The ReThink Project: Part III

April 07, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

And here it is, the final project titled: A Letter To Kai

Initially I found the Rethink experience extremely frustrating because I had so many ideas and the project was completely open to interpretation. I explored several ideas including a surf film, educational presentation for expecting fathers and recreating my website/presentation of my projects. All of these are projects I will pursue, but in the end I decided to 'rethink' how to capture and present the pregnancy of my wife and the birth of our child.

After viewing Lens, the New York Times blog and attending a workshop with DuckRabbit I was inspired to try a multimedia piece that incorporated a spoken voice over images and video. While my interest grew in this area, I continued to shoot mostly stills and the Rethink Project was the perfect opportunity to try something new. 

The goal of the Rethink Project was to step out of our comfort zone. This was definitely the case for me as I incorporated a GoPro for film clips, a D800 for the stills, an iPhone to record sounds, Garageband to create music for the video, and iMovie to edit the video. Another new aspect for me  was the idea of my voice speaking over the images. I am more comfortable with images and music that enhance the mood and was initially unsure how my voice would add to, or distract from the message. 

Nearly one year ago I started with a rough idea for this project. Initially the goal was to create a time-lapse of the stages of pregnancy and let the project evolve from there. For a while I pursued the idea of telling the story from a father-to-be perspective. One idea was to simply present a series of questions that I had throughout the stages of pregnancy and birth and let the images give a general ‘answer’ to the questions. The goal of this would be to share ideas, experiences and tips with other new fathers, because there is not very much information for us to work with. However, as I kept shooting it became clear that this type of a story would be too clinical for such an organic experience. 

Two weeks before my son, Kai, was born, I decided to try and capture the most significant days of the  experience with the goal of presenting it to him when he was older. Changing the goal and the target audience enabled me to put this together in a much more personal way which I felt was needed for such a personal experience.  

When I had all of the images and video laid down in the general order, I built in the sound files. I recorded several versions of the text which was a very challenging process because I felt I was walking a fine line between clinical and cheesy. I ended up deleting 70% of the text I had written for this video because I always feel that images should speak for themselves as much as possible. I made the first song in the video using the application Garageband. The second song was written and recorded by my brother Jeff. My intention was to keep every aspect of this production as close to Kai as possible. 

Having completed the project, there are several ideas that I would like to pursue regarding multimedia pieces.  

  • Simplify the process and just shoot black and white with sound much like the Lens blog presentations. 
  • Complicate the process and shoot proper video with my D800 as well as incorporate D800 time-lapse footage to show time passing. Also learn and incorporate more professional filming techniques like steady pans and continuity. 
  • Get to know my Tascam sound recorder so I don’t have to revert back to the iPhone voice recorder. Include more dynamic sounds that establish the scenes. Good examples of this can be found with Duckrabbit productions and NPR programs.

The iMovie layout can be seen below showing all media sources used (video, photos, voice, music). 


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