Some people duct-tape small cameras to their dogs’ collars to see life from another perspective. (Dog is their co-pilot) Yet you can enlist human friends to co-cover the scenes of your lives. AmericanWinery, for example, sent Flip video cameras to their winery partners, inviting them to record “daily operations, tastings, harvest footage” and other glimpses at the back stories behind wine lovers’ favorite wines, then email back their footage. AmericanWinery then edited them into a short clip and posted it on their site and elsewhere. That Me2We partnership brought vintners’ and wine buyers closer. The folks at Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library co-created a short film to promote their summer reading club.
For fun, why not co-cover your holiday or other gathering? Direct a multi-camera shoot to create a short film, easily
edited by you and others you recruit to also video the celebration. Imagine showing many sides of the unfolding scenes,
quick cutaways and zoom in close-ups. A DIY delight – now made easy by Flip video. It passes the “one-minute” test. Mine, a gift, is orange. (No I have no financial connection to the firm).
It is an iPod-like, simple, sleek point-and-shoot camcorder. You’ve probably seen them or may have one. Since it is small, I am more inclined to carry it with me and shoot the unexpected scenes – like the manicurist sitting on a small stool on bustling, gritty Market Street in San Francisco, carefully sanding the fingernails of an entranced homeless woman. This camera makes it easy to video, plug into my computer to upload, edit and send to friends or post to YouTube or other places. Warning: the quality is not as high as larger camcorders.
Back to the Me2We part of this story. Turn the solo activity of videoing, editing then sending scenes to others into a chance to co-cover a gathering – with friends. For example, try a three-camera shoot to co-create a short-film.
Who could be the cadre of photographers?
• Young cousins or siblings at a family celebration – to enable them to play together yet stay involved with the adults.
• An incoming committee of a club or association, so they get to know each other in a fun way.
• More reserved people among your different group of friends, coming to your event.
Co-Filmmakers Collaborate in Four Easy Steps:
1. What’s Our Storyline?
Discuss, in advance what to shoot: how to cover it from different angles, what scenes to be sure to cover (toasts, singing, award-giving, etc.), what people to include, how to capture possible opening and closing scenes, etc.
2. Initial Editing.
Each photographer edit what they shot to remove out-of-focus and other excess, then cut the video into segments and upload it to the other photographers. Also grab memorable moments as still shots for your co-videographers and others to create Scrapblog versions of the gathering.
3. Final Cut.
Either agree on one person as your lead editor or take the more complex and potentially fun approach, and co-edit at one photographer’s place.
4. Who Gets to See It?
Agree on your short film’s title and credits (videographers’ names) and how you will share it. Will it be shared only with those at the gathering or also posted in a public place such as You Tube?
Here’s my what-if dream scenario.
What if Pure Digital sponsored a Short Film Stories of Holiday Gatherings contest – open only to co-created submissions. They would give prizes the top Ten Best submissions. Prizes would be more Flip videos to give to friends. To reinforce their partnership with Café Press in a way that would delight us co-videographers, other prizes would be gift coupons to put custom images on the front side of the flips. Some possible contest categories:
• Most Fun to Watch
• Most Inspiring
• Most Varity in People and Scenes
• For a Cause
• Best Editing
• All Videographers Under 10 Years Old
• Most Videographers Involved