Love's Labor Jam

Posted By Billy on September 02, 2008 12:00 am | Permalink

Our work began Sunday morning at 9:30am

The scope of “Love's Labor Jam” really made it ideal for capturing on film. Because it was a volunteer effort handled by old friends, something as simple as the arrival of a family or the preparation of food became an event. Those pauses in the day made for great breaks in between getting our interviews.

Although we did have an official point person, hooking us up with the many people who would be the subjects of the story, we had a gazillion others doing it unofficially. It seemed like every interview ended with, “Thanks. Hey, did you talk to Bob? Oh you gotta talk to Bob. HEY, BOB! COME HERE!”

There were lots of Bobs and Janes and Mikes for us to talk to and it very quickly became clear that we would need more areas for conducting five minute interviews. It was great exercise, spinning in a circle trying to find the next “perfect spot” and as people trickled in throughout the day, space became harder to find.

A calm hit around mid afternoon. We'd probably laid down thirty interviews by then along with sound checks and attendees wouldn't begin arriving for another hour or so. But when people did start flowing in, the pace didn't really get frantic. Everything was very well planned and we were able to glide fairly effortlessly through the crowd. Before we knew it, the warm up act had hit the stage.

It was at that point, we hit the closest thing we would experience the entire night to an issue. Stage lighting consisted of a modest amount of backlight and a row of PARs suspended from a rack attached to the center pole under the performance tent. In between the PARs was a white spot but the four PARs were all gelled pink and they only spread about 20 feet across the stage.

The result was a very heavy orange cast across the performers which was easy enough to deal with via the Panasonic's white balance but the sun had just barely begun to set when the first band took the stage. That meant that the light was changing fairly radically every five minutes or so. We ended up having to white balance both cameras after each number until it was completely dark outside.

The only other hitch we experienced had to do with the MCE 58 mentioned in the last article. Even though we had the feed from the board to DAT we wanted to safeguard the sound so that mic was placed on a stand, high up in the last row. The sound was perfect but that meant we would have to run cable from the mic to the DVX. We had decided we wanted to use the DVX for long static shots anyway so we perched it behidn the back row and took the gamble. Every time someone walked in the vicinity of the mic or the camera we flinched, anticipating one or both coming down. They never did though and our gamble paid off.

The performances were monumental and by the end of the show, we were exhausted. After packing up, we said goodbye to our hosts and new friends with promises all around to get together again.

The following morning we took a quick tour of the town to grab a last bit of B roll, then it was back to Indiana.

We now face about twelve hours worth of footage to work through. Capture has already begun. After that, comes that part where we sit and try to pick out great moments without getting too caught up in how much fun we had.

More to come about the actual post process. That's what you're all here for, right?