Go do the networking things kids... Through one of the first events I went to here in New York I got a change to meet producer Elizabeth Potter. She and her husband James run Potter Productions and we had a chance to work together on this small project centered around the 2019 Women's March in NYC. The Potters worked their magic and put together a sign making event where we interviewed a few attendees and shot some b-roll. The Women's March was the following Saturday and we hiked out to the Upper West Side to march alongside a crowd the New York Times said stretched about 10 city blocks.
I missed out on the 2018 event, but attended the 2017 Women's March in Oklahoma City. Having covered newsworthy events as both part of the media and on my own, I want to say that I'm very intentional about what I include in the pieces I put out.
I'm assuming you're not here because of my political beliefs, so you may want to skip the next couple paragraphs.
Regardless of how many people see this edit, I feel responsible for its content. I believe in the major ideas behind the Women's March and want to do what I can to help promote it. Were there counter-protesters waving "Trump 2020" flags? Yes. Where there individuals wearing all black with sunglasses and masks covering their face? Yes. What about those with homemade signs smearing Trump and honestly promoting violence against those who think differently than they do? Yea, they were there too. Did any of that nonsense make the edit? No.
The march route passed by both the Trump International Hotel and Fox News building. While I'm not an ardent fan of either, I didn't see it helpful to join in on the "Shame! Shame!" chant as we walked by each one. One woman standing outside the Fox News building made sure the passers by knew "Fox News helped pay for [her] daughter's education!" I know where I stand, but I don't see it as my responsibility to publicly shame someone who believes differently than I do.
Now that I've got that off my chest, onto the "How'd we do that?" part.
Gear-wise I shot all the nonsense with a pared down version of my RED Weapon and a Zeiss 35mm CP.2 lens. For the audio interviews we used my Zoom H4n audio recorder and a shotgun mic. I'm still getting used to moving around the city with gear, and especially for a zero budget project like this, less is always better.
For post-work, Elizabeth and I pretty much divided and conquered: I sent her the audio files and she sent me notes with timecode; I dug through the footage and pulled selects. All the footage was shot in 4k 2:1 ProRes at 23.98fps. Throughout the edit process I'll pull still frames from the footage and color them on my phone with VSCO (see below). Absolutely dug a good deal of the imagery from the march, but the lighting and color temperatures from the sign making event were a hot mess.
In putting together an edit like this, my workflow typically starts with building out a story line using the interview audio. Once that structure is there, I'll start laying in footage that hopefully makes sense and supports the story line. If you've seen anything else of mine you'll know I'm a fan of using natural sound in an edit like this. The additional audio is just from the internal mics on the RED Weapon.
The thinking was to keep it short and sweet plus push out a shorter edit for social media. I'll say there was a bit of a headache with the Instagram edit. Turns out there's some codec nonsense in getting video uploaded to Instagram via iPhone XS; thx for the help Reddit. We ended up using two of the 4-5 interviews we recorded and only 90 seconds from the 24+ minutes of footage selects.
From the beginning I felt like Elizabeth and I were on the same page about what we wanted out of this: make something together we could both use to help promote our work. I'm pretty sure that's what we're all trying to do but the fact that we both believe in what the Women's March stands for is just icing on the cake.