I have been a bit slackerly about my blogging of late, but I suspect that you’ve survived. If you have perished, my apologies.
Normally the week after a test is the least busy of the cycle. However last week I was occupied by my new hobby of film-making. I had known about the ward’s film festival for almost two months now, but wasn’t sure if I’d contribute anything this year. For better or worse I get to use med school as an excuse to get out of any time commitment presented before me, and wasn’t sure if I wanted to jump into a project at this time. But I saw that the post-test week coincided nicely with the festival, so I went ahead and planned a movie.
I must admit that I cheated. I did a re-make of a presentation I had made several years ago. I was assigned to make an instructional presentation for a technical writing class and had to put together a Powerpoint on my chosen subject. Whereas most people instructed the class on scientific or domestic tasks I presented “How to Stay Single at BYU.” I’m moderately proud that I got a 100%, which in a curved class didn’t make me the most popular person. In any case I took the 2 minute presentation and modified it into an 8 minute film, modifying BYU jokes to Columbus/OSU jokes. If Scorsese can do a remake than so can I.
I put together the script about a month ago, roped in some actors, borrowed a camera and filmed the day after the exam. It was a bit of a hectic project, but it certainly could’ve been worse. My cast of 9 were largely cooperative as our supposed 2 hour filming time turned into 4, plus an additional couple scenes filmed later that night. But 100% of the filming was done in one day, which was a very nice change from my previous projects.
No matter how many times I do this, I find new ways of complicating the process. This time my problem was my camera. I borrowed one from a bishopric member in the other ward. I got it a week beforehand and saw that this one used mini DVDs. This was a step up technologically from my previous camera, which I assumed would be a plus. It was a helpful format for the filming, but made me miserable when I tried to get the data into iMovie. I could bore you with the details, but the final story is that I had to converting the file took 5 different steps, each requiring a new computer program, none of which I knew about or how to use. I spent about 12 hours working with the files before I was able to start the actual editing of footage for the movie. Luckily iMovie didn’t give me any problems (a first) and the actual editing was done in a single day. I tweaked a couple things before the festival, but was largely done with plenty of time to spare.
The festival only ended up having 3 movies, so no official awards were given. But each group got a bag of candy, and ours was a variety pack of candy bars (versus skittles and Crunch bars) so I’m taking that as a victory. We had pretty constant laughing for the movie, so much so that I only think they heard half the jokes. I’m counting it as a success.
How did this film compare to previous efforts? It’s a much quicker film than my previous three, which I think is an improvement. The scenes are so short that it doesn’t bog the film down if the joke doesn’t work or goes over the audience’s collective head. I think I have a greater variety of jokes in this film, which was also a goal of mine. I liked my Swicket movie, but I realize that the majority of the jokes are either sarcastic cut-downs or obscure historical facetiousness. This one is quite a bit more basic in delivery, and I think was more successful because of it.
Now it’s back to business as normal. Three more weeks of anatomy!
Song of the moment: “Please Don’t Talk About Murder While I’m Eating.”