How I Chose My Senior Project
Deciding what to do for a Senior Project as a video emphasis in communications can be a daunting task. Originally, I wanted to make short advertisements for companies I like, but the film nerd in me wanted to go bigger. I wanted to showcase the skills I learned as a director and cinematographer on different short narrative projects I have worked on in classes. Instead of trying to cram a large short film project into three months, I reached out to local band Good Ol’ Days to make a narrative music video.
Before any filming, I worked with the members of Good Ol’ Days to make an outline of what they wanted for a music video. They chose an unreleased song and told me what story they wanted to tell with it. From there, I formed a shot list for every scene of the video, from the mundane laundry folding to the bombastic outdoor concert. All pre-production fell onto me, as I had to organize talent, find locations, and outline what scenes would be shot every day we filmed.
Most of my time spent was filming every scene of the music video. I worked with both the band members and actors to tell the story of a young man waiting for a text back from a girl he likes. I guided the set up of cameras and lighting with a crew of friends and coworkers in order to film cinematic scenes and performances. Along with telling the story, I had to make sure the music lined up with the visuals. With the help of my friends and after many long filming days, I was able to capture the vision the band and I hoped for the music video.
Both pre-production and production took almost 50 hours just to complete, so I knew that before even starting this project, I should have an editor. Thankfully, my good friend and fellow video emphasis major, Emma Earley, edited this music video for her senior project. She spent over 50 hours editing this video in order to make sure it was just right. Frequently, we would meet to go over rough cuts and fix any issues that arose. During these edits, I would work with my mentor to make sure this was the best product we could provide for Good Ol’ Days.
During the making of this music video, I learned a lot about organization and leadership. Having a project this big requires careful pre-production and planning. One issue that I arose was timing the visuals to the music. To match up the action, I would play the music from a speaker and record it in the camera. I also set up my shot list in the Davinci Resolve Timeline and marked where I wanted the shot to cut on the beat. Another issue I saw while making this project, was leading a group of unpaid helpers. It was a common occurrence to have someone say they could help and then dropout 30 minutes before filming. I had to adapt and change scenes depending on who could help and where we could film.
Making this music video for Good Ol’ Days has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding projects I have worked on. Not only have I been able to develop my skills as a director, but also my skills as a producer, storyteller, and leader. I hope to take this knowledge and apply it to my future projects, whether it is an advertisement, music video, or film.