Do you have a large complex project?
In a perfect world we would start with a script, or at least an outline. That helps us to visualize the final video with talking heads and B-Roll footage. We would scout the location and take notes and test clips.
Production of the Covid film was NOT in a perfect world. I started collecting B-Roll footage to document this historic event we were all experiencing. Some day my kids will show their kids and say “look at what we survived”.
What caused this story to grow?
I went out to get aerial footage of the lines of cars waiting for food at St. Mary’s Food Bank and Jerry Brown invited me in to capture the National Guard packing food boxes in the warehouse along with the volunteers. That was cool. Then Tyson Nansel of United Food Bank gave me permission to walk among the volunteers and the National Guard at the Mesa Convention Center, and to fly the drone over the 500 cars waiting in line for food; great visuals.
There was so much more to the story
The visuals were strong so I asked both of the public relations directors for an interview. They accepted in spite of their hectic schedules. I added the dialogue to both of the sequences and attenuated the ambient sound of the B-Roll clips and added music.
The heart of the story
I knew that I would need to interview a nurse, but when I got referred to a nurse, Dominique, who works in New York I said “It doesn’t get any better than that!”. I knew that I would also interview my friend Doug from Denver who survived this disease and my nephew, Andrew, who is a paramedic near Boston. All three remote interviews were recorded using GoToMeeting (see the previous blog on GoToMeeting).
Accuracy became paramount; Attention to detail
These people gave me their time, knowledge and experiences to tell this story. The pressure was on to tell it accurately and to convey the emotion that they felt. So I took notes daily from the news. It was obvious that I had to include a school, Desert Vista High School, and a restaurant, Pomegranate Cafe, both of which are in Ahwatukee. It was hard to eliminate some major stories like the long lines for testing, but this pandemic is too vast. I believe I was successful in conveying the emotion of this crisis. The story has made a few people cry.
How complex was this project?
72 GB of data organized in 69 folders, so navigating to the correct clip or photo took some concentration. There are standard video clips, drone footage and photos from each location. The Premiere Pro Project has 15 Sequences, one of which showed the drastic affects on businesses and schools during the stay-at-home order in Arizona. I have 43 pages of notes. I drove to many locations over the three months working on this film. Much of the footage was cut to reduce the length.
The story grew and spread out just as the virus did. I feel that I can organize any project now, especially one with a script and a producer!
Link to the COVID video on this website: https://www.johntrotto.com/video/arizona-video-production/