As you know, my chief excuse (I have many, but this one leads) for my light posting this past month has been that I’ve been working on my entry for NBC’s video promo contest for The Office — and, miracle of miracles, I actually finished and turned it in.
No one is more surprised than I.
And you can watch that video here.
And if you’re a YouTube member, and if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, consider leaving a rating and a comment.
And please be kind.
Furthermore: If you are someone that I know personally, or one of my blogging friends that I feel like I know personally after all this time (Kim, Pam, Steve, Mando, Erin, Logtar, Grant, Gerard, Nels, Renny, and anyone else I might be forgetting): Would it be too much to ask to suggest that you give me the benefit of the doubt and rate it 5 stars, for friendship’s sake?
If not, I understand.
The ratings, after all, supposedly don’t effect the judging, but some of the other entrants are apparently going around giving one-star ratings to the rest of us, so it would be nice to balance things out.
And of course, if you don’t have a YouTube account, it’s free to open one up, and it’s simple, and you’ll have one eventually, so do it now.
Anyway, a few points about the video:
1. I’m under no delusion that my entry might win, because some of the other entrants seem to be professionals, or at least have professional equipment, but I’m really glad that I entered. I learned even more about video editing, especially about working with such a short form.
I discovered that half a second can make a lot of difference. Even adding or subtracting two-tenths of a seconds can dramatically improve the timing of a segment.
That fact, of course, means that lots of decisions have to be made about pieces of footage that barely last an eyeblink.
2. There were about 400 other entries, out of over 2000 that joined the group, so that means that more than 80 percent of those intending to make videos didn’t.
On the other hand, many of the entries were obviously made by the same people, and submitted by hastily created accounts, so there were less than 400 other people (or groups) competing.
I could have made several different versions myself, since I had over an hour of footage to work from, and only had to fill 20 seconds, but my focus was on producing one good entry. Plus, I was trying to get some better interviews on the last day of work before deadline (I couldn’t, too many nosy bosses around) , so I was editing feverishly for the six hours before the deadline.
I never would have thought that 20 seconds could take so long to edit.
3. Like many of the other entrants, I used the documentary format of the show itself, but I didn’t see any others that appeared to be unscripted. After all, the concept of the show is that the just turn the cameras on workers in an office, and they aren’t told what to say.
Of course, the show is fiction, so naturally it’s scripted, but I figured that telling people what to say would violate the documentary spirit, so I just turned the camera on, and asked a few stock questions to help get them warmed up. It worked pretty well, giving me lots to work with.
Unfortunately, we kept having the sound issues with the lapel mike, so about half of the footage had sound that either had a loud, uncleanable hum, or a very low volume that couldn’t be pumped up. Still, I had a lot to work with, so I can’t complain.
4. On the subject of sound, at least we used an external mike. I was amazed by so many of the videos, otherwise professionally made, that used the camera’s built-in microphone, so that the sound is almost totally inaudible.
It just seems strange to put so much effort into scripting, acting, and filming, and then skimping on the audio, especially when you can get lecture mike for as low as thirty bucks, or at least dubbing the voices in later.
5. One last thing: Our video was chosen as one of the Top 11 entries by Office Tally, “the Official Fansite” of the show, whatever that means (isn’t that a contradiction in terms?), so that’s pretty nice.
You can watch some of the rest of the entries here.
We’ve already gotten close to 2000 views on the two slightly different versions of ours (only one is the official entry), so I tell my co-workers that were in the video that they’re my “global movie stars”, which is sort of true …
Anyway, check it out, and please vote and comment if you can.