This movie trailer project took place during the spring of 2016. Lakeside Lutheran High School administration allowed us to make a two minute trailer on the student activities at Lakeside. The faculty and student body were immediately on board with this movie trailer. It would prove to be great advertising for school. To be honest, at first I wasn't too thrilled about the project. I had already done a movie trailer project for school and wasn't sure if all the ideas we had planned for the movie trailer would be used.
In the beginning, as we brainstormed the project, we struggled to come up with good plots or themes. Many students and teachers had suggested portraying plots similar to various movies. In the end we all agreed on one thing, that it had to be movie-like.
During the first couple of weeks we filmed a lot of different things. Rather than focusing on a certain plan or theme we decided to just gather a good amount of footage. We soon discovered that this wasn't a very good approach. It's crucial to have a storyline of some sort. Whenever filming a video it is essential to have a well-planned beginning, plot, and ending, but it doesn't always have to be super advanced.
After realizing our footage wasn't movie-like quality, we sat down and drew out a good detailed storyline. We started shooting again the next day. The first scene was on the bus. Our goal was to get all the footage with the bus done in one day. However, it was not easy getting a bus full of kids, the bus driver, and Matt Werre (our main actor in the video) together on the same day. Using a Glidecam, we were able to get all of the different angles of Matt that we needed for the trailer. A Glidecam makes footage a lot smoother and easy to capture. Later that day we hooked up a Gopro to the bus just above the tire. A Gopro is a camera that is smaller and more rugged than most cameras. Some of this footage made the bus look somewhat dirty, but we were able to use some footage for the trailer.
On day two of filming we tried taking some of the outside scenes for the commercial as well as the hallway scenes. For the outside scenes I used a tripod. I took a lot of shots of Matt with many different angles by the bench. I took some distance shots, close ups of his feet on the ground, and some from behind. The more footage you get the easier it is to edit with all the b-roll. You can always delete footage. The hallway shots I had to shoot twice. I used the Glidecam for these clips as well. The original looked too staged and serious, not really portraying what Lakeside is all about. The second time was much more comfortable. As you could see in the video, the people were smiling and laughing. This always gives the video much more spark.
Day three was probably my favorite shoot in the whole video. On day three I filmed the rock outside of Lakeside using a dolly. A dolly is on wheels, with a flat board where you can place your camera or tripod. The dolly rolls back and forth. All you have to do is simply push it. I pushed it very slowly. It was very difficult to get a steady speed. With a little color correction this shot turned out amazing.
The next day Kyle Burger and I took a trip to the woodshop to get some shots of the class. Throughout the filming process the teachers were all very understanding and helpful. I enjoyed shooting in the woodshop, getting all the action. I took a tripod with a camera down there getting a variety of angles. This includes getting shots of the students using the saw or different tools. One shot that I thought turned out well was the students working on a checkerboard. I liked how it looked different and might catch the eye of the viewers.
Continuing on we wanted to get some more shots, including a lot of the student body. The two best times to shoot were during chapel and lunch. I ended up shooting both of these activities. I filmed the cafeteria first. This too I had to film twice. In the first one some students were messing around and didn't make the footage turn out too well. The second time I filmed this scene I got Matt's table and friends. I thought it really captured what I was looking for. I filmed this with the new camera lens we just received and the tripod. Secondly, I filmed the chapel Lakeside has every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. For this too I used a tripod and the new lens. I shot some side angles of the student section, some up close and far away.
Without a doubt one of the more difficult clips we shot was with the cross in our new gym. The clip started with Matt talking to a friend. I used a racking focus shot. I started with the two friends in focus and then switched focus to the cross. I had to position the tripod just right in order to make it look good. It turned out a little darker than we would've liked, but with using the brightness effect in the editing software it turned out amazing.
The editing part of the project probably took just as much time as the filming. Most of the adjustments I made to the clips were color corrections, a few tweaks here and there. My ultimate objective was to get the video moving quickly. I accomplished this by having no clips more than five seconds in length.
I really enjoyed being a part of making this movie trailer for Lakeside. It definitely was a once in a lifetime opportunity. You can view it on YouTube. I still can't get over was how cool the video looked on the big screen of the movie theatre, it gives me the chills. Looking back at this project, I would definitely do it again if I had the chance.
[ Listen to a 10-minute interview with Nick Bartels about his presentation, conducted by Andy Bates on KFUO-AM radio on his "Faith 'n' Family" program, September 28, 2016. Audio courtesy of Worldwide KFUO. ]
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