Telling the story of FarmHouse through the Object.
The purpose of this project was to inform non-fraternity people about FarmHouse through the Object. Through my storyboard, content gathering and editing, I tried to create a video that builds on itself, much like my fraternity builds on the goals stated in the Object.
I planned this video to break down into three segments: interviews, a collage and the Object.
Through several interviews with FarmHouse members, I wanted to answer one question: What is the Object? I believe the first interview in my story, of Matthew Doumit, answers this question most concisely. From there, other members elaborate on what the Object means to us and how it impacts our fraternity.
Next, I wanted to build on how the interviews “tell” us what the Object is by showing it through a collage of photos and videos. When someone watches this section, I want them to think: brotherhood, service, fun and social. I think the collage “shows” these ideas well.
Finally, the video ends with the climax: reciting the Object. With the details of the interviews and collage in mind, I think listening to the Object speaks volumes about our fraternity.
Gathering the content
I started my project using a simple digital camera, but the audio and video quality was not sufficient for my project. So I reshot all my footage using a HD video camera I rented from the university. I tried applying the recording techniques discussed in class, but because I had so many people to interview, this proved difficult. For each interview I tried to get at least two different angles (a close up and either zoomed out or side shot). Although no single person was shot at 5 different angles, between taping in different rooms at FarmHouse and using a couple basic angle changes, I feel like I adequately created a variety of shots.
I relied heavily on photos our house has to fill in the gaps of what our fraternity looks like. Facebook proved to be an excellent resource for gathering photos.
Music is always an afterthought for me, but I thoroughly searched for a piece that would capture the tone of this project. Jared Beck helped me out a lot with this. I told him I was looking for a military-like score of music; something classical but with a upbeat big band vibe. He gave me a list of songs I should check out, and I probably listened to at least 12 songs. The song I chose, Voice of Asia, had a three-tiered growth to it that I knew I could apply to my “building up” theme.
Going into this project, I felt like I had a great idea. As soon as I downloaded Premiere onto my computer, however, I knew that this project was going to be a challenge. My laptop couldn’t render the HD video while I was editing it, so it was kind of like flying blind.
Once I got used to the lag, I was ready to dig into editing. My goals was to keep to a clean, simple format that will display my powerful content. As mentioned before, I set up my storyboard to build upon itself, so that the project began simple and quiet but ends fired up.
I used a quiet section of the music I found to start things off. I used a basic title sequence, dissolve transitions and the movement/position effect to display the title of my project. Then with another dissolve transition, an interview video fades in. So far pretty simple.
In between the interviews I use no transitions. It just seemed right. I’m always afraid of looking like an 8-year-old who’s just discovered Windows Movie Maker when I use too many transitions, so you’ll notice I use them sparingly.
Finally, the interviews are over. I faded the music and video. Then the project picks up speed with a powerful drums and a stream of photos and video. Again, I don’t use any transitions to keep things simple, but I timed when one image replaces another by the score of the music.
When the music adds another layer of horns, building up the energy even further, I transition into reciting the Object. I spliced together video of several members and used a zoom in/out transition to fill the gaps where they would naturally take a breath. Editing the words of the Object was difficult, because we tend to say it fast (and usually mumbled) so it took me a while to sort out who has a strong, steady and confident voice.
I wanted to end my project with a lot of energy, so you’ll notice the loud music carries into the credits. I created my own credit sequence by splicing together four title sequences that scroll up, pause and then continue to scroll up.
When a pledge comes to FarmHouse, the object is just words to him. But through time, experience and growth, the meaning of the Object builds within him. Understanding the Object is a life-long mission, but I hope this project can demonstrate the foundation of my fraternity and the basic technical skills I have learned in this class.