Journey – our film from the Kendal 48hr film challenge

Just back from a fantastic week at the Kendal Adventure Film Academy and 48hr film challenge. ‘Twas beyond manic, but a really great experience, and I hope I’ve learned a fair bit from some of the best in the business – Keith Partridge, Brian Hall, Paul Diffley and Dan Hodges – especially on editing and shooting more efficiently too. Suspect I still need to work on storyline, but that’s something that will come with time…

We had great fun making the film, despite the editing getting a bit fraught at times under such a deadline! I have a nasty feeling I’ll be starring in the “behind-the-scenes” doco too – lets just say they got a bit of an unfriendly reaction when I suddenly notice a video cam pointing right at me as I’m really tearing my hair out with Mac keyboards yet again! (Why can’t Ctrl, Alt and Shift be obvious which is which on them – not to mention the lack of right button and a mouse wheel that scrolls the wrong way!)

Shortly before the start of the 48hr challenge, all the individuals not in teams get teamed up. The draw out of the hat put me with fellow Adventure Film Academy participant Gavin Shand. We’d not met before this week, so no time to prepare a storyline/idea in advance…

The challenge runs 6pm Wed –6pm Fri:

  • Wed is for getting the story nailed
  • Thurs shooting and
  • Fri editing
  • Sat Premiere

However, one challenge we faced early on, was that our rider changed from “seriously good technical mountain biker” to “good cyclist, but not a mountain biker” at 9pm on the Wed eve!

Which was a bit of a challenge for the storyline… But we’re really thankful that Maddy was willing to step in at the last minute and do what she could with a mountain bike. (And I think she’s actually better than she thinks she is at off-road riding!)

In redeveloping the storyline, we also discovered we needed a second actor at about 11pm on Wed. Too late to ask anyone else, so one of us had to do it. It seemed to cause some amusement (particularly to Maddy) with just how many rounds of “rock, paper, scissors” had to be gone through before one of us “lost” and had to be the second actor rather than camera operator!

The weather was what it was on the day, but I really wished I’d taken my Zoom H4n sound recorder out on location instead of the provided mics (which should have been even better than it, but weren’t – for any of the teams!). The film would probably be better story-wise had we been able to include a few lines where it becomes clear that her character isn’t at all sure about cycling at all – in fact she hasn’t been on a bike in years and isn’t sure she can remember how! But, the mic really wasn’t good enough on location to include any more than the minimum of that. Having said that I’m seriously impressed with my attempt at a blind (ie couldn’t see the visuals while re-recording the sound!) lip-synch on my line at the start of the film… Other than the better quality, can you tell the sound was recorded seperately from the visuals? 🙂 Just wish we’d been able to do that for Maddy’s lines too, then we could have had a bit more of the early back-story…