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Archive for October, 2009

I sat in the editor’s chair, off and on, for about 10 years. It would have taken me just about that long to come up with this: a music video comprised entirely of audio cues from Pulp Fiction. Enjoy!

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I admit, I never got used to the smell of Napalm in the morning, so it’s nice that the smoke is starting to clear on the Veterans Day tribute video. So, as the last chopper leaves Saigon, and the Embassy is overrun, I need to crack open the briefing book and see what I have missed lately (because I certainly haven’t missed any weak-ass ‘Nam references!)

It looks like a bunch of websites I have been writing for have gone online during my tour of duty (bonus reference!) Here is a sampling, with some background info that you don’t need.

Harris Communications: Charlotte area provider of wireless solutions for business and industry.

Carolina Records Storage: Pretty much what it sounds like. Again, from the Charlotte area.

Leitner Construction: Commercial construction company in Rock Hill, SC

Climatech Heating and Cooling: Located in the swank-tastic Lake Norman area of North Carolina, and

Flatfish Island Designs: A fun one. A long time Charleston area residential architecture firm decided to start a new venture, selling coastal-style home plans.

Other than that, it’s the usual mix of websites, print ads, product brochures, and maybe some more videos scripts coming over the horizon. Speaking of the horizon, do you remember the closing shot of John Wayne’s The Green Berets? Duke and the little kid stand on the beach watching the sunset. Did you ever question the logic of that shot, seeing as Vietnam has only an EASTERN coast? If you did, you are a commie.

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I find myself in the familiar confines of the video edit room. Specifically I am  in the jump seat, that second chair situated close enough that the editor can smell your Thai-food breath and feel your project-completion anxiety.

I am working with Charleston’s Unimedia to cut together Project X for the Huge Faceless Healthcare Manufacturer. And, I’ll tell you, it’s the full meal deal. My involvement so far has entailed:

  • Meetings, Correspondence and research
  • Writing the narration
  • Writing the interviews
  • Conducting the interviews (in Indiana, no less,)
  • Choosing the quotes
  • Getting (or NOT getting) approvals
  • Sifting thru online stock footage suppliers
  • Choosing kickass military stock footage (& being charged 3 times for it!)
  • Photoshopping a bunch of portraits
  • Shooting some pick up shots here around Charleston and, finally
  • Edit Day (one of two or three, I am guessing.)

So, how was edit day? We had the usual technical difficulties to begin with, ones that happen every single time and are largely expected. The problem is that it has been a LONG time since I had a project this big, so when 10:30 rolls around and you are ALMOST fixin’ to get ready to begin…you start to sweat! But eventually we got rolling and proceeded apace.

Aside from the technical aspects, there are also the work-style issues to consider. I have known RA for years now, but we have only actually worked together a couple of times. He is a 1-man shop used to hammering an edit out by his lonesome, without much explanation. Historically speaking, so am I.

Before I was a writer, I was a producer/director/shooter/lighter/editor in a 2-man shop. I did not have the time nor the inclination to explain my every move…and really never had to. One of my chief talents was convincing the client that there was nothing more boring than watching someone edit, so there was no reason to attend.

These days, it’s a different handicap.  I communicate with the written word almost exclusively. So there were a couple of humorous moments (as in, NOW we can look back and laugh) where I tried to explain my “vision” of quarter-frame portraits dissolving up, top-left, while zooming forward and fading out just in time for the next element to appear bottom right and…well, let’s just say there was a slight communications gap. I can’t speak for the editor, but I was more amused by it than I was frustrated. The irony? Finally he said, “Just let me explain what I am seeing here…” And he described exactly what I was looking for!

In the end, we churned out a fully-realized, damn near complete piece in 8 hours. We have 3 more to do, but we have made 90% of the style and execution decisions so, one would hope (pray) that the rest go quickly. My hope is that I will have access and permission (but mostly access) to share these pieces with you when they are complete.

So that’s the story so far. Someday I will have to tell you about the 26 OTHER balls I kept in the air this week!*

*heh-heh…balls!

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¿dónde usted ha estado? the Legion of Fan inquires, in Spanish for some reason. Where have you been?

Gah! No excuses for blogging negligence. I will say that, in addition to everything else, I have been embroiled in a massive project for a certain huge hospital supply company in the Midwest. A testimonial video wherein I interviewed 14 internal people who happened to be either veterans or who are still serving in the armed forces. It is a piece designed to show that Veterans Administration health system that this hospital supply company really understands their mission and their needs. And, for once, straight up, this is actually the case.

I interviewed guys and gals who served from Vietnam til today…guys who were on a 30-day furlough and heading right back to Iraq…guys who have kids over there right now…guys who reached a breaking point and openly sobbed on camera. It was powerful, I will admit.

There is a crush deadline, and a coordination between web, video and print. And it must all break by Veterans Day (that’s November 11, pinko.) So, forgive me. This blog, despite whatever clues you might have received lately, is deeply important to me. I look forward to sharing the final results with you. And that may actually be possible. Stay tuned!

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