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The DV Challenge
An organized theme-based competition where Content is King!


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Old September 30th, 2013, 09:36 AM   #1
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The Wall

Hate to be the first to hang myself on the WALL OF SHAME, but there you have it.

Unexpectedly, had to keep my children while the ex flew out to LA to play at being an actress.

Looking forward to seeing the entries that made it!
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Old September 30th, 2013, 08:39 PM   #2
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Re: The Wall

I suppose that misery loves company? I'm throwing in the towel as well - I just don't have enough time to complete the editing and make it to work way too early tomorrow morning. I'll probably finish the film anyway, but not today...

Good luck to those who do complete the challenge though! Can't wait to see the entries :)
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Old October 1st, 2013, 05:49 PM   #3
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Re: The Wall

Well, Im joining you guys on the wall - I did, at least manage a UWOL entry - but, given the circumstances at home, I guess the DV Challenge was a ¨Bridge too Far ¨ !

Looking forward to seeing the entries!
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 04:00 AM   #4
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Re: The Wall

Unfortunately I'm joining you guys.
Was planning to film something this last weekend, but other events took my time.
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 05:07 AM   #5
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Re: The Wall

If you're interested in a story, settle in and enjoy. Everyone else keep scrolling, I hope you have a good day.

The day before the theme was announced, my dad wasn't feeling so well, and I ended up taking him to the emergency room. We found out within only a few hours that although it was on the verge of becoming serious, we'd shown up in time to intervene; after a week or so in the hospital, he was discharged. The process is ongoing, but because everyone involved knows what they're dealing with and how it'll be taken care of, there hasn't been any real emotional strain I can blame my failure on.

All of that means I still had plenty of time to sit and not come up with any ideas. The theme actually excited me, as I have many mysterious tastes. Nonetheless, I ended up in my usual routine of "Bang head against keyboard, come up with nothing, lose focus, give up, get inspiration at the last minute."

Thursday night an idea popped into my head that I really liked. Simple, one location, indoors, without a need to show anyone on camera or record any location dialogue. I couldn't figure out the details, though, and had no idea what to show on screen that would demonstrate what I wanted to. I couldn't get past the block on Friday, and even Saturday went to waste. Even once I remembered the deadline was Monday night instead of Sunday, I had nothing.

The idea went into the trash until Sunday night/Monday morning, when I had an epiphany and leapt out of bed to jot it down in a text file before it slipped through my fingers. A few runs through the details in my mind and I thought I had it. Monday morning I got up on less than five hours of sleep and got to work.

My dad was there to help, as always, and he headed to Home Depot to grab a respirator, can of paint, and sheet of pegboard while I cleaned out a space to toss my piddling little set together. Apparently Home Depot paint center people don't know what Pantone numbers are, so I ended up with a different color and it took far longer than it should have, but he came back with all the stuff I needed plus some extras I hadn't considered, so it was worth it.

After a lot of moving nonsense around, I realized I wouldn't be able to shoot in my outdoor location until dark. In the meantime I had a voiceover to record, since the crickets start chirping at roughly six PM around here and despite my efforts at sound treatment (improvised but effective), soundproofing is another matter entirely, and there's no money for that kind of construction. Of course, just as I got situated and began to do my thing, so did a neighbor's lawnmower.

Five thirty he finished, and I blasted through the work as quickly as I could, getting a few takes that served me quite nicely. Once I finished, it was getting dark enough to try shooting, so dad and I headed out to the set and got to work. I quickly discovered the tiny, worn out battery on the point and shoot camera I'd so brilliantly decided to play with was, despite a full charge, dying fast. The movie idea itself was short, though, keeping in line with its nature as last minute, so I was able to grab all the shots I needed. It was particularly tense since I needed to paint an unpainted object in the scene: I only had three of the object, and needed two shots of it being painted for the first time. I got one take of each, packed a few things up and headed back inside at about seven.

