Friday, July 30, 2010

And now for something else entirely

This is what happens when I begin to suffer from creative block with the task at hand. Much like in college, with two term papers hanging over my head and a stack of history books to read, I would re-organize the junk drawer or sit in Barnes & Noble reading middle school beach books. So, now, my latest work of procrastination:

My running route usually includes a jog around the Sugar Bowl/Pleasure Bay out by Castle Island. Never know what you're gonna get out there wind-wise. Sometimes it's awful. But nearly every time it is worth it because of the sweeping views of the Boston Harbor, cleaned up shorelines or downtown sky scrapers settled against the setting sun. The other day, I swear there were 100 mph headwinds. Sad for my legs but happy for the Kite Boarding contingent of Greater Boston. I counted out a baker's dozen or so and after the run, I came back with a camera.

The funny thing is, I don't feel burnt out on the real project (yet) and still really love the idea of a foot race up the tallest peak in New England. Something's missing, though. Just making silly kiteboarding videos to loosen up the creative juices again.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Big(ger) Budget Productions

Today in the life of your promising young documenter began at 6AM over at a local brewery, on location for the first shoot for a new television pilot on HISTORY (Channel, The). This was my second experience in the last week being a handler or chaperone for filmmakers at the brewery.

The first was a long(er than expected) Friday night of pouring draft beer straight from the tap room. Close ups of delicious beer bubbling to the brim of signature glassware over and over and over again. Famous. Using a modest three-light system, a boss tripod with a slide dolly and that new-everybody's-talking-about Canon 7D, a real movie like quality was achieved, if I do say so myself. Great ambiance lent by neon brewery sign in background. On the whole we were shooting about 30-60 second clips. Evidently, this revolutionary game changer is not a suitable documentary camera-- it can only record for a limited amount of time before totally overheating and/or filling its memory card. Cool for incognito, spy video but not for the long haul of a 24/7 shadow. I'll stick with the modest little Canon HV20 set up I've got going. It's small, compact, shoots in HD and didn't break my independent bank/life's savings.

Now, today was a reality show shoot. Everybody wants a piece of real life now a days, not just the ever faithful doc geek. Got to chat with a variety of folks on set from Exec Producers to Location Managers to Production Assistants. Even got to stand in and do some blocking (famous)! Really cool guys (and one girl! shout outs!) crafting an entertaining story around pretty interesting premise. Looking forward to the premiere of this, friends.

Now, I've really got to get back to my own project. Ahh, the clip in/outs resume...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Today's edits

I've been hanging out with John Kelley a lot lately. 
Well, not exactly, I haven't been back down to Mystic. But I am going through the John Kelley reel organizing the footage into thematic clips. Basically, when I talk to you and say "yep, doing some editing" I'm talking about organization. This is secretly (or not so secretly) one of my favorite parts of the process. It's also where the documentarianist (?) can uncover themes between all the different people interviewed. I've got about 20 hours of interview at this point, plus the non-interview footage. So, I've got my work cut out for me. But you know you've hit a nerve when things start overlapping thereby creating a little nest where soon the doc will hatch! yes! I did just compare my film to a bird! (A cool one though... not a seagull...sorry PJ)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

This Tornado Loves You!

And now for a day in the life of a super awesome filmmaker...

I woke up yesterday morning at 6:45AM to another wildly hot day. Already. Ate breakfast parfait of blueberries and yogurt. At 8AM, I loaded up my packed-the-night-before gear into the non-air-conditioned Jetta and drove down to the Starbucks in the John Hancock Building. I had an empty bag of Verona Roast to trade in for a tall coffee. I asked them to ice it, which seemed to be like asking for a cup of the boss's gem stones because they were really nervous about giving me this. What is the big deal? Is ice not frozen water that comes from your tap, basically free?? Don't worry, I charmed those baristas, got the icee and got on 93 going North: New Hampshire, yet again.

This time it was slated to be a two hour drive up to Newport where Bob Teschek, the director of the 50th Mt Washington Road Race, lives. Google maps were pretty right on and I found myself saying Good Morning to Bob at 10AM. We set up in the kitchen of his lovely secluded home "out in the sticks" (I love kitchens, by the way) and we had a conversation. I was most curious about Bob's experience with the early races in the 60s and how he transitioned from runner to director in 1982, taking over for the BAA and Jock Semple. Bob was great: informative and personable. He even dug out some old photos and plaques to re-photograph. Man, I hope they turn out for the film. VERY awesome. A pic from the 1937 race! So cool.

I let Bob get back to his Wednesday at Noon and barreled down 89 to the state capitol (Concord, for those of you playing at home). My plan for this area was to grab lunch in the AC to quell the anger rising from hunger and hotness (which I totally DID do and my sandwich was delicious), to check in with the State Library to see if they had any artifacts pertaining to my topic (I did this, too-- shout outs to Donna who looked things up on computer AND card catalog for me), and to potentially find a historian with whom I could chat about Mt Washington and the settling of New Hampshire (which I totally forgot to do-- funny how that happens).

Hopped back into the HOT Jetta and blasted down 93 back in to South Boston to meet up with Harpoon Helps for Greater Boston Food Bank fun. Volunteered in the sweltery heat of the new Yawkey-funded GBFB sorting cans and boxes and determining what is still good for consumption. My two stations were Water and Pet Food. I had one can of Alpo the whole time, but lots of boxes of Poland Spring, Perrier and the like. I also noticed some mini cans (think beach Cokes you're always seeing come June) of something called Aloe Juice. Has anyone heard of this? Or drank it before? What does it taste like?? After my 4th of July weekend, I have Aloe on the brain... is Aloe Juice really After Sun for the tongue? Hmmm.

After this long day, most people were exclaiming about how they couldn't wait to toast frozen margaritas and put their feet up. But on long days like this, I find my running is at its peak. So I got home at 8:15PM and laced up the Mizunos. Bob Teschek had given me a sweet MWRR Race Crew t-shirt that I wore, not just because it's cool but also cause it's white, and the sun was about down here on the East Coast. This would prove to just be a quick 5k, I kind of haven't run in ages (the heat is my excuse right now). But as history has taught me, long days really give me the edge on a run and I kicked it out nicely.

Thus I ended my day completely drenched in the day's humidity and happiness at about 9:30PM. Lots of ice water (the ice was from home this time-- so no dirty looks or awkward withholding...starbucks...). Today is another day! And then there's tomorrow!

ps- this tornado loves you

and this is probably why I do not have my own reality tv show...