Monday, January 26, 2009

Gearing up

I didn't do an awful lot on the project this weekend, but I did manage to pick up the tripod, a Dynex 60". The directional mic arrived on Friday, that's a Canon DM-100, we'll see how it does. It's not that wireless lav mic that the Down & Dirty DV book was going on about, but that thing costs a wee bit more than my budget will allow right now, so the DM-100 is going to have to do.

The wind buffer thingie looks like a cat toy (I'll get a picture of that tonight for this entry), and if my cats ever laid eyes on it...well, hopefully they won't. And besides, I shouldn't have a lot of windy situations to contend with until my X-treme Board Gamers sequel.

So Sunday I opened up the tripod box, and put the camera on the tripod, then attached the new mic. It looked pretty badass, I must say, very official. Now I just need to swing by Home Depot and grab a light, and I'll be ready to start subjecting my family members to practice interviews this weekend. I am wondering if I can get my hands on a China ball in time for Unity Games XV. That's for diffusing the light, and it just looks cool.

Oh, I also started a group on Facebook for the project. I very much want community collaboration to happen, so that seemed like a great way to both provide news and updates (and video clips when the time comes) as well as get discussions going and plan events. Pretty sweet one-stop shopping when you think about it, and the price is right!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

An educational session

I was lucky recently to be able to pay a visit to Jason Scott, and just sit and LISTEN to what he had to say. Jason's already into post-production on his SECOND geekumentary, so you can imagine he represents a phenomenal resource for my own project.

I learned a whole lot about editing the footage that I will soon be collecting, which is great because I'm a total video editing noob.

Do I feel prepared for Unity Games? No, not really, but I AM ready to get rolling!

I've just ordered the directional mic, an extra memory card, and an extra battery. I still need an external light and a tripod, but I should have those by the end of the week. Oh, and transluscent powder makeup...I need that, if for no other reason than to cry out, "MAKE-UP!!!!" between cuts.

Have also introduced myself on the Unity Games message board, warned them of my arrival, and started exchanging emails with some good interview leads.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The story thus far

Here is paper and a marker. Keep a strict log of your journey so I may study it when we meet again and point out your missteps....

- Gandalf

The point of this blog is largely to keep me on track and to make continuous incremental progress in this crazy venture of mine, making a boardgaming documentary.

So far, I have acquired the camera. I have read a book about Down and Dirty DV film making. I've imported practice clips of footage into Sony Vegas Video (30-day trial) and spent a couple hours EDITING IT. I even added a fade between a couple scenes. Just seeing the different sample styles of credit rolls made me giddy...

I've traded a few emails discussing the project with our friend Eric from, who is already proving invaluable as an information source. One such suggestion was the Unity Games event coming up February 7. Talk about going from zero to 60...I'm going to need a tripod, extra battery, extra memory cards, lighting, interview questions, a babysitter, PLANS. Good lord, I need to make plans FAST! This is a good thing, really, but I want to give off at least a faint trace of competency here, and there's not much time to learn an awful lot.

So I contacted Dave at Unity Games last week and started asking about the event, and his thoughts on this project. Aaaaaand...they're off!

So now I'm listening to the Little Wooden Cubist #17 podcast Dave mentioned. Sort of immersion learning, even though I already know a decent amount about designer boardgaming. Another point in my favor that's starting to become apparent is that there is a SOLID boardgaming scene here in the local MA/NH/ME region.

I'm also scheduled to pay Jason Scott, director of BBS: the Documentary and Get Lamp a visit next week. For me, this is the equivalent of having the guru on the mountaintop turn up in your backyard instead. He's been an enormous help already with advice and equipment recommendations, as has TILT director Greg Maletic.

At Jason's recommendation, I've also started a spreadsheet of people I might interview for the film. I'm still at the stage where I can pretty much name them off the top of my head, but that's about to change, and I'm sure the Unity gaming day is going to be the catalyst for an explosion of names, contacts, and to-dos.

I count myself very lucky to have met people like Eric, Jason, and Greg who've been gracious enough to throw some of their knowledge my way. With people like these guys around, this thing could really happen!