And now presenting….drumroll…..my latest video work!
Kate Whitley of Little Things Studio is an artist here in Nashville. Her delightful and wildly popular work flies off the tables at art fairs as well as off the virtual Esty shelves. It was a pleasure just to hear about her latest project and an even greater joy to help her with this video to fund it. Kate put the video up on the new Etsy fundraiser page and she is already 158% funded! Even so, be sure to check out the project and order an advance copy of her new, beautiful 30 Days of Hymns reusable desk calendar.
A bit about my process in making this video…
1) Grasping the Why
As often happens when we work on projects that excite us, we sometimes forget why other people might not be as excited. My first job as storyteller then was to get at WHY Kate’s audience should be excited. After all, Kate is not stating facts; she is making an argument and an invitation. They are not going to buy it because it’s a great deal or even because it is pretty. They are going to buy it because they will believe, along with Kate, that hymns are special and the poetry impacts us deeply. Therefore, the video needed to communicate this in what Kate said, in how she said it, and through the visual media. This WHY factor provided the framework as I wrote the script, planned shots, and directed Kate’s delivery.
2) Choosing a Look and Feel
I once went to a workshop put on by Stillmotion studios. One of the critical elements in their filming process is finding five keywords that guide practically every decision from lighting to interview question choices to soundtrack. This is a great discipline which I admittedly and regrettably COMPLETELY forgot to do this time around. Even so, I asked Kate enough questions up front that I felt confident we were on the same page. If I had to choose words retrospectively, they might be whimsey, light, heritage, sharing, and revival. Please note that these words could have been completely different, like mission, preservation, duty, beauty, and ancient; these words would have yielded a more solemn atmosphere in which Kate would be on a quest, rallying troops, etc. In the video we made, by contrast, Kate invited viewers into a community of lighthearted people who see the past, present, and future value of these meaningful words. In addition to this atmospheric distinction, I also made sure Kate and I agreed on some reference material. Kate’s enthusiasm immediately made me think of Kid President, with its peppy music, warm lighting, quick cuts, and whimsical illustrated text, so that is what I copied.
3) Lighting takes practice. Sigh.
I’ve been on a quest for all the DIY lighting info I can find. I am pleased overall with how the final project looked in terms of color and exposure, but I lack some consistency. At one point I turned on another lamp in the middle of filming like a fool. It changed everything. Ah well. You live and you learn. Even so, if you know of any good resources on inexpensive lighting equipment or techniques, I’m on the hunt!