Check out the Final Product!

Hard Work & Dedication


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April 30: Day 25 – Daily Reflection

The day has come and the fest has passed with flying colors!

Wow. The 1st annual Lovett School High School Film Fest was a monumental success thanks to the Hard Work & Dedication of Mr. David Marshall Silverman, festival director. There were some truly beautiful, moving, and scary films that were deserving of the viewership of the packed Hendrix-Chenault Theater and Hard Work & Dedication enjoyed a tremendous world premiere venue with the ambiance and audience that mirrored that of a true film festival. I know that there was a good amount of conversation after HW&D was over, which is what I wanted, and many friends and acquaintances came to let me know that they enjoyed the film and the night overall, but it’s still hard to tell what people really thought of the film. I know that even if HW&D was a competing film in the fest it would not have won an award, but I wish I could know what people really enjoyed and disliked about the film and I might just have to go to my most trusted and honest sources for that. Those include fellow filmmakers Fraser Jones and Hunter Rich and project advisor Mr. Silverman, but for now I’ve got that whole week of events I mentioned in yesterday’s rambling to tend to and I’ve got a lot of blogging to do before any of that can even be considered a priority, so for now HW&D has premiered and I might upload it soon, but before anything else I need to blog my heart out all day tomorrow and throw together a Jamsah music video with the tracks that they have yet to finish (they should be done tomorrow night or maybe even Monday midday).
Even when I thought the project folder for Hard Work & Dedication would be closed, the theme continues to be present in my life and the life of many others at Lovett and beyond as the Class of 2011 counts down to graduation and student and teachers prepare to end their respective academic sessions with a bang.

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April 30: Day 25 – Daily Log

11 AM
Wake Up
2:30 – 5:30
Cleaned up house on the blog
6 – 7
Helped set up for the Film Fest
7 – 10:30

Time spent on project today: 4 hours
Time spent on project so far this week: 38.5 hours
Total time spent on project: 156.25 hours

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April 29: Day 24 – Daily Reflection

Check out the final timeline for Hard Work & Dedication

Today was a very conclusive day in anticipation of Saturday’s Film Fest, but it was also a day that raised my anxiety about the Senior Project deadlines tenfold. I have now realized how busy my schedule for next week is with 2 AP exams on Monday and Wednesday, Senior Project assembly on Wednesday, rehearsal on Monday, and defense on Thursday directly before the Senior Talent Show which also has a rehearsal on Tuesday. So this coming week I’ll be living and praying for Friday when Seniors get to have a blast all day long. Until then, this may be hell.
For now; however, I’ve got to take things one at a time so I’m primarily concerning myself with the Film Fest and being sure that both for my own sake and also Mr. Silverman’s sake that this 1st annual Lovett High School Film Fest is a success and a much anticipated event for years to come. So, today I made yet another final edit on the film for Saturday (it’s right at seven minutes long) and took that intimidating (after the Senior Chapel debacle), large, and uncompressed file to Mr. Silverman where he used compressor and DVD studio pro to burn two DVDs, one which will be used on Saturday and the other which I will use for the Senior Project assembly and my defense. Thanks to Mr. Silverman for helping me out there both in catering to my specific timeline for the Film Fest and for burning that extra DVD for my own purposes. Now, in the immortal words of The band I need to “take a load of Annie/Fanny” so I’m going to enjoy the Braves vs. the Cardinals tonight with some friends.
Until tomorrow,

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April 29: Day 24 – Daily Log

10 AM
Wake Up
11 – 1 PM
Make another final edit and export the uncompressed quicktime… and you thought I was finished yesterday!
2:30 – 4:30
Imported and consolidated Jamsah footage which I will put together on Monday
4:30 – 6
– Mr. Silverman showed me how to use Compressor and DVD Studio Pro while exporting and burning Hard Work & Dedication to a DVD to use in tomorrow’s Film Fest
– Helped Mr. Silverman to fill the entire projector screen in the Hendrix-Chenault Theater for the Film Fest

Time spent on project today: 5.5 hours
Time spent on project so far this week: 34.5 hours
Total time spent on project: 152.25 hours

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April 28: Day 23 – Daily Reflection

