This month I've been given the assignment to tell the stories of people that been involved with our mission trips over the years (Haiti, Guatemala, India, Brazil, etc) with my photography, videography and music. The results were far different from what I first imagined I would be doing. (btw, budget = $0)
My initial goal was to communicate the journey of applicants from when they first thought of going on a trip to when they return and how Crossroads is here to help them go. I came up with a storyboard, knew what I wanted to film and when two days into it, I met reality. The usage of actors just did not sit right with me. Having been "there" before, I wanted to capture real people with real emotions. Plus, not owning a tripod or any form of stabilizers simply will not make the cut. I had to give my dream up and find another way to tell these stories.
My second idea was to simply choose two stories of people that have been trips and film it good. Getting details from their journey, photographing them, and writing articles about them. I had a week and a half left till this project was due however and knew I still didn't have the resources to make it GREAT. I still didn't have any music, no footage, no filming planned.
Monday morning on the way to work it hit me. The composition, the people, the exact sentences and how they were to be filmed. As soon as I got to work I started humming a tune randomly and that was how this week began. A week with tired and weary eyes, caffeine, long hours at the office, lots of fresh air breaks and lots of phone calls. I've never experienced anything like it and honestly, the fact that I can blog about it shows that I absolutely loved it. This month I learned more than I could ever learn and I'm excited for more.
Music is home, I've been a musician longer than I have done anything else. All I had in mind was a 8 bar melody when I first opened logic. I knew however that I wanted instruments from all over the world particularly from countries that we go to. On tuesday, I managed to arrange a 1:43 long composition that I was very pleased with. instruments consisted of the Bansuri Flute and Sitar from India, Erhu violins and Guzheng from China, an afro cuban piano, Gamelan gongs from Indonesia, and percussion kits from Latin America, Middle East and Africa.
Also, my friend Jacob Boyles heard the track and decided he wanted to track real drums on it as well that enhanced the dynamics of the track completely. He tracked it in about an hour or so and by wednesday night, music was complete!
Story & Film
The core of this project is storytelling. I am fortunate that a lot of our trip participants do live in the community and even live with me. The goal was then was to film ordinary people in their ordinary environments and community that the adventure and extraordinary experiences are not attained by force but by obedience. I wanted to film as many stories as I could (in three days) of people that have gone on trips with Crossroads.
Throughout this process, I used the following programs. Some I know very well and some I've only used this week.
- Adobe Photoshop CC
- Adobe Premiere Pro CC
- Adobe After Effects CC
- Logic X Pro
Here were my resources at the beginning of the month:
- Canon 6D, 50mm f/1,4
- I could borrow a MKiii,24-105mm, and a tripod from my friends
- Good knowledge of photoshop CC
- Novice in Premier Pro
- Beginner in Logic X Pro
- If you don't know what that means, basically I have a camera and lens that only allows me to capture subjects from one angle (one shaky angle), I have the knowledge to edit photos and not video.
In the end, I can simply offer to you this short but meaningful video both to the people and to myself as an artist. It marks a step forward and towards a life filled with more of these expressions.
"We shall not waste our time in looking for extraordinary experiences in our life, but live by pure faith, ever watchful and ready for His coming by doing our day-to-day duties with extraordinary love and devotion."