Only to find the footage was awful. The one-take performances weren't an issue, thankfully, but the camera was. I know it's a point and shoot, but I'd also used it to decent effect on a prior project, so I thought I could make it work. Obviously I don't know it as well as I thought I did, because the exposure was all over the place (bright objects shouldn't be moving through the frame if you can't lock the exposure; I knew that, but it escaped my attention in my rush), and I didn't have enough light on my subject, as usual, so the noise was out of control for four of the five clips I had.

I tried to give up as hard as I could, but eventually I rationalized that the deadline was Pacific time and resigned myself, and my father, to doing the whole thing again, this time with my dear old friend the VX2000 (with requisite WD58 adapter for the tight set). At seven thirty or so we headed back out, and spent about two and a half hours doing it all again, as is my custom at this point in these contests. Once that was done, I packed those few things up for the second time and headed inside, asserting that if it was no good I wouldn't bother a third time, charm notwithstanding.

All in all, what I captured wasn't bad. Some clever editing-aware shooting order meant the sole remaining unpainted cube could be safely painted the first time in only one shot, so that problem was moot. The footage even looked nice, especially a closeup that I was able to stop down to f8. I once again looked like I should be ringing a bell somewhere in Paris, but I could have lived with that in all the adrenaline of making the movie.

I cut the sucker together in no time flat, finding for what must be the first time a nice variety of shots to choose from. I mixed my audio, sticking my two part voiceover together with the right effects and a little background music to achieve the sound I was after. Dropped it under the video, fine tuned the timing, added some simple titles and credits, then tackled (for some reason only now) the effect that was key to the whole thing. Visual effects are always complicated, yes, especially on a short deadline, but I thought I could do it. Of course, I hadn't planned on the reshoot, or on the single, solitary effects shot in my plan turning into four during the shoot, or the paint not being the right color, or the wood texture showing through it, or having forgotten all the keyboard shortcuts for my software after so long not using it, or having forgotten all of the techniques I've learned for solving this kind of problem, but these things happen. To me, anyway.

By two o'clock in the morning I realized there was no chance of figuring out how to fix it, and that even the best I could do with months to work on it would have looked just as sloppy and half-assed as everything I've ever done. I also needed time to apply some simple color correction, compress the video and audio, upload to Youtube, and email the link, so I called it quits. Noodling around briefly with the color I found how satisfying it is to play with (something I've never bothered much with since I'm usually in such a rush), but that was the end of my last minute aspirations.

In any event, the movie wouldn't have made a lick of sense to people. I like the "audience participation puzzle" kind of thing, but it would have struck everyone as offputting at best and eye rolling at worst, so I guess I still got everything out of this that I would have otherwise. I don't know.
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 09:31 PM   #6
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Re: The Wall

After reading Robert Martens full post I guess I'll just "trudge" quietly up to the base of the wall...
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 10:13 PM   #7
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Re: The Wall

Funny, Bruce! Yes, Robert's story made me feel blue all morning; it's one thing to never get an idea, but to get so close! I'm really sorry it didn't work out, Robert. Hoping to see both of you again, soon...with entries!
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 10:51 PM   #8
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Re: The Wall

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Foreman View Post
I guess I'll just "trudge" quietly up to the base of the wall...
Please don't let my post stop you if you have more you'd like to share; I'm verbose when I say anything, I certainly don't want to monopolize the thread.

Thanks for the kind words, Lorinda, sorry to get you down (although nothing helps a bad mood like spreading it around). If I can ever salvage the effect I'll upload the film, since I think it was a fun idea anyway.

I just wish I could have worked "Wall of Shame? More like Wall of Text!" into my post somehow.
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 11:34 PM   #9
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Re: The Wall

To make matters more glum, something has gone haywire with "The Luncheonette," and it won't play. But yes, I'd love it if you find time to finish and let us watch it!
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 12:01 AM   #10
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Re: The Wall

Looks like some kind of Youtube nonsense with one particular encode of the video; choose a size other than 360p or Auto (which, at the default player size, will default to the 360p version) and see if that helps.
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