Check out the final batch of notes for Hard Work & Dedication!Well today Today might be well summarized as both the antithesis of success and the epitome of a learning experience. If you did not attend the Senior Chapel this morning because you are doing a Senior Project, you’re not a member of the Lovett Upper School, or you have such a bad case of Senioritis you can’t bring yourself to show up, let me explain… So I was at Lovett until midnight last night editing a video for the Senior Chapel this morning. I threw the video file onto Firstclass so that I could watch the video when I got home to be sure it was ready to go. My internet was down at home. So I thought, okay I’ll just get up early and check it in the morning before the chapel. By the way, this is far from my normal protocol, I’m not one to try to show up early before school to finish an assignment, it’s always finished the night before. In any event, the power went out at some point early this morning, reducing my Spongebob alarm to mere uselessness so I did not wake up at 9:10, but instead 10 AM. I rushed to shower and get dressed because the Senior Chapel was at 11 and I wanted to check that the video would play fine even try to play it on the chapel projector if time permitted. So I rushed to school, parked by the bridge (illegal!; my blog is my confessional) transferred the video file I created late last night to my external and then to my computer. The file was almost 9 GB. Wow, I’ve personally never run into a video file that large, but I didn’t think anything of it because I was exporting from FCP and I wasn’t surprised or confused by the fact that the video file would be larger coming out of a more complex application like FCP than a simpler application like iMovie, so I threw the 9 GB file onto my computer and made it into chapel just in time to take a seat for the service, no time to check if it would work. Guess what? It didn’t work. Well, I take that back. It did work, but then it didn’t. For those who were there, the first 1-1:30 minutes was hilarious and perfect and then the video started jumping and pausing and eventually the stopping and starting became so bad it rendered the video unwatchable. So Rev and I quickly conferred and in my seersucker shorts and a t-shirt I stood up in front of the disappointed congregation and told them that it wasn’t working (thanks captain obvious!) and that it would be uploaded to YouTube by tonight. The worst part is that the rest of the service was beautiful and seamless, or maybe that’s the best part. Seniors Avery Weins, Coco Street, and Taylor Wilby gave moving speeches, Senior orchestra members Ton Luk, Taylor Wilby, Jeremy Brandt, and Cyrus wilson played Requiem for a Dream (unforgettable!), Kelsi Dean sang a song beautifully and the Senior members of Singers performed a piece as well. Too bad I rained on everyone’s parade, but luckily the community stood by my efforts (that’s why it’s always good to be nice to people and be friends with everyone) as I received more requests to see the video than I would’ve ever imagined.
After the chapel service, I replied to Mr. Silverman’s text from that morning which read, “You read to output today, will you need help exporting from FCP?” with “Yeah so I’m going to need that help you were mentioning, whenever you’re available” Once again, Mr. Silverman came to the rescue and not only showed me how easy it would have been to compress the 9 GB video file during chapel using Quicktime (another aggravatingly simple tech fix!), but also showed me how I should go about exporting Hard Work & Dedication to be burned and shown at the Film Fest on Saturday evening. Of course, Compressor doesn’t work properly on my workstation computer so I’ll have to have Mr. Silverman help me on his computer at some point tomorrow.
Oh the woes and foes where technology goes!

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April 28: Day 23 – Daily Log

10 AM
Wake Up (later than I anticipated – the power needs to stop going out and thwarting my alarm clock from waking me up!)
11 AM
Showed video in Senior Chapel – FAIL
2 – 7 PM
– Discussed exporting with Mr. Silverman, I need this knowledge big time
– Final editing of Hard Work & Dedication!

