Originally Posted to Blogger – Thursday, August 03, 2006
For every fifty days I spend sitting on my ass in the office glued to the computer screen futzing with pixels and endless lines of code, I get the out of the ordinary, kinda wacky day. If you’ve read my entry about the porn store excursion, you have an idea how wacky.
One of my goals with our Interactive (ie web) department at Emmis has been to move us into the realm of video. We haven’t had much opportunity to do this before, lacking equipment and training and budgets and those sorts of things. Fortunately, in another department we have a talented guy named Jim who has some pretty excellent video production skills and has also been pushing to do some film work in house. We joined forces to work on a project tentatively titled “Cornbread’s Big Pointfest Adventure”.
This Saturday is my Station’s biggest show of the year, Pointfest. We’ll be following around our nighttime jock, Cornbread, with a video camera, recording his entire day – band interviews, crowd meet and greets, stage announcements, and all the stuff in between. Jim, Cornbread and I, along with our account executive Lora and new Interactive team member Keri, cooked up some ideas to add to the entertainment value of the production. Today, we went out on location to shoot the opening scene of our little film. I have been filling the role of “producer” for the piece, I guess, but today it was all onsite work – picking shots, setting up props and manning the reflectors and filters to control the lighting.
Our set? A dilapidated mobile home (or rather, a pair of them) in a small village near Dupo, IL. Our props? Empty beer cans, and a yellow motor-scooter provided by our little film’s sponsor, Pop’s-Cycles. Our extras? A little neighbor girl and an aging but sweet and beautiful pit bull. Our goal? To present our hero – Cornbread – in the glory of white-trashy rock ‘n roll ridiculousness.
It was so much fun doing this kind of work again (I did a lot of video work in high school and college), especially with some decent equipment. But it was very hot and sunny, and after four hours of shooting we were all sweaty, stinky and drained. I’m a bit sunburned on my nose and forehead. But the dailies (if you will) looked really nice, thanks to Jim’s eye and skill with the camera, and we even got some great bloopers, such as Cornbread getting locked in the trailer on the first take, and some difficulty getting the cycle started up at first.
And in the end, I got to ride the scooter to the village’s hair salon, where the proprieter (Cornbread’s mom) and the chief of police (Cornbread’s dad) gave us all Dr. Peppers and let us hang out in the AC for a bit, while the locals looked on silently. The way people reacted to seeing us shooting in their town, it struck me as the kind of thing they’ll be talking about for a week.
I should note that riding the scooter was a bit of an unnerving experience for me, but fun. I’ve always been a little uncertain on small powered vehicles. I don’t even like driving go-carts. I don’t know why. It took me a few minutes to get adjusted to the way the pops-cycle worked – that odd blend of bicycle and motorcycle with a bottom-heavy center of gravity – and I drove it in overly-tentative fashion. But, if you’re a college student or townie that drives limited distances to get to work or school or whatever, look into these things. They’re way cheaper than Vespas (around $1,500), and a full tank (about 2 gallons or so) will take you 100 miles. Cornbread managed to get this model up to around 55 mph, but it seemed most comfortable going about 40mph. Ten or less and I thought I was going to fall over, but all bikes are like that, I guess.
I like the weird days. Saturday – 12 hours of shooting concert photos, taping Cornbread and running around UMB Bank Pavilion like a madman. Wish me luck.