Audio Production, DIY, Narrative, Tech & Gear, Videography, Videos

#MyRodeReel – “Save Our Self”

11 Apr , 2016   Matt   Video

Before I forget, if you enjoyed my little short film, I hope you’ll take a moment to visit and vote for it!

Evidently a few blog posts never got published around here. Not at all sure why that happened, or how I failed to notice. Moving on.

For those not already aware, I got very excited about the announcement that the 2016 #MyRodeReel competition opened for submissions a while back. I was going to enter it last year, but decided to replace my VideoMicPro with the Azden SGM-1X. Since using a Rode product is a requirement of the event, I effectively invalidated myself.

Once I purchased a Rode NT1-A for voice acting work, I knew I’d be participating this year. ADR is labor intensive, but it got the job done.

I conceived, wrote, and refined the script within the first week of the competition. I’d been wanting to shoot a sci fi short for a while, and that concept informed the piece I ended up submitting. Ironically, though, the idea I’d been toying with didn’t make it into this piece. Fortunately that means I have more material to work with in a future project.

I wanted to produce my own submission as an entirely solo venture, as I immediately started offering the use of my mic to friends in the local production scene. Technically, you can submit as many times as you’d like, but I have enough on my plate.

Anyone who saw the teaser video I rushed out on the day of the competition’s announcement will recall the homage to “The Martian.” While I didn’t intend for the actual film to follow that ‘video diary’ format, it lent itself fairly well to the story.

While replacing all dialogue was difficult, visual storytelling was the biggest challenge. I ended up revising and reducing the script three times from the ground up, realizing each time that I was just explaining all of the nuances verbally. That isn’t an uncommon process in screenwriting, and three revisions is nothing to a feature film, but bear in mind this had a three-minute maximum.

I only ever took one screenwriting class in college, but the importance of visual storytelling was probably the best takeaway from it. As I look back at the first draft of this project, it’s obvious that I was intimidated by the idea of not being able to move the camera, and of only having the one character to work with.

In the end, three solid pages of monologue boild down to a page and a half of equal parts stage direction and quips, but I’ll leave the audience to decide how successful the film was. Please subscribe to my channel and hit ‘Like’ on the video if you enjoyed it.

Thanks for watching!

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