Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Disappearing Act

Ladies and gentlemen. What you are about to read will both alarm, astound and confound! In a matter of minutes, your humble narrator will perform the most daring act of vanishing ever seen by human eyes. But fear not, as this act will only be temporary and your narrator will return. Completely unharmed and ready for the next big show.

I say this jokingly, but the truth of the matter is this: I'm now dedicating all of my free time to post-production (editing, sound coordination, color correction, music acquisition) as well as the remaining shoots. By doing this, I realize I'm taking on the risk of alienating friends and family. That certainly is not my intention. I love all y'all. I just have to focus and complete this seven year journey. This will require all of my free hours and 15-year-old-Chinese-Gymnast-like dedication.

Yes, I'm sure I'll get the classic response: "Clawson, you 'ol so and so, you have to MAKE time for yourself!" Well, maybe that's true. But I also have to MAKE time to get this project finished AND turned in to the Paralyzed Veterans of America by November 30th. That's now a mere 96 days from today. Add to that the fact that I'm still working full time at Instructional Media Services, AND teaching a video production course to boot.

So, the purpose of this blog entry is not to be a jerk. But if I end up coming across as a Jerk, I hope you will see that this video IS my "Special Purpose**". No, but seriously...the point of this blog is to give my friends and family a heads up. I'm going to be dropping off the face of this big blue ball for the next three months.

Am I thrilled about doing this? I wouldn't say that "thrilled" is the right word. I certainly wish I could have more time to play. But I am excited about this project and its potential to inform people. And I want to do everything I can to make it worth watching.

That said, please understand that I mean no harm when I say "no" to invites. I promise I will make it up to everyone after November 30th. I'm thinking of holding a giant "Love-in". Complete with scented candles, satin sheets and Isaac Hayes music.

And now... time to edit.

** This is a reference from "The Jerk", a fantastic motion picture comedy starring Steve Martin.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First Cut: 109 Days Left!

Greetings everyone. Here is the first official video blog entry. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I've enjoyed making it. It doesn't say much, but it's message is crystal clear: editing has officially begun.

Up Next: The website, the title and filming... lots and lots of filming.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Break's over, back to work!

I've just returned from picking up an external hard drive containing over 400GB of Hi-Def raw footage. Over the next few days, I'll be transferring the footage to my desktop computer and organizing the files in preparation for editing. Organization will consist of separating each file by sport and making shot notes so that I can find each shot quickly.

The biggest mistake most editors make is that they don't organize their files first. They're too eager to start assembling the footage and figure the shots will be easy to find. What inevitably ends up happening is that critical footage gets misplaced, causing the editor to take on the role of investigator. This wastes time and money and (in some cases) can potentially affect the quality of a potentially great project.

Okay, so that's where we're at. Once the footage is organized, Jeff (Producer/DP) and I are going to sit down, revisit the footage and make final some final notes pertaining to each sports sequence. This will help us stay on the same page so that editing can proceed smoothly.

It's a little intimidating. So much footage and only 113 days left until our deadline. And that doesn't include the nine sports we still have to film.

Today we shot fishing at Silver Lake. We shot early so that we could capture the early morning light. Around 10:45, the skies began to look a little foreboding. We'd finished shooting all establishing and rear angle shots when the good light began to disappear. Jeff and I finally decided that we'd have to reschedule the fishing shoot. We would also have to reschedule our kayaking shoot, which we had also planned on shooting today.

Both Levi and Kelly (our talent) were very cool about the cancellation. Unfortunately, since weather is unpredictable, cancellations are a very real possibility with any of our outdoor shoots. It's sucks, but I'd rather cancel and resume filming when the weather is perfect. Why spend all the time and effort just to settle?

It's a damn good thing we canceled, because at 12:20, it began to rain and hail. Like REO Speedwagon, we rode the storm out, then packed up and headed down the canyon. The footage we got was great, it's just too bad that we weren't able to finish. It's also good because I think we have a better kayaking shoot in store. We're going to shoot amidst the fall colors. This time, however, we're going to put two quads on the kayak: Levi and a C5. We still want Levi for kayaking and I hope he'll do it, considering we've now canceled his shoot twice.

So, what's next? Swimming on August 17th, Sailing on August 28th and the fishing re-shoot sometime in the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, I'll be slipping into my "Howard Hughes" mode. There's a lot to do in a very little time. So, to all my friends and family, please forgive me if my availability decreases.

Up next: Editing, Title and Website.