We set out this humid sticky morning assigned to interview street vendors of kitschy souvenirs near the White House and Mall. We ditched them for the Boy Scouts.
My intrepid teammates, Amy and Yecenia, and I (on faaar too little sleep and feeling close to collapse) started out near McPherson Square. We fueled up with caffeine and pastries and set out to find the souvenir hawkers. The first stand we came across was manned by Spanish-speakers so Yecenia and I decided to flex our bilingual muscles and dive right in. Who cares if I’ve never put subtitles on a video, I’m sure it’ll be fine!
The next two stands we hit, however, were staffed by Korean speakers who were timid about their English skills, and despite all my exhortations that they were fine, declined to talk to us. We were getting a bit worried, and the sun was beating down, and I personally felt like I was going to pass out, when Amy saved the day spotting a Boy Scouts event off by the Washington Monument. In my sleep deprived grumpiness I admit, I was skeptical. There didn’t appear to be a lot of people there and I was worried about changing our focus so last minute. But it was great, people wanted to talk to us, there were things to film, and we weren’t going to need a translator 🙂
I’ve been on shoots of various kinds before obviously, but never where I was in charge of shooting, or worrying about audio and I realize the multi-tasking nature of the job now. You’re thinking about a million things at once: is the mic working ok, is there too much background noise, is this back lit, whats the guy saying, do we need him to say it in a different way, what b-roll will i need to lay over this, have we gotten enough different types of shots, s*#t! is the camera on (seriously, I had one of those moments, shameful I know), is there anything odd in the frame, how do we position the interviewer in relation to the camera in relation to the subject in relation to the background, what was that guy’s name again, will his answer make sense without hearing my question, and on and on…
Already we’ve captured the footage and have spotted some pretty hand-slapping-to-forehead errors. Both when I and Yecenia were filming we accidentally got the interviewer’s head in the side of the frame, no good since our questions aren’t supposed to be included. We also completely forgot to get any real closeups. We did when we interviewed the vendors but completely forgot at the scouting event- we had a great opportunity to get close ups on knot tying. D’oh! This is when we should’ve had a written checklist to go over reminding us of something even that basic.
We’ve gotten everything captured and tomorrow we all each edit our individual versions of the material. Friday will be dedicated to viewing all of the finished pieces. I hope no one brings rotten tomatoes 🙂