Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Birthdays in the Pandemic

On my birthday this year, Seattle Public Schools announced it would close for at least 2 weeks which eventually became the entire rest of the school year because of the pandemic. So---not the best gift I've ever received. (party horn)

But many other birthdays would come to be celebrated in the midst of the pandemic quarantine where everyone was housebound and nothing was as it once was....

An idea sprung to life when Ken found a stop-motion app, installed it on his phone and started making short videos with creative direction from the kids. With our humble team of four, we started to see what we could accomplish and I eventually purchased an inexpensive green screen drape, piping and stand up lights. What could we make? How about something short, fun and celebratory.... 

Creating birthday videos has been an educational and inspiring endeavor. It can be intense when everyone has an idea of what they want or is not completely on board with what is going on. Ken is a great idea guy, visualizing what might be novel or fun. I am the pragmatic producer-type who tries to figure out how to accomplish what Ken is proposing. But if it does go off the rails, Ken ends up being the guy who has to clean it up in post so I do try to keep things in the realm of attainable and give proper advice about lighting and camera angles upfront. 

To this point, everything except Annabelle's video was shot with cell phone cameras. But I am eager to fire up my GoPro next time. I still remember some of my WSU video production training and hear the echo of my friend Ian in my head when setting lights. 

The kids are charming, no cost actors and creative consultants who I hope enjoy this process as much as their parents. It's quite fun to make something new and creative that hopefully brings a smile to people's faces. Even if it's cheesy as heck. 

For Fancy (stop-motion + green screen)

For Max (stop-motion LEGO)

For Annabelle (basic editing with Premiere Pro)

For Sarah (green screen and significant Premiere Pro wrangling)

For Kristin (um...magic)

For Austin (Dancing!)