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Saturday, 8.28.04: Week in review

Saturday. I took my camera to the town fair to snap pictures of kids for possible use in our foster parent video project. Of course, I have to blur them up because I didn't get photo releases.

The photos came out pretty well and gave me lots of material to practice with. I'm getting pretty good at extracting figures from backgrounds in Photoshop. (See composite photo on left.) It's tedious, but then I have my paper dolls to play with.

I couldn't really finish up the foster parent video because I didn't have the narration tracks yet. So I spent the week with my paper dolls and my After Effects how-to books and gave myself a course in 3-D animation.

I'm not good at 3-D visualization. In art classes I always bombed when it came to sculpture and I was never comfortable steering a sailboat in invisible 3-D winds. I predict I'd be a disaster in 3-D video games. So I gave myself the challenge of setting up a 3-D space (depth, as well as height and width), positioning my dolls at different depths, then swooping a virtual camera through the group to focus on a figure in the back. I drove myself crazy -- but a pleasant crazy, like doing a jigsaw puzzle.

The days blurred together.

Wednesday I got word the "The Valentine 1955" was chosen to play at Harvard, in the JFK School of Government, at the end of September. It's part of the travelling version of the United Nations Association Film Festival we did last fall. Cool.

Friday. Finally, we are recording the narration for our foster parent recruitment video. We decided it would be interesting to use a pair of teenagers to do the narration instead of someone who sounded like an FM radio announcer. Maria contacted the Director of Arts at the Rochester City School District School of the Arts. He lined up a couple of very talented kids for us. I spent the morning testing my sound equipment and figuring out that I could attach my new shotgun mic to my camera tripod so that I could look like a really slick professional. The recording session went well. Our clients -- the people who commissioned the job -- also attended and basically took over the directing in order to get the line readings they wanted. That kind of participation is good because now they have less reason to dislike the final product -- especially since we took the risk of non-traditional narration.

We went out to dinner last night for the first installment of our 11th wedding anniversary weekend.

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