New Old Video; or A Very Random Thing

Tonight I just finished the last of what remained of the footage we had shot long, long ago. This was just prior to Jesse, Matt, and Justin’s graduation, approximately early spring. The transferred file shows a creation record of March 7, 2007, so it couldn’t have been particularly long before that.

Basically, the Les Chanteurs (www.myspace.com/hotspringshighschoolleschanteurs) and Mixed Choir from Hot Springs were at the Civic Center as part of an annual competition, so Billy and I were there as well. I brought my camera to film not only the performances there, but also to maybe make something spur-of-the-moment. Indeed we did. Just after Aaron Horner’s performance on guitar, we headed back to the main room where all the students from everywhere in western South Dakota were, and since Billy and I were pretty much just waiting to board the bus and go, we made this little video.

Looking back, the plot defies all logic. The goal was to have Drake be in the background of all the scenes where Billy is being stalked, and then for him to be mistaken, and then Aaron turn out to be the real stalker. Strangely, we shot the beginning with Aaron playing guitar when Billy gets his first two stalker calls. So Aaron in no way logically COULD be the stalker, but somehow still is.

But when you’re on a whim, plot seems to fly out the window for the sake of funny business. We thought that we had a pretty good, solid video to stand on that we could edit when we got back home. Well, when I got home and transferred it, I realized that there was a LOT of background noise from all those people, and not only did we need to dub in the mysterious caller, but when Billy was onscreen I could not SHUT UP and stop directing during takes. (something that I used to have a big problem with, but have gotten better about) So I had this real aural mess, and I didn’t want to touch this video with a ten foot pole if I didn’t have to, regardless of what content from it might be funny.

And for two years this went on. Even when I went through stages where I would finish editing other videos and even go out to film new footage to salvage the rest of the old, this project always managed to get thrown back into the scrap bin just because the work seemed too hard. Actually, at one point I had recorded dialogue for the stalker in the style of Heath Ledger’s Joker while I was doing most of the Adventures In Hot Springs series. But the sound thing overwhelmed me again.

So here, tonight, I finally just sat down with this footage and said, damnit, let’s do something right with this. If I have to take every split second of crowd noise where either me or a main character isn’t talking and use it to cover up what audio I have to cut out, then I damn well will.

Turns out it wasn’t really that hard. Yes, I did have to do a lot of audio editing because in the raw footage I talked A LOT behind the camera. Thankfully, it’s pretty much seamless now, and I’m not sure how I managed that but, oh well.

So here’s to finally finishing something I began!

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