24 Hour Video Race 2009

Required elements:

  • Theme: misunderstanding
  • Line of dialogue: “The one on the left”
  • Prop: an edible fruit or vegetable
  • Location: a street or traffic sign

The team was nearly all first-timers:

  • Darcy and Kevin Collins
  • Jason Smith
  • Tina and Scott Weinert
  • And Paul and Marilyn – For once Marilyn wasn’t in the middle of the end of finals at school and could join in.

We wrestled with ideas and combinations/variations on ideas for 4 or 5 hours.  It wasn’t easy, and we considered several paths, but in the end we arrived at a plan that everyone contributed to, truly came from our personal aesthetics, and the result fits into the Brownian Motion catalog of works just fine.  Whatever uncertainty I might have had about so many first-time racers on the team was all gone by this point. Coming up with the plan has always been a big hurdle for the team, and I was very happy with our efforts this year.  Ours was a true team effort, and got us off to a great start.

So now all that remained was to take our table full of index cards, the little pictures in our heads, and all the gear in our car trunks and make it happen.  Jason, not surprisingly, was a rock and churned out scene after scene with his top-quality motion graphics enhancement. His speed and sense of style are the best. Tina’s production experience was a huge advantage and kept the whole thing on track. She and Scott went out and shot the location scenes all over the place, and didn’t get kicked out anywhere they went.  When the call went out for cut-out models of boxers and briefs, Marilyn was there and didn’t bat an eye. She also kept the team going with great food and is a fantastic Jill-of-all-trades.  And when Scott is pulling in 6 figures with his future voice-over career, we can say we knew him when.  Kevin provided voice-over and video and stills photography – in fact we all sat in the voice-over chair.  Darcy brought Brendan in, who gave a totally convincing performance as a baby in diapers. This will be the first time his work will be screened at the Angelika.

Looking back, the remarkable thing (and I think this is the basic appeal of the 24-hour race) is that ours was an amazing group effort. Whether in the conceptual work, shooting indoors or out, setting up for the down-shoot titles, music, VO, stills, or post, everyone took the tools we brought or had at hand, and got busy doing what needed to be done.

I’ve felt it before – the calculation in the back of the mind that is saying “hey, we’re really doing ok on time, maybe we’ll not be racing back to hand in the tape at the last minute”.  This is usually followed in a few hours  by the other thought in the back of the head “Oh crap, we don’t have time to get this done – what’s going to be the emergency plan?”

I had the latter for a little while Saturday afternoon. We had got a lot done, but still had lots of holes in the timeline, and I could picture running out of time. I was stressed about this because I liked the plan so well and I hated to picture handing the video in without time to polish it and make it right.  But the team was in high gear and it seemed to me that in just 2-3 hours I was feeling a little ahead again.  In the end we did have time to get the video to a place that I think is more polished than any of our videos has been. I was surprised and pleased that we didn’t have to abandon getting the music track under. I had been afraid that would have to be left out. Jason even custom made the mac/windows scene to match a hit in the music track.  We handed our flash drive over at 10:19.

We haven’t got to the screening or judging stage yet, but however that works out, I rate this year as a big success.  Thank you team!  You’re a great bunch of creative and capable people. It’s a great pleasure to work with you!    -pj

edit: Wednesday, June 3 – Tough and close competition in our category – but we left the finals with a 1st place trophy – one of two.  It was a lot of fun to get the recognition with the team of first-timers that did such a good job. Nice ending to a good experience all round.