It’s been a hectic here at BCIT for us New Media Students.
Try dealing with a video project, couple of quizzes and a pile of assignments (practically dealt out every single day…) for the past month.
We got it done! MagicMan is on Youtube finally!
For video production class, our instructor divided us into little groups and we had to come up with a final video of 2 minutes.
I asked: “Any other criteria?”
Instructor: “Just no drugs, sex or violence.”
Instructor: “Nope, just do WHATEVER you want.”
What?! Whatever we wanted….
Now that can be a recipe for disaster.
Knowing this because of making short movies with other classmates in other programs and classes before I started this program- everyone has different tastes. I actually was worried before our little group got together. I admit I do take a step into leading a team or group when needed, but I wasn’t looking forward to fighting over ideas. It happens- each individual group member might have a concrete idea in their head before presenting to their group… it has to be a consensus, an agreement, drop the ego and be willing to go with the flow.
Mark whispered to Milan, our instructor, “I don’t work with Yumi at all…. we haaaaaaaaate each other…” trying to see whether Milan would put together all of us ‘video-experienced’ students together so we could make a kick-ass video project. It would have been crazy if I had teamed up with Mark, who does a lot of snow and skateboard video and photography ; Chay, photographer extra-ordinaire and a special graduate from a film school in New York; and Matt, who insanely is like the jack-of all trades- especially because he also graduated from Capilano College’s Film Production Program recently.
But to be fair to everyone else in the class who hasn’t had ‘extensive’ video experience like us, Milan tried to divide us amongst the class. James, Joyce and Thomas are wonderful team members! The first thing they said to me when we gathered together in the back of the class: “You’re leading. You’ve done this stuff before. What do we do first?”
Well… the usual. Plan, storyboard, get actors, etc etc
Oh hell. screw the ‘story-line’ of this project- let’s just have fun making this!
And we did.
It was COLD on that Thursday morning, the day when all four of us were actually free and 5 days before our video was due. Where was that March spring weather we’re seeking, and expecting?!
I get off the skytrain at New Westminister station and as I approach the Quay – BANG – rain started to fall.
“Okay Yumi… don’t sweat… this can be done… this shoot can be done… outdoors… in the freezing rain… at 8 in the morning…” I muttered as I got closer to the entrance of the casino where Joyce, Thomas and James were waiting.
We wanted to shoot on the cool riverboat of the casino, realized they opened at 11am. So we decided to set-up on the boardwalk instead and inside of the permanent tugboat that stays as a display/artwork on the walk.
“Dance, just dance!”
Joyce and I were giggling as we made Thomas and James boogie their butts on the boardwalk, keeping warm.
Ended shooting outside early- bussed over to James’ house nearby to dry off before heading to class back in Burnaby.
Note to self- do not put socks so close to a gas fireplace for a long period of time. Thomas was wondering what was burning- I flipped my socks over that were hanging over the fireplace and they were crispy. Yes, crispy- like the toast and jam I had earlier this morning… I had to crunch in those socks for class before heading back home for a nap (because we were released early from Interface design class- thank gawd).
6PM- Yay, shoot indoors! JJ Skunk, a buddy of James helped us out on our video. He did the majority of the song writing. We actually wrote a song together as a group. It was challenging- the only thing I bust is a groove, not a rhyme… we wanted to do a video that was unique, and would also promote Thomas as a magician. James earlier that week took a lot of time with JJ to revise and write up the song MagicMan.
Recorded with my trusty powerbook plugged into JJ’s mixer and tables to record the main scratchy beat in GarageBand.
“Your voice sounds so girly, James!”
-Joyce Lam, MagicMan executive producer
It took James so many takes to get the song recorded, and off the fly we asked JJ to sing the chorus because he sounded more professional and deeper.
Finally started to shoot video, with James singing along to the pre-recorded track done just a few minutes ago.
“Did you know that when clubbers who had just taken drugs and have a seizure, they actually start to seizure to the speed of the strobe?”
-JJ Skunk, DJ Extraordinaire
Our main light source, Stacey’s (James’ wife/fiancee) blue lamp burnt out after a couple hours of shooting James singing the first part of the song. With no other lamps in the house, we went with JJ’s strobe light to give it a ‘dance’ club effect. Our poor eyes- we all had headaches after being exposed to that damn strobe for an hour straight.
Wrapped up the night after getting Thomas’s magic tricks on tape, and off to editing.
Editing was done within 6 hours, a day after we gathered together to decide what was good to keep in the final cut. I did want to do a team edit- but that would’ve taken extra time for all of us (Joyce and I have part-time jobs on the weekend).