Posts Tagged ‘borat’
As if it wasn’t already evident, the experience of creating this concept film was too epic to contain into a few “extra features”. I think the latest Pop-Up version does a wonderful job at presenting plenty of interesting fun facts about the production, but now you get to see and hear from the people behind the camera about what it was like to accomplish this feat, which is personally my most ambitious wedding concept production to date.
This is the story behind the “story”. Please enjoy.
Now that you’ve seen that, let’s have a little more fun with the outtakes!
Happy 1-Year Anniversary, PB & J!
In our brainstorming of interesting ways to reveal the stories behind the production as well as some fun facts, I was reminded of the Pop-Up Video series on VH-1 and thought that would be perfect for the music video-themed concept production. What’s exciting is while planning this out, the series has come back on the air with fun stories about the latest videos out there.
Creating all the pop-ups was a collaborative process with the couple. We dug deep to find interesting fun facts and cherished moments about their whole production. Julia is a gifted designer herself; she created all the Pop-Up graphics and icons.
If you want to learn more about this production and see the original concept video without pop-ups, click here.
These days, before I pursue any production (particularly narrative), I try not to move forward without locking the “storyboard template” first. It essentially serves as the guide for a shotlist and keeps the production as efficient as possible.
Basically, I create rough sketches (or take still frames/videos from the original we are spoofing) and edit them the way we envision them to play out on screen. This works well because it allows me to not only get a better idea of how a video will play out, but also, helps me refine the production approach itself. It gives me a really good idea of what works and what doesn’t before the first shot of production even takes place.
I took this approach with Crystal and Louie’s “Everything I Do” concept video as well. It’s a fun way to see how much the originals inspired us to re-create the mood and feel of each video.
With Patrick and Julia’s video, being a destination shoot in New Jersey and limited to three production days, it was absolutely essential to create it so that I could get a really good idea of how the final film will play out (and therefore, shoot accordingly). As you’ll see, we did a great job of sticking to our script but also allowed for some fun and improvisation for the talent.
It had been several months between the time I finished the storyboard template and when I finished the final cut. When I first put these two videos together, side by side, I thought to myself, “Wow, we planned this to the T!” It’s rewarding to see how all those hours of meticulous planning and preparing for the shoot paid off.
Much credit to my very talented and hard-working cast and crew; every single person involved (on and off set) worked their butt off to re-create Patrick and Julia’s favorite videos as accurately as possible with the resources available.
And of course, special thanks to the ORIGINAL artists who served as the inspiration for this video. Your music and comedy have become a huge part of Patrick and Julia’s love story and life.
You can read more about this project and see the full concept video here.
My latest concept video won a “Finalist Award” in the Concept Production Category at the WEVA Expo 2011 in the Creative Excellence Awards. I’m excited and humbled to be mentioned amongst the industry heavyweights. Borat Storytime – the PB & J story was a long labor of love and it’s great to be recognized for all the hours of hard work we put into it.
Thank you WEVA for this opportunity and to my talented cast and crew for making this happen!
Where can I start in the story of Patrick and Julia’s (PB&J’s) Concept Video? This is my most ambitious concept production to date, not just simply in terms of a big production, but the fact that it was planned and coordinated from across the country. It was also to be my first “destination” shoot and one that would push the boundaries of my own projects.
Julia had emailed me back in September of 2010 with a complement on one of my concept videos and one simple question: “Would you be open to working in New Jersey?” She told me how she was up late browsing wedding videos on YouTube and came across “Everything I Do”, and knew that this was the kind of video she wanted for her own wedding.
A couple of weeks later, we set up a dinner meeting in Hoboken, New Jersey while I was traveling through New York City. We hit it off instantly! Patrick and Julia are such a fun-loving, kickback couple and my memories of that night are of us sharing stories, trading jokes and just laughing together. We were totally in sync and from there we made the deal. We were going to shoot a little over three months from that date and it was time to get planning!
Pre-production was a true collaboration (actually, the entire production was, really). First of all, I would not be in the area to scout locations, rehearse with the entourage, or do any kind of planning that required my presence. Second of all, there would be NO PICKUP SHOOTS! Here in the SF Bay Area, I have the luxury of knowing that if for some reason we aren’t able to shoot all of the scenes during the production, it’s not going to be too hard to plan for an extra day or night of shooting to complete the film. With PBJ, it took some serious coordination and meticulous planning to make sure we would be able to shoot all of the footage necessary (and more) to avoid the need of a pick-up shoot.
Patrick and Julia were gung-ho in all aspects of planning the production. First, they set up a meeting with their whole entourage and screened “Everything I Do” for them. She let them know that they were going to do the same type of video and each of them were going to be stars in their favorite music videos as well! The invitation to their entourage was a success. Julia was excited to tell me how they all responded with enthusiasm to the whole idea and they left that night jubilantly saying, “we’re all gonna be rock stars”!
While I was finalizing the storyboards and beginning to layout the shotlist for the video, Julia was busy gathering intel on locations and prepping the entourage for the shoot. This included getting sizes for their wardrobes, asking to see what props were available that people already had, and even beginning to learn choreography on their own! She even took the initiative to create “info packets” specifically designed for each member of her entourage that included a breakdown of what to expect in each video.
Before I knew it, the weekend of production was upon us. I brought my cousin and aspiring photographer/cinematographer Ricky Afuang with me and he was second camera, behind-the-scenes photographer and overall camera assistant.
It truly felt like I was in the middle of another 48 hour film project… only this one being 72 hours! We shot over two dozen setups in three separate locations. And as we progressed through each scene, it was a rewarding feeling knowing how every tiny detail we planned out was being carried out. Patrick and Julia are such troopers; they were up as early and stayed up as late as the crew did, just to make sure everything was all in place. Not to mention, all of their entourage were super helpful throughout the shoot, whether it be to help move equipment, set up lights, or even just to remain on standby to make sure we had everything we needed.
As you can imagine, production weekend went by in a flash. When you’re that busy, you don’t have much time to think; it’s all about execution. And when I’m not thinking about the next shot, I’m laughing out loud with the rest of the cast and crew and just enjoying the company. Except for a few slight schedule changes, we nailed every scene down as originally intended, and included some room for spur-of-the-moment takes and improvisations that provided me with PLENTY of strong footage to work with.
After the rush of the weekend, we headed out together in New York City for a celebratory dinner and Times Square visit. It was a beautiful night and a bittersweet end to the production weekend. And just when we thought we were completely wrapped with shoot, Patrick and Julia confessed their one regret: that the crew didn’t get to make a cameo appearance in the film as we half-joked about between takes. Well, I had my camera, all the songs on my iPhone, and we were all there in Times Square. One more take? DONE.
Three months later, Patrick and Julia’s big day had arrived. As you can imagine, the anticipation in the crowd was evident. Before every screening, I get super nervous and excited… pacing back and forth is my usual thing. I know my background in dance (my other love!) has a lot to do with this. All that work creating a video is the dance practice. And the unveiling of the video is the dance performance. I totally feed off of the energy of the crowd!
This was no different. I even surprised PB&J with a little Same-Day Edit in their already epic concept video. Sure, it was a stressful session of speed editing but that’s what I tend to do: push the potential of projects to their maximum, even if it means piling on more work on the plate. I never want to finish a job thinking, “I could have…” if it would give a little more enjoyment for the couple and the audience.
And so I proudly present to you, my latest wedding concept video: Borat Storytime – the PBJ Story!
Stay tuned in the coming weeks as I will be revealing some awesome behind the scenes videos. This project is just too big to confine into one post!