"" bshawise: Evolution of an idea

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Evolution of an idea

People ask me a lot how we come up with ideas for stuff. We did the below video this weekend and I got asked that very question a few times. So here's how it went down. Sorry it's a little long. The scary thing is that I'm probably forgetting steps.

Saturday, Dave (senior pastor) told me he had a poem that he wanted to "do something with" for next weekend. I told him to email it to me. He also told me the author was British.

Monday, Dave sent the poem.

Tuesday, I started to look around the internet for photos of wind for a few hours while listening to alternative indie rock on Pandora. As I searched I thought about how to use said photos. I considered for a moment getting someone to do interpretive dance (honestly) but then thought about how I hate interpretive dance. I decided to just do a video with someone reading the poem. I talked to Jim Zartman about doing a music bed. He agreed but needed the reading of the poem asap. So I started digging thru my network to find a female brit. I sent various emails, calls, txts and ended up getting a decent confirmation from some friends in Ireland. They would send something Wednesday.

I kept searching for images and thinking. I decided I didn't want to just do a standard deal where photos fade in and out. Suck it, Ken Burns. I thought about having a female hold printed out photos and flip thru them. That turned into her holding collages of photos. Then I re-read the poem. That line, "Who has seen the wind?" was used twice. That made me think of someone hanging flyers on telephone poles, "Have you seen this cat?" So I thought, could a female walk down the street hanging flyers of wind on poles? I thought it'd be cool to have the poles be in a cool area of town. Ludlow. Kind of artsy. So with that neighborhood, the irish voiceover, I thought if I had an African American actress who could pull off a bohemian look that could give the whole thing a very eclectic, funky feel. I went upstairs and told Isaac (video guy) the idea. He said nothing. I asked if he was processing or disliking. He was processing. He said for it to work the images would have to justify being printed out. They needed texture or something. I thought that added to the eclectic idea brilliantly.

Wednesday, got the voiceover from Ireland. It was spot on. I decided to write the lines of the poem on each flyer so no one would complain about not being able to understand the reading. And it seemed cool for the girl to leave the poem thru the city. I got ahold of the actress I wanted, Susan, who was into the idea. We couldn't shoot the video until Friday because of other projects and it was raining all week. I spent the rest of the day doing other stuff.

Thursday, I printed off the photos and heard the track that Jim created. He nailed it. I did other stuff (including shooting a video of Nora the singing dog) for the rest of the day.

Friday, I played arts and crafts all morning and after lunch. I brought in a bunch of funky papers that Leah had, I bought a newspaper and I sat on my floor taping stuff together creating the "flyers." I made sure they had texture, depth and the ability to blow in the wind. While doing this I thought about how the piece needed a beginning and end. So I thought the opening shot could be her crossing the street to start and the end could be her walking away from her work. Isaac liked this. He went and shot the piece and got done just as the rain started.

Saturday morning, Isaac cut it together. We talked about it (him in cincy and me in fremont, ohio) made a couple tweaks, and ended up with this...


Scotty Mo said...

very very cool

Christopher Day said...


Your talents never cease to amaze me, man.

clizzarke said...

Hott. Like lava.

Jeff said...

That really worked for me. Great stuff.

Dan Kalbach said...

The contrast of the Irish voice and the African-American image make for a beautiful juxtaposition.

Great moment.