Sunday, December 30, 2007
Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and I thought it only fitting to update Spinal-Cracker one last time before the dropping of the ball. I'm referring, of course, to the coming of the new year and not Chernobyl puberty.
Before I provide an update on the Adaptive Sports Video, tentatively titled "Adaptive Sports Video", I thought I would take a moment and comment on this blog. The purpose of this blog is to provide periodic updates on the status of the video I'm working on. For those interested in the production, you may find these ramblings interesting. For those interested in porn on the internet, this blog is not for you. And for those who think the very idea of blogging is pompous and self-serving, well, you are entitled to your own opinions. I for one look at Spinal-Cracker as a way of keeping track of things that I want to remember about a very important project. Important to me and (hopefully) important in the grand scheme of things. This is not a blog about Stan Clawson. This is a blog about our production.
Having said that, I thought I would give a brief update on what's been happening over the past few weeks.
LOGISTICS IN GENERAL:
I am currently working with the production team to secure dates, talent, locations and technical support for the following activities: Martial Arts, Wheelchair Basketball, Quad Rugby (a.k.a "Murderball"), Scuba Diving, and Sledge Hockey. This has been a monumental task, requiring a great deal of communication with individuals, teams, coaches, and business owners. Since this project is being produced outside of our "day jobs", coordinating our schedules AND the schedules of our talent, has been a very difficult task. That's one of the reasons this production has taken so long to get finished.
We are working with an individual by the name of Erik Kondo, a second degree black belt and founder of "Not-Me!", a self-defense program for individuals in at-risk populations. www.not-me.org Here are some clips of Erik in action.
Erik is currently designing several sequences for our shoot. The best ones will be chosen and shot from multiple angles and at different speeds.
Just a sidenote: many people have asked if the sports we are filming are "real" or "staged". To clarify, everything we shoot is the real deal. We are filming real individuals with differing levels of paralysis, participating in the sports that they enjoy doing in their everyday lives. The only difference is, we are having these individuals perform in a somewhat controlled setting. Meaning, my team and I design the shots and make our talent perform several times as opposed to one time. This allows us to capture stylized shots that wouldn't be possible if we were shooting on-the-fly. In some instances, the physical exertion is greater than it would be in a natural (documentary) setting, because of the multiple-take aspect. But the sports, the people and the action is very real. The martial arts sequences, although shot multiple times, will be very real. Both Erik and I are adamant that nothing we shoot looks "staged".
We are also working with Sensei Berardini of the Utah Aikikai studio, who has been gracious enough to allow our crew access to his beautiful dojo, pictured below.
Our Location for the Martial Arts Sequence. www.utahaiki.com
Mike Schlappi and the Wheelin' Jazz have agreed to participate in the basketball sequence of the video. I met Mike after my injury in 1996 and consider him to be one of the people responsible for my overall recovery. He's a great guy and I'm glad he's helping us with this video. He and his teammates are currently finding a shooting date that works for their schedules.
Corey Fairbanks and his Denver teammates will be our talent for the sledge hockey portion of the video. We chose the Colorado team because they have a large number of teammates with spinal cord injuries. The same cannot be said for our local Utah team, great though they are. This will be one of the most technically difficult sports to shoot, due to the fact that all of the action takes place on ice.
The scuba sequence will be shot in Belize, some time in March. We're currently looking at accessible hotels and diving outfits, as well as local underwater videographers. There will be more updates as this shoot draws near. We originally tried to shoot the entire video in Utah, unfortunately, the state isn't known for its breathtaking coral reefs.
The plan is to have our production edited and ready for an October 2008 screening. Which means my new year's resolution is no longer associated with diet and exercise. We currently have 1/5 of our production shot. These next few months are going to be extremely busy. Not only from a shooting standpoint, but also from an editing standpoint. I will continue to update everyone, as always. I can't guarantee that every post will be as mind blowing as this one, but I'll certainly try. And so, with that... I say: Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Friday's ATV shoot was cancelled, due to inclement weather. Rain and 18 mph winds weren't worth the five-hour-drive to Kanab. It's unfortunate when any shoot is postponed because it pushes our production back. This is the third shoot we've cancelled thus far. Most of our activities take place outdoors, and with winter here, the likelihood of perfect external conditions is greatly dimminished. We will have to re-visit ATV-ing in the spring when the sun returns.