Futures

Awards: Won Best Picture (Campus MovieFest 2009 - school level)

“Futures” was one of my entries into Campus MovieFest in 2009. It won best picture on the school level and we went on to Atlanta for the Southern Regional Grand Finale. Although it was never meant to be artistically revolutionary or anything of the sort, this project was challenging and is a good representative of my skills in digital arts. It combined my abilities in video production such as camera work, lighting, and editing in Final Cut Pro, as well as what I learned in Recording Techniques about operating the studio, equalizing, miking, and more. The project was a challenge for me, because I was involved in almost every aspect of production and post-production, but I had a solid creative team working with me to make this happen.

I was never happy with the script’s lack of story. It felt a bit like a Bank of America commercial, but I think we made what we had work to a reasonable degree. I buzzed the focus when Jess, our fatherly figure, came around the corner of the playground, which should have been re-shot. I was also not happy with how the scene in the boardroom was miked. The original idea included only voice-over, so I didn’t have the proper microphones with me and had to use the on-camera mic. The time constraints on this project and the lack of knowledge of equipment and technical skills of my teammates hindered us the most. I did all of the camera work for this project and split my focus with aspects such as sound and lighting. I would have preferred to have separate people working on each.

Effectively operating the Steadicam Merlin was my biggest challenge. Initially, I had dreams of producing an elaborately choreographed, single-take, five-minute masterpiece, but the idea was not practical for this situation due to scheduling constraints and my overall lack of skill with the device. Instead, I chose to use Steadicam on most of this video so I could challenge myself and develop my skills without compromising the nature of the piece. The only shot where I used a tripod is in the dorm room of the future college graduate. I wish I would have had access to a Canon 5D Mark II for this shot because I couldn't rack focus like I wanted to on the Canon XH-A1. I had to digitally enhance the shot to achieve the effect I wanted. During production, I found myself uttering the words I hate the most, "We'll fix it in post."

Overall, I am happy with the product and am excited to continue to develop my technical skills in video production in the next Campus MovieFest competition. My ultimate goal is to get proficient with using the Steadicam and to use it to effectively and intentionally convey a story.

Production Stills

Our mess of equipment

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Getting Ready

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White Balance

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Mic Check

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Filming at the park

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Run to daddy!

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My mad ladder climbing/Steadicam skills

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Giving Donald a Steadicam lesson (dramatically)

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The Studio

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In the Iso Booth

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Best Picture

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