I was driving home when I heard a radio host talk about “Ride to Work Day.” I thought, Hmmm. What would it look like if I rode to work? I get about a hundred wacky ideas a day, so this was no different at first. Then it kept coming back and I thought, you know, that might be really funny. After all, my commute is down one flight of stairs to my in-home office. So I wrote a script and outlined the shots we’d need.
It’s surprising how many shots are needed to keep even a one minute piece moving along. I shot the “story” with Jessica (First Assistant) in about two hours. I then put the story together and ran it by some FaceBook friends. A couple noted that it wasn’t immediately obvious that I was commuting just the length of my sidewalk. Dangit! They were right. If you *knew* I had a home office and that that was my house, you’d know. But if you didn’t, you’d have to look more closely. There was detail there to figure it out, but we wanted it to be no mystery. So we decided to reshoot a few scenes. We did the “interview” a second time too. The first time around I thought I’d just use the audio from the on-camera microphone (which is pretty decent)… but the results were disappointing. It bugged me that I *could have* done better with tools from the gear room, but didn’t. So that’s when we re-shot the interview. With the new interview in hand and replacement b-roll shots done, I re-edited the piece and that’s what you see.
The lessons? It all starts with story. Then comes a thorough shot list. A story board may have helped too. You may think, “really? for a one minute video?” Yes. There area lots of bits that could have (and a few did) get screwed up in continuity. The order of putting on clothing. Can’t have me putting on the jacket at 0:15 then have me without it at 0:25. Or garage door closed at 0:45 and then coming down at 0:50. All that has to be planned. Sure, we could shoot the whole “getting out of garage and going to front door” in one shot. Easy. Also lazy. And boring. Nobody wants to watch boring. So we had to cut it up into different bits and then assemble them in edit to keep it visually interesting, yet logical. The whole thing (including re-shoots) was done in about six hours. Having my entire gear stash within a few yards made it fast. When I needed a second C-stand, it was only a short, um, “commute” away!