what the shots would look like. We also did a test shoot which looked like this:
The overall video was filmed in just two days, and it was completely edited by myself over the course of one night. I also used some shots from one of Chris’s documentaries which he’d made a while back. The end result looked like this:
Feedback was largely positive this time, with most of the criticisms actually coming from within the group itself. The cheesy music needed a little work, but again I had at least three back-up tracks to play with. Strap-lines were preferable with each team member – difficult in places as the members were on screen for a matter of seconds. Some shots were taken out, like the science lab. Some shots were added, like the turtles. Henry finalised the logo, and the end result looked like this:
Both videos were shot on DSLR cameras, with the audio captured separately and synchronized on FCP. Ed, the head of the AWF, met positively with both finished videos. The React Team was, in my eyes, certainly the most interesting and most ambitious of all the videos created at the workshops, but I couldn’t have done it without the help of those who were involved. A solid team effort all round. You may find a later edit of the React Team video with Spanish subtitles and an added e-mail address at the end. This was classed as the finished article, but I did this edit just hours before my flight back home. I was annoyed they’d left it so long to tell me I needed to do these extra things, and as a result I consider the above video as the final (and best) version – I needed much more time to create decent subtitles and make them work within the video. I was not so happy with it, but it could still have gone a lot worse given my time window:
Overall though, a lot more productive than my usual summer vacations!