Time spent on project today: 5 hours
Time spent on project so far this week: 29 hours
Total time spent on project: 146.75 hours

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April 27: Day 22 – Daily Reflection

Check out the notes that I took to guide my edit and re-edit of the Senior Chapel video

Part of me enjoys deadlines. That’s hard to say, it’s almost like a confession to say that I enjoy deadlines, but I think the truth is that we all like them a little bit. Deadlines are motivation more than almost anything else and in this Senior Project lifestyle that I think closely equates that of a freelance artist, deadlines are all that can keep me on task and in line. Yes, I do have to account for 36 hours of work every week, but also the Senior Chapel is tomorrow and the Film Fest is on Sunday, yay! I’m excited for these events, but they’re not just a party or a movie where I can just show up, sit back, and enjoy the show. First, I’ve got to make the show, then I can sit back and, relax, maybe.
With that in the back of my head, I might have set the record for the longest inhabitance of a Lovett school building for all intents and purposes other than a lock in, performance, return from a trip, etc. I worked non-stop from 4:30 in the afternoon until 12:30 AM with one bathroom break, no dinner, no nothing and the glorious part is that when I was done it felt like only half that time had passed. The main reason I was able to put my nose to the grindstone so well was because of this deadline. Senior Chapel is tomorrow morning and I am not one to risk showing up in the morning with things to be done and assuming that any amount of time will allow it to be ready when it needs to be. I know that I’ll sleep more soundly this evening because although it may not be ready to screen, the production and post-production of the Senior chapel video is completed. I had a lot of fun editing this video, it was a good change of pace, not only because a lot of the footage was semi-improvised, but the final product is also a much more relaxed and amateurish piece, which sounds like a terrible thing any way you slice it, but it’s not. After writing, producing, directing, and editing Hard Work & Dedication for about 6 weeks now on and off, not having to worry so much about a standard of excellence is very nice. This circumstance makes me consider what it would be like to write and/or direct, produce or even edit a feature length film would take months or even years to complete. Wow, I don’t think that’s up my alley. Granted, doing everything is a very different experience than mastering the art of writing or directing or editing, etc. I do believe that it would be far less exhausting and over-indulging to be able to hold one of those positions on a feature film.
Regardless, the Senior Chapel video is done and HW&D is on it’s last edit (hopefully!), as for the music video… there’s still some work to be done there including planning. That might not get completed in time, but hey, we tried!

Hard work & dedication… sometimes that’s all it takes and sometimes it’s all that it takes.

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April 27: Day 22 – Daily Log

10 AM
Wake Up
11 – 1 PM
Edited Senior Chapel Video on FCP
2 – 3
Edited Hard Work & Dedication
3 – 5
Calculus Review Tutorial, thanks Dr. Sanders!
4:30 – 12:30 AM
– Refined edits on HW&D
– Continued and completed editing Senior Chapel video for tomorrow (/later this morning!)

Time spent on project today: 11 hours
Time spent on project so far this week: 24 hours
Total time spent on project: 141.75 hours

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April 25: Day 21 – Daily Reflection

Check out the current timeline for Hard Work & Dedication, it’s coming together!

I’m starting to see the end coming at me. It’s sort of like a speeding train that I know I cannot run from nor keep up with. Even as a recent as two days ago I thought that I would be struggling to find tasks to occupy my time during this last week with the completion of post-production on Hard Work & Dedication slated for the this weekend; however, I have realized today that I still have much to do. With the film fest on Saturday, Senior Chapel on Thursday, and the prospect of completing a music video for Jamsah still on the table, I prospectively have three videos to finish editing and one to shoot before the end of these glorious four weeks.
Today was not the most productive day I’ve had yet, but it wasn’t a total bust either. I did successfully finish my way through my third complete edit, but after reviewing the new cut myself I found a brand new list of edit points that I need to review just for the second half of the movie. I also got a start on implementing the end credits for the film, which I am strangely excited about. It’s interesting to me that enough of anything can get boring and make the simplest things seem thrilling. In my case, editing this movie overall has been a lot of trimming, listening, watching, moving, dragging and dropping, but the titles are typing and timing and whole new set of mechanics that I haven’t had the pleasure of employing. Granted there’s not much about titles that really turns me on, but they are… different and different is always good.
Tomorrow is Shuler Hensley Awards day for me so I won’t be in to work on the project, but I’m sure that even with something as prominent and occupying as the Shuler Hensely will stuggle to steal my focus from this project. Shuler can take the hours, but he can’t take the thoughts! That makes it sound like I’m not excited for tomorrow, which is totally false, but I am nervous and slightly unprepared, especially since during the rehearsal tonight I didn’t do anything, nothing at all for five hours, except for some blogging. See, he can’t take my thoughts!

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