A New Crazy Idea

Six years ago, I told a little white lie. I wanted to make a movie trailer for a book I had written. Just a few problems: I hadn’t told anyone save my parents and three trusted confidants that I had written the book in the first place. I needed a cast of dozens, but I didn’t want to reveal the book’s existence. So I needed a tale, some reason why my high school friends would traipse around in the woods on my orders beyond ‘cuz I said so’.

I invented a story about wanting to learn film-making, needing portfolio pieces for my impending move to university. The story wasn’t false,per se, but the real reason I wanted to make the film was just that I wanted to, and I didn’t want to tell anyone about the book. I was, and often still am, deeply self-conscious about it.

So I spun my yarn, and whether or not my friends believed it, they came out in droves to help me, and the process and final product were fun, if not particularly good film-making. I loved it all, though I am not sad it is now lost to old hard-drives and the bowels of the internet.

Why am I telling you all this? Because, dear readers, I want to make another film. This time I want to make a music video, and this time it really is for portfolio purposes, as well as just to see if I can. Long I’ve talked about combining contemporary ballet and ballroom, and I’ve lusted after opportunities to do so, but nothing has panned out. People in either world don’t get it. I don’t blame them.

But still I want to try, and so I am in a fashion announcing that this summer I am going to attempt two or three video projects: 1) A music video combining contemporary ballet and Viennese Waltz , 2) a “Dance Your PhD” project for my Dearest Sven’s thesis, and 3) a music video of the Tango choreography I made this semester. For numbers one, I would love to have some extras, and for numbers two and three we will probably need some dancers, as Sven’s project has to do with large numbers of particles. Interested friends stay tuned!

My biggest concern about the whole thing is the technical side of filming. Long ago and far away I taught myself editing with Windows MovieMaker and then Adobe Premier, but I haven’t had cause to use either in 6+ years. That’s practically back to the Stone Age in software-years. I remember enjoying editing, and I’m sure I could re-learn the new version of Premier or scope out FinalCut. Luckily I don’t have to worry about sound or mics, since everything I want to do will have music tracks.

And then there’s the camera. I have a minimally functional point-and-shoot camera, but that WILL NOT cut it for the quality I would like. I, quite honestly, watch a lot of YouTube, and as such I have a decent idea of what’s possible on a shoe-string budget–if one has a decent camera.

Maybe this? 

Should I buy a more expensive camera? If I do, could I learn to use it? Should I hire a film student? Should I hire a ‘real’ videographer? How much money am I willing to throw at this? How elaborate should I get in filming,  lighting, and editing?

I would love thoughts from those with more experience than myself in film-making! Do you know things? Tell me! Do you know people? Let me know!

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