Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Special Screening (Season One)

I'm a part of film team at our church, and, over the past couple of months, we have been able to make a series of videos for our church's kids' club. Since the kid's club is pirate-themed, each week we follow the adventures of two brothers and their life as aspiring pirates. These videos have been on my mind a lot recently, not only because they have occupied more of my time than any video project I've ever done, but because this has been one of the biggest learning experiences -- and pleasures -- of my (admittedly short) life as a filmmaker.

However, despite the large part of my heart that these characters occupy, many of my friends haven't been able to keep up with the episodes. I think this is partially due to the willy-nilly organising of our MySpace page. So I thought I'd make things easier by hosting a little screening of what amounts to a literal mini-series, here on my blog.

Before we start, know that, in presenting these videos here, I am not trying to say they approach any kind of perfection. I am simply sharing part of my life with you. The primary audience for these videos was made up of four-to-eight-year-olds. If you enjoy these films, that's a happy bi-product — though admittedly not one entirely unplanned or unhoped for. With that said, let's begin.

Since this is really about my involvement with the series, let's start where I come in: Season one, episode five. But first a little back story: Two brothers, Johnny and Roger pack up and leave home in search of buried treasure, armed with only their swords and a map. After acquiring a pair of boats and spending a few days on the open sea, they lodge at an inn where their map is stolen. The pirates now are loosing hope of ever finding the treasure. When we catch up with our heroes in episode five, Johnny has fallen sick due to some unwise recreational activities and Roger must face unimaginable horrors to bring him back to good health.

Pirates Episode 5

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Behind the scenes: Up to this point (episode five) I wasn't actually involved with these movies. The cast and crew were three total, and poor Jeremy (Roger) had the hard task of directing from in front of the camera. This was the first movie I had made after my experience of working on a (somewhat) professional film set, and I think that affect my working style. I was more driven and focused than in the past, and, because I had been away from the director's chair for so long, I had a lot of energy. Which made filming this a very fun experience.

For this episode the actor who plays Johnny was sick in real life, and (this shows you how far we are from Hollywood) his mom wouldn't let him film outside. This is why he is in a house for the whole episode. Well, almost the whole episode; we cheated for the flashback footage (which, by the way, is my favorite part of movie).

Okay, on to episode six! (One of my all-time favorites, almost solely because of the two characters it introduces.)

Pirates Episode 6

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Sir Reginald represents my second time doing voice work for one of my own movies (the first being in this film). The magic pig is played admirably by my pig Babe (in a transgender role — not really unusual for the DOA). This episode contains one of the only true cliff hanger endings in this whole series, something we because much more comfortable in the next season.

Okay, go get some snacks or something or take a bathroom break if you need to, 'cause we're about to move on to the last episode of this season.

Pirates Episode 7

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This episode is unique in that it features our first use of sword sound effects (notice the absence in Johnny and Roger's sword fight from episode six) and was edited entirely by Jeremy (not twelve hours after filming wrapped, I was on a plane to Tennessee). Here I begin to shed my fear of doing what other people have already done: The mixed-up-door device in the chase scene here has been used many times before, but the kids watching it still loved it. There's nothing like having a actual, tangible audience in mind to render certain critics (the ones in your head) silent.

As we leaving this special screening, remember what Abraham Lincon once said: "To me, this is humor: People throwing pigs at people. Ladies and gentlemen... that is real comedy."

Thank you for watching. I'll see you here soon for season two.

1 comment:

Queen of Arts and England said...

Oh they were delightful!