Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Business of Film Making

One thing I've learned from working in the Media Services (formally Audiovisual) department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints is that things can change fast or get pretty messy.

For example, when I first stared working with the Church I was put in charge of heading up a video about the Media Services Department for an internal department social. It was a great opportunity to head up a video project (I was in a sense acting like a producer, because there were no producers that could devote their time to that project).  Anyway, I wrote a script for the narration and met with the narrator in a studio under the Conference Center.  We recorded the whole script and I met with the editor to get the narration in the video. That day a few people were looking at the script and decided it needed some changes. It's great that they were there to help to make it better and give their insight (I mean they had a lot more experience than me), but we had already recorded the narrator!  So, we had to go back and rerecord from scratch.

Since I've been with the Church I've learned that those kind of things happen sometimes.  We have even filmed and edited entire projects that don't see the light of day.  It makes sense because what we produce is representing the Church.  General Authorities always approve of Mormon Messages and Mormon Messages for youth, if they don't like an idea it doesn't get produced.  People could misread something and judge the entire Church based on a few mistakes of the editors or producers.

Recently we had an experience like this.

These are pictures (and the pictures from earlier in the post) are from a video on Chastity we stared to produce.  The idea was to use simple animation on a white board along with narration. It would be something new and fresh - the Church has never produced something like this before.

The producer edited  the whole thing together.  Unfortunately, it didn't end up looking exactly like we had envisioned it.  There were some technical problems, so the whole project was redone from scratch.

It's a little frustrating because I had put some work into it. I had helped to find an artist that could draw on a white board (we were looking for a specific art style).  I helped schedule all the production days and I helped on production. At the same time I've gotten used to redoing things before.  I've learned that it's better to create a quality project than to just get something out there for the sake of getting something out there.  My work was also not completely for nothing.  The artist we ended up choosing is going to be working on the new version, and we've learned a lot from our technical mistakes the first time around.

Here is the new version of the video: 

It's interesting to note that this version is all computer animation - no one is actually drawing on a white board. Oh, the magic of film making!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Institute Video

I did not help out with this project, but I was there the day they filmed the scene where the main guy is in the hall talking to his friends.  The part that takes place in the halls wasn't really filmed at a college - the sound effects were added later.  It was filmed at the building where Mormon Messages are produced and edited.  It's just about a block away from the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City.

It was funny to watch these actors improv.  The actors trying to get the main character to come and play videos games just went off about the video game, and some competition, and how it took up all their time, making up little nerdy details that seemed so real.  Most of there improv was cut out of this clip, but it was really funny to listen to.