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Old January 9th, 2008, 01:42 AM   #16
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 183
Episode 5:

One of the things I enjoyed most about shooting the Ronnie Day Project was the number of large setups we'd be doing. With the party, the lookout, Jamie's house exteriors and our street scene with Ronnie's performances at both day and night, we had a number of big exteriors requiring large setups to accomplish with little amount of time.

The night exterior scenes were fun to shoot because it required a lot of crew and a lot of equipment. You can see from both the behind scenes video and pictures that we owned the entire street we were shooting on. For Ronnie's performances in particular we had to shut down the entire street. You can see in this video that we see all the way down the street until its end. In order for any of this to be seen in the picture we had to throw up big lights that raked the whole block.

Aside from the beginning and ending, Episode 5 takes place entirely at night. Not only did we have several shots outside of Jamie's house, but we also had Ronnie's performance on the street. Unlike Episode 3, this performance was covered entirely on our crane. While Ronnie's performance in Episode 3 was meant to feel more intimate and focused on the performance of the song (his emotions, tone, face, etc), we wanted Episode 5 to feel grander and more epic to fit with the rising emotions and structure of the song. The song itself feels bigger and what we wanted to do was translate the rise and fall of the structure to our camera moves. We wanted the moves to match the moments in the track.

For the story, we shot everything in slow motion. This was planned from the beginning for several reasons. When I was listening to the song while writing the treatment, I immediately pictured everything in slow motion. Secondly, this is a point in our story where everything is at our heaviest and lowest. Brendan is as low as he possibly can be, while Jamie is beginning to show signs of reversal. She's still with Derek, but is starting to see that he's kind of a jerk (the "other" guys always are) and that she's doing the same thing to Brendan that he did to her. In his time of need, she's abandoning him. This is Jamie's story as much as Brendan's, and I feel this song really focuses on Jamie. Up until now, we've either split the focus between them or spent more time on Brendan. Here, we've chosen to focus a little more on Jamie by presenting her with a question in the beginning of the episode:

"So make a decision Jamie…is it gonna be me or him?"

Jamie spends the rest of the episode trying to answer that question.

Ultimately, I'm very happy with the way this video turned out. It's one of the videos I looked forward to shooting the most. It's a very dark video for what I feel is a very dark song, and it propels us in the right way and at the right time towards the finale, when the question posed above will finally be answered.
Joshua Caldwell
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Old January 9th, 2008, 01:43 AM   #17
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 183
Episode 6:

I’m sitting here in the editing suite watching James finish color correcting Episode 6. It’s weird that everything is finally coming to close, both in terms of the story itself, and my involvement. Filmmaking is a very nomadic profession. When you’re done with production everybody leaves, moving off to the next project, or in my case, continuing on with the same one. Even though it was only five days, I spent nearly every waking moment with the cast and crew, and as a result you begin to feel like a family unit. But then it’s over and on to the next thing and that is a very weird feeling.

Post-production is much of the same, though with a much smaller group of people. Aside from myself, there were only two other people whom I worked with on a regular basis on editing the Ronnie Day Project. One was James Cohan, whom not only oversaw the post-production process for me, but also did a fantastic job color correcting all of the episodes. Another was Tom Bender who worked on several visual effect shots and helped me with all the deliverables to Sony and mtvU for air. This project would not have happened the way it did, or been as good as it is, without their involvement and assistance.

Finishing a project is always bittersweet. In addition to the reasons above, I've also lived with this project daily for more than three months. It's a very involving process that runs my life to a certain degree. I go home thinking about a cut that isn't working, or how we're going to make the deadline for air, or whether James will get a chance to color correct on a given day. Often the days were long yet sometimes it felt like there was not enough time in the day. It's a weird thing that happens when you're editing. I don't know if it's because of how focused one gets or what but time just flies. I can't believe that I'm already at the end of it.

I've always looked forward to editing Episode 6, not only because it's the conclusion of my part in this whole thing, but also because I really love the song. I've grown to love the others as well but from the beginning, when I was first sent the CD, “Heroes Die” has always been my favorite song and still is. However, I always felt it was the least complex of the videos. The challenge in working on this project is to not only think of it in terms of six individual music videos but also in terms of a 27-minute long film with six chapters. That, in my opinion, is how this whole thing is should really be seen, as one long 27-minute program.

I hope you've enjoyed watching The Ronnie Day Project as much as I've enjoyed making it. I couldn't be happier with the final results and I know that I could not have done it without my fantastic cast and crew. So many thanks to them and thanks to you for tuning in to the Ronnie Day Project.
Joshua Caldwell
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