Sunday, March 3, 2013

Shooting the Video for the Mechalarum Kickstarter Project

Helping to create the video for my Mechalarum Kickstarter project was the first time I'd been involved in creating a visual experience to get people absorbed in my fictional universe, so it was quite an interesting experience! Sure, like pretty much everyone nowadays, I'd messed around with taking video with my point-and-shoot camera, and laughed at how goofy my friends or my dog could be. But that hardly qualifies me as an expert in communicating through a moving picture medium.

Luckily, I had a connection through my roommate to videographer Bryan Swormstedt, who had worked on four Kickstarter videos in the past. I wanted to do something a little different with my Kickstarter video, and he really helped me bring my vision to life.

I didn't want to have people simply acting out a scene from the book, as it might give the impression that I was creating a movie, instead of a novel. And I wanted to get viewers engaged with the visceral emotions of the struggle to join with a symbiotic mechanical/organic being.

However, it turns out that the actual act of capturing moving images on camera is only a little sliver of putting together a cohesive video!

Above, you can see one of our actresses Sylvana Tapia helping set up the lighting for the dance scene. Since the first part of Mechalarum is set in the desert, we wanted to get a warm tone (and also wanted to dim the insanely bright halogen lamps I picked up at Home Depot for the purpose). You can see how the lighting really created a completely different atmosphere, even though we shot in Bryan's living room!

Alyssa Caliendo and Micheline Heal were super excited to work on the dance scenes :)

Here's a short behind-the-scenes clip of getting ready to film:

And this doesn't even begin to get into the work of editing together the dance clips with video I took of working on the project and my Kickstarter "statement of idea." Or trying different types of music to see which helped bring across my idea of what the scene was trying to say.

The moral of the story is this: video is a great way to convey the ideas in something that would otherwise be mostly non-visual (such as a novel). The internet is a visual place, and if you want to capture people's attention, you need to bring a visual interpretation to the table. Not only that, but the actual act of putting your words into pictures can help you understand your work in completely new ways.

Check out the video on the Mechalarum Kickstarter page to see the end result!

Want to read more about my project? Check out $1000 Goal Reached, New Art, Article Announced
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