BTM: Writer – A Nature Documentary

Camera: Samsung Camcorder

Editing Program: iMovie

Other Equipment: iPod Touch, Apple Earbuds, iTunes

I don’t say this often about my videos, so please believe me when I say that this video is the work of miracles and a true feat in filmmaking. Alright I’ll admit that might be a slight exaggeration, but I seriously did this entire video in one take and that is a miracle for me!

Should I have done this all in one take? No.

Could I have done this better? Probably.

But with my editing, filming, and acting skills at the time, this truly is a goddamn triumph and needs to be excessively celebrated for at least this blog post.

How I achieved this directorial triumph is actually a lot of excessive behind-the-scenes work. First, I carefully scripted out the voiceover and split the script up into sections to accommodate for my live-action reaction. I recorded each section separately on my iPod touch and then imported the audio files into my iTunes. After carefully labeling each audio file, I placed them in a playlist and then played the audio files through my earbud so that I could react to the voiceover in real time. If you’re looking for it, it’s blatantly obvious when I play the next audio track to continue the video. Sometimes it’s a subtle tap of the spacebar, but most of the time it’s physically clicking on the next audio file.

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It’s especially evident at 1:49 in the video

 Believe it or not, this one-take-miracle really did essentially only take one take. I only restarted filming on the scene once and that was because of a technical error where the audio didn’t play when expected and it was at the very beginning of the scene. The reason behind the success of only using one attempt is that my improv skills are somewhat adequate so I was able to react to each voiceover accordingly with little reference to the script which made it easier to film the video in only one try.

Editing was the truly difficult part. Even though I had the physical actions of playing the voiceover audio to indicate the start of an audio clip, it was still difficult to time the lag between playing the audio and when the actual audio started to play. iMovie, although considerably better than Movie Maker, didn’t help and actually caused some of the slight delays between the reaction and the audio.

I’m very proud of this video. It truly is a directorial triumph in my eyes, which is funny because I only attempted the one-take wonder to make it easier to edit. Regardless, I’m considering this video a success that needs to be celebrated more.

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