ASCII by Jason Scott

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Mr. Influence —

Evil League of Evil Application – Mr Influence from Will Keary on Vimeo.

A friend of a friend was sent in my direction because he had decided he wanted to make an Evil League of Evil Application. To know what the Evil League of Evil is you probably need to know about Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog and if you haven’t seen that then I just sucked out an hour of your day and sorry about that. At least there was music.

So you could submit a three-minute application videotape (or as we call it these days, a link to a video sharing service), and they might use your video in the final DVD that comes out, and Will wanted in. He hit up friends and eventually I got into this snowball somehow.

I lent him my smaller HD camera, the Canon HV20, which is what I used to shoot in the caves of Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, and which has since healed up. Under controlled conditions this camera is fantastic and yet is cheap enough that I don’t mind sending it out of my sight. I also lent some of my other equipment.

He wrote the script over a weekend, got a hold of me and others on Monday, started shooting on Tuesday, shot until Thursday night, drove overnight to a friend’s house, edited it on Friday, and then put it out on Vimeo on Saturday morning, making it to the deadline of the contest (which was Saturday).

My schedule was packed that week with other stuff so I could only help with one night of shooting. As usual, I was my old bossy self and so the ones shot by me look different than others, but they generally fit in. Fun quiz! Figure out which ones!

Let’s try a spoiler alert trick. I’ll put them here in black on a black background. Select with mouse to see.

ANSWER: Both opening shots of the courtroom scene, second (static) shot of him walking up his stairs, shot of his hand flipping switch, shot of him being surprised at party (but no other shots of party), shots of him at suicide prevention hotline (but not shot of rubber band man).

Tons of things went right for him (he finished it!) but tons of things went wrong too, and some of that was just coming up with this plan a little too close to the deadline, so he had to use on-camera sound instead of post-recorded sound/separate source, etc. I think it was quite something that someone could come up with an idea and seven days later be seeing his own film, in high def, up for the world to see.

I do wish I’d been able to help more. Maybe next time. These low-shooting-time projects are incredibly stressful, but like any skillset, it’s nice to push everything out beyond reasonable levels and see what comes of it.

Update: He didn’t get selected for the Evil League of Evil, but was listed in the credits of the DVD!

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One Comment

  1. Flack says:

    I was more or less correct in my guess, which was, “any shot with tracking or that wasn’t hand held.”

    I love where we currently stand with video and the web. There was a time when video editing became cheap, but hosting video files was a pain in the ass. Then YouTube introduced/popularized this new model of hosting people’s videos for free and all I could think was … really? Wow! Now sites like Vimeo and YouTube accept HD footage and people like me can even upload our kids’ holiday christmas plays for relatives far, far away to view. It’s awesome, I say.