What a crazy few weeks! The crew has been spending the last few weeks working on a grant application for yet another funding opportunity through Telus’ STORYHIVE documentary series. I was actually successful at receiving funding from this grant program last year for a music video with my a cappella group “Altra Volta”. One of the main tasks was creating a “pitch video” for the application, which is no easy feat. I was so proud of the Altra Volta pitch video because it was so well received; all fun and punch. I wrote and produced that video (check it out below!) so I was pretty confident that the experience would make this one a breeze. Man, I was wrong!
Long story short, it’s been quite the grind. We’ve had to re-write scripts, re-record audio, change structure, and revamp the entire thing! While on the surface, it’s easy to look at the situation as a time waster and “debacle”, there have been unexpected lessons that will help the overall project in the long run. First off, the vision. I remember for the Altra Volta pitch video, I had a very specific vision for the final product both on the story side and also on the actual visual treatment of the video. Once that vision was clear, it was just a matter of figuring out the best way to execute it; planning the shoot, providing the proper direction for Cliff and I during the shoot, thereby making the edit that much more easy in post-production. Without these very fundamental pieces in place from the get go, you are really just shooting blind. Up until this point, that has been the approach for capturing our documentary; let’s capture everything we can authentically and organically as things happen and then we can piece it together when it’s all said and done!
I should know better. I DO know better. Even though my documentary experience is limited, the approach really should be no different than how I approached any other video I’ve worked on the past with my corporate clients. At the core, it is still storytelling. Documentary is just a different storytelling genre.
That being said, this experience has allowed the crew to take a step back and really assess how we approach the documentary. While it doesn’t have to be as mechanical, it still needs an overall structure to follow so that we have a clearer vision and end-goal before production can continue. Before we pick up the camera again, we need a story outline, structure and vision that we can all get behind as a team. Otherwise, we could be sitting clueless at the end of this journey not knowing what to do with the heap load of great footage. When this grant application is done, this is what the crew and I will be focusing on...after some hard earned sleep!