Saturday, August 9, 2008

Behind the Scenes: Dance of the Robbers

Almost immediately after our collaboration, Mr. Fitzgerald had suggested another in which we would create one of those ingenious double videos that he presents so hilariously on his blog. I had a hard time taping anything that I felt was worthy of this project and it sort of fizzled out. He contacted me again a few weeks later and proposed a film with mischievous robbers inhabiting a forest! I knew I could do that!

Let me begin by saying that this film was a great challenge! I don't think I've ever been more frustrated with the weather. The clips where each robber appeared consecutively in the same environment required me to change into the next costume as fast as humanly possible. Lighting fluctuations created by constantly moving clouds would ruin the effect if there was too much difference. I got quite a workout.

Another thing that made this difficult was figuring out how to keep it relatively interesting. I tried to give each character a unique personality and mannerisms so it wouldn't feel like you were just watching me do the same thing over and over in different costumes.

Black Mask (Classic)

He's the original robber and therefor the veteran of the group. He made his debut in 1999 when my friends and I produced our second film.

White Mask (The Ghastly Snatcher)

A kleptomaniac, this shy robber likes to hide things in his massive coat while sneaking around in a ghostly white mask.

Striped Mask (Noodles)

He's the slipperiest of the bunch. Not the smartest, though.

Green Mask (The Mugger)

He's the "tough" one. He's alert and fast on his feet.

Red Mask (The Crimson Crook)

The red guy doesn't take anything very seriously. He sticks out like a sore thumb.

Their Prey

This guy doesn't have a name. He just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time.

I would normally scribble up a storyboard for something like this because it's not easy to keep track of who is doing what. I didn't, though. I just taped things as I thought of them and hoped it would work.

There are two instances in which multiple characters appear in the same shot. To create this illusion, I filmed myself in each costume separately and then combined the footage using Adobe After Effects. The results were not very convincing because the sun kept hiding behind clouds. There's a blatantly visible seam between sunlight and shadow! I tried!

The film took four days to complete because the weather was so unforgiving! I think the fun outweighed the frustration, though, and I thank Uncle Eddie for his support and encouragement!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


I made this film as a final project for a health class in my senior year of college. It's all about stress. The assignment was to deliver a presentation about a subject relevant to health and wellness. I am absolutely terrified of speaking in front of groups, so I let this film do the talking for me.

I did research and came up with what I thought were entertaining scenarios to deliver the information. My friends and cousins helped bring the skits to life. It was a real delight to present this to the class. Up until that day, I had barely spoken a word. It's fun to surprise people!

The film is divided into 4 parts because of YouTube's time restrictions. Each chunk is roughly 3 minutes long. I've combined them all into a convenient playlist so it may be viewed as close to the original format as possible. There's even a fun blooper reel at the end!

I'd like to apologize in advance for my lousy narrating voice. I'm not an actor! The lighting is pretty bad in some clips as well. For the most part, though, I think it's enjoyable.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Behind the Scenes: The Robber's Escape

I made this film on May 25, 2006. It was pretty complicated because I played all of the characters in it. I scribbled a simple storyboard before shooting, which helped immensely! I pretty much shot it exactly as I planned it. Click to enlarge!

There is a part towards the end where I wanted to try to do a cartoony surprise take with my sleeves and pant legs rolling up by themselves. (The picture 5 rows up from the bottom with the Robber flanked by exclamation points) I actually did it, but it looked awkward so I didn't include it in the finished film. I reversed the footage as I let them drop from the rolled up position. Unfortunately, they wouldn't drop fast enough because I was so sweaty! Instead of shooting up my arms and legs, they just kind of sporadically inched up as if I was being molested by something invisible.

Anyway, here's the actual film: