This summer we wanted to let our Interns Maeve and Zach get their hands dirty with a Intern Video Production Project. Under our supervision Maeve and Zach wrote, produced, shot and edited a short project for the product Groupie Stick. Below is their account.
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Groupie Sticks, unlike selfie sticks, are made with the idea of bringing people together. Knowing this, we wanted to choose a filming location where people would naturally be with their friends and family. The location also needed to be easily recognizable for those unfamiliar with the Los Angeles area. Thus, we decided upon the entrance to Grauman’s Chinese Theater, adjacent to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Before filming, however, we had to develop a plan. Plotting out each shot via storyboard gave us a general idea of how our video would look before we arrived on location, allowing us to save time and energy during the actual filming itself.
Creating the Groupie Stick promotional video was unlike anything either of us had worked on before. Not only were we attempting to shoot in a heavily trafficked area of Hollywood, but we were using both traditional forms of filming via DSLR combined with the use of our iPhones to take the selfies themselves. When we arrived at the location, we were approached incessantly by street performers and solicitors for local souvenir shops, but once we were on the property of Grauman’s Chinese Theater itself, all of that fell away and we were surrounded by only tourists. We did receive quite a few strange looks, and one group in particular was displeased by how close we had our tripod to John Woo’s hand and footprints. We had to constantly adjust our equipment to stay out of the way of the waves of tourists plowing through, but we got what we needed.
Once our establishing shots had been filmed, we came back another day with a group of our friends who were interning for other companies, and that’s when the fun really began. Neither of us would have imagined that we would be in the middle of Hollywood taking selfies as an assignment, but nevertheless, we had a blast. With one of our iPhones set up, we took a lot of photos, and without any sort of direction (other than what we had mapped out with our storyboard), we took as many photos as we could so we would hopefully have enough to work with in post-production. After nearly filling up the phone’s hard drive with our selfies, we spent the rest of the day enjoying our time in Hollywood & Highland (talk about a rough day on the job).
Instagram videos are generally intended to be short and simple. During the editing process, we made sure that no shot was held too long, and that only the most essential shots were used in the final video. Music was selected to match the tone and feel of both the location and product, and transitions between photos were placed over each musical beat, primarily to give the project a cleaner, smoother feel throughout.
Prior planning is incredibly important–even for a video that ended up being less than 15 seconds! The entire process of digital production begins with the foresight of imagining a finished project before you actually spend time and money to create it. This way, each step accumulates to produce an endpoint with definitive purpose, and problems are addressed before they have the potential to disrupt the planned schedule of a project. By valuing each step in the process, we were able to produce a video that was both effective in its message and fun to create.
Our experience with creating a promotional video for the groupie stick was both very educational and incredibly fun. We hoped to capture what we thought was the essence of the groupie stick: that being together with friends beats being alone, and we think that was expressed because we really did enjoy our time in Hollywood that day! We are thankful to everyone at Forge Apollo for giving us the opportunity to learn so much about digital media while also enjoying our summer in Los Angeles.
-Maeve Golden & Zachary Reger
Forge Apollo Interns, Summer 2015