March 11, 2007

Who Are You Calling "Chicken?"

A bit more about the video behind the eBay auction of my stage fright. Sort of the "Behind The Music" - without the supermodel ex-wives and heroin binges.

Things That Didn't Go Exactly As Planned

Sloan was worried that I might get hurt by the pineapple, given that I might be hit with it several times, and it's heavy and very very pointy (and yet she insisted that a pineapple as the final insult from my imagined audience was funnier than any other fruit we saw at Dominick's). She decided it would be terribly clever to hollow out the pineapple from the bottom, making the fruit lighter and thus reducing my chances of injury. She got to it with a knife at the shooting location, only to realize it was "too hard to cut through," so she stuffed some paper towels up the pineapple's partially violated bottom and therefore subjected me to flying fruit that was both A) Heavy B) Pointy and C) Expelling juices.

In the comedy short, there's a note taped to the bathroom mirror with a ridiculous comedy formula on it. I wanted to nerd out and modify the Drake Equation to include variables represented by little pictures of chickens and roads, but the equation is too long for the little paper, and the joke of me guiltily glancing at the paper on the mirror when Sloan says "Are you doing standup in the mirror again?" didn't work visually, so I had to let that one go. Sorry, Frank Drake, and all of those hypothetical extraterrestrial intelligences. Maybe next time.

Things We'll Do Differently Next Time

Next time we won't hold the camera at our own eye level to shoot each other, because all my shots of her make her look tall and gorgeous (which she is), and all of her shots of me make me look like a squinchy three foot red hobbit (I'm actually a squinchy 5'4" red hobbit).

We could have knocked out the video in a few hours using iMovie, but Sloan insisted on using this project as a way for her to teach herself Final Cut Pro, the instruction manuals for which are about as complicated as Robert Jarvik's "How To Make and Install an Artificial Heart." Sloan's a Montessori baby, after all, and is an incredible example of learning by doing. Honestly, she's learning at an amazing pace and is going to be knocking out some very cool projects in the very near future. Not bad for a filmmaking newbie who wrapped up a science degree from Loyola a few months ago.

It's All Relative

Family therapy is nice for people who can afford it, but take our word for it - hurling pineapples at your comedically frustrated auntie in the name of art is also pretty damned effective. Remember that in our first little comedy film project, dear Sloan nearly slammed a very heavy door right into my face. When she told me about a learning a feature in the editing software that lets her put explosions and flying shrapnel around actors, I began to fear for my safety.

No comments: