Communications Major: Video Production Emphasis.
A short film juxtaposing two styles of film over one another. One a horror thriller of a ghost haunting Todd and tormenting him as he tries to monetize the story of a dead detective. The other a campy tongue in cheek podcast about “spooky stories.” The podcaster will narrate the horrific events of Todd and the ghost with a harsh divide between his harrowing experience and her playful observer role. The finale of the film shows the ghost appearing in her studio before cutting to black as she is the next to be punished for her monetization of the macabre.
This project was designed to create a narrative film to demonstrate the skills that I have learned in composition, lighting, storytelling, audio engineering, and editing. It might be easier to say production in general. While it was not my original plan this has become a demonstration of what I can do with next to no budget, zero crew outside of actors and myself, and an incredibly limited timeline. When writing the film I decided to create a commentary on something that has recently come to my attention. There is a large market for true crime and macabre entertainment. the draw being that the situations depicted are based on or are recreations of real events. The narrative film I set out to tell addressed how they can be somewhat insensitive.
The film follows a man named Todd who is looking to profit off the life story of a detective named Taylor Cobb. the film shows him being punished by a ghost that is implied to be Taylor. Intercut throughout his harrowing experiences we see a podcaster who is narrating the events of Todd’s death. At the end Taylor Cobb is shown to have followed the podcaster and it is implied that she will suffer the same fate.
My work on this film began with writing the narrative, scouting these sets, casting all of the actors, acquiring equipment, and acquiring prop and costume pieces that were unique to the film. in all pre-production took somewhere around 7 or 8 hours at least. The first four or so hours were spent creating the rudimentary script, two hours spent scouting locations and getting permission to shoot at them, an hour going over casting and working out the logistics of production with the actors, and I don’t want to think about how long I spent dragging equipment up and down campus.
My work in production covered all areas, I set up the lighting, I captured audio, I decorated the sets, I set up and moved the camera, I directed the actors, I kept track of the shots needed, and I acted myself. The first two days were the longest taking seven and a half hours each. The last two days of shooting we’re lighter even though one wound up being a bust they accumulated another seven hours.
My Final work and what has proven to be the most time consuming has been post production in which I edited the film and accumulated all of the paperwork required to produce the film and distribute it. I have spent three hours organizing all of my documents for presentation, and I’ve spent 25 to 30 hours editing three separate cuts of the film. Editing required complete restructuring of the audio, locating royalty and attribution free music, mixing that music in to relevant movements in the film, sorting through the various shots in order to determine the best takes to use, video effects for every scene that includes the ghost (including rotoscoping movement to give the impression of a incorporeal being), and recutting and retiming the film for the directors commentary and presentation demo.
The final movie has been distributed on Youtube and is hosted on Facebook giving it more searchability, it’s primarily a project for my portfolio which I am also updating to host this as one of my solo rushed projects.