I’ve emerged from the finals fog to share the last of our Identity & the Moving Image assignment. I present Brianna: Wray of Sunshine
My classmates gave me written critiques which were mostly unanimous in wanting the music quieter and my voiceover louder. Agreed. I struggled with the levels and rushed it a bit. One person was concerned that I wasn’t wearing headphones. But, I assure you, they’re on. I’ve got these wee bluetooth ones. You just can’t see them under all the glitter…and hair. My professor noted that the entire second half of the video could be omitted (or made into its own video). I also agree with that, however in our individual meetings before filming I had two very different ideas and she suggested I combine them. Plus, with graduation approaching I thought it more important to document this workspace and the lovely people who populate it with life. Is it the best video I have done or will do? No, but it’s a collaboration I am proud of.
Many special thanks to Ellen, Jeanne, Ellen and Matt who helped with ideation and filming. No thanks to Adobe Premiere which deleted my footage AGAIN and wasted 3 hours of editing time and 3 ounces of my sanity. I’m officially on team Final Cut Pro.
What do you think? Are you into video? Do you have any tips on software for me? I’ve used iMovie and Premiere, but Final Cut Pro looks similar enough to figure out. We’ll see!
Hi y’all, welcome back! Are you ready for another video? This one is a—gasp—group project.
You know how those can be. One person does nothing. Another person does all the work. When someone else is responsible for your grade, shit gets ugly. But not this time. I’m happy to report that my group was thoughtful and attentive, everyone not only contributed, but truly made this reproduction shine. But before we get into that, here’s the assignment:
My group picked this SNL skit to copy featuring a caucasian family sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner. Aunt Kathy brings yams and racism to the table and even asks an African-American guest why his friends are antagonizing the police. The arguing only stops when someone puts on Adele. I like the concept and obviously get the joke. Probably most people are soothed by Adele. Not I, though. I’m just not into it. [Forgive me, Adele fans, it’s just that I typically go for more up-tempo music and a lot of the subject matter I’ve heard from her popular hits are about sad relationships. I don’t listen to the radio, so it hasn’t been thrust at me. It’s not a personal attack, Adele as a person is amazing. Just not a fan of the music. There’s only so much room for that on my daily playlist.] I know, it’s the same as my feelings on Starbucks coffee, mine is not the popular opinion and that’s okay.
And ours wasn’t the only success. Check out the rest of the class’ work, too.
We just had the BEST day and I can prove it.
These students ROCK. Like, hard. There were so many creative ideas floating, so many varied methods of execution, they really worked together to make this happen.
Thanks for watching,
To shoot & edit a 60 second video. To better familiarize oneself with Adobe Premiere software. To familiarize oneself with the language of media. To learn and repetitively practice Premiere commands along with more advanced editing techniques. To shoot on any desired device, import and manage media, edit and export. To dig deeper into a conceptual approach to making video.
“This is your moment to get on your soap box, video soap box. What do you care about? Do you care about not caring?” -Dan Paz
That’s it. Those are the rules. The due date on this was very tight initially, which I used as a tool to be decisive when I would ordinarily languish in indecision. Why not stage a protest? Protests are very much staged, planned events. The concept speaks to issues of community organization and current topics of interest. In the ideation process, though, it became clear that I was limited by what we have on hand. For example, in a real protest I would expect to see at least one bullhorn, and we don’t have one and/or couldn’t borrow one in time. Making this video required taking my limitations and flipping them into advantages. At the end of the day all I really have is myself and my stuff. So the focus shifted to not just a generic protest, but what the idea would look like specifically in my life.
I have these items, these weapons that are filled with personal history, flowers, this military jacket, some cardboard—not even a legit picket for my picket sign. There were several shots that got cut due to technical difficulties and even though I made a shot list, I managed to miss one.
By the time I got to editing over the weekend something had happened with Premiere or the media. Fuckery was afoot. I could see the clips in my timeline, but the media was pending and wouldn’t show up in the preview feed no matter how hard I rendered my entire work area. I went in to use the school computers early Sunday morning thinking their system (with its to-the-teet-Adobe-connection) might work better. It didn’t. I wasted time, and energy getting up early when at the end of the day I had to start over anyway. Could’ve edited in my pajamas and slept in. It will haunt me. For those of you who follow on Instagram you probably saw these posts.
All that said, I’m still proud of what I was able to put together. Enough of my original goals shine through that the message comes across. I really appreciate my classmates’ critiques, too. Just to have several perspectives think through your idea helps so much.
One lesson learned was that I should’ve created an audio shot list as well as the mandatory video shot list. Also, if I could go back in time I would have had another camera on me while I waited for Matt to drive under the overpass. He was using my phone to film that clip so he couldn’t tell me when exactly he would be there. I just had to stand there and look out for a blue Nissan. While waiting, several people walked by and really wanted to take part in the demonstration. They asked, “what are we protesting?” We. That’s so powerful to me. In that position, there was no way they could see what was on my sign, and if they could it was only a circle with a slash through it which is intentionally unclear. There’s not just one thing wrong with our world and our government, though I do offer examples I care about [Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock] elsewhere in the video, these people on the street had no context and were still on board in solidarity. They patted me on the back, they honked and they really cared.
That moved me so much and the whole time I had to just keep protesting. The other camera was literally at my feet, with a full battery, just sitting there. Get it together, Bri! All I can say is videography is challenging. Especially if you have any kind of perfectionism issues. I’ve spent years working on perfecting a single image in the form of a painting or in photography. With video you have thirty images to perfect per second.
Maybe everything happens for a reason. Maybe having not filmed that part is important for another reason. I don’t know, but I’ll never forget. A big, giant humongous thank you to my Honeybee who helped with so much with ideation, props, and filming. He’s such a clever and helpful partner and I couldn’t ask for more.
So, here’s Protest. Lemme know what you think in the comments. Subscribe here and on Youtube for more Wrays of Sunshine!
I’m taking a class called 30-60-90 Identity & the Moving Image. It encompasses a lot of big ideas about gender, representation and politics, solidifying the knowledge attained with practical exercises in 30, 60 and 90 second formats.
Our first assignment, Derive, is a self-portrait with no other limitations other than 30 seconds. I had a lot of big ideas, but a $0 budget and very little time. Due to all these restraints, my conclusion was to cut to the basics.
I am soothed by trees and water. I live in the light. My life is musical and that music is created with love by us. I took a very direct approach to the assignment, but considering I have little to no skills in the realm of video, I’m proud of the outcome.
Lemme know what you think! Have you made any video self portraits. How would you define yourself in such a short amount of time? Follow Wrays of Sunshine on Youtube for more videos! There’s a trip to Sunshiny Florida and a music video for To the Death.