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Shooting a sizzle reel…

October 26, 2009

Since we came up with the idea for my design show I have been nervous about being on camera.  In real life I tend to be pretty effusive and animated but the minute a camera is pointed in my direction I get reeeeal quiet and “composed”. I wont get into the figure-figure of why, but lets just say that I knew this could be a problem when it came time to shoot the sizzle reel.

The first day that we shot – the director kept having me say the same line again and again, in fact she had to go so far as to tell me exactly (with inflection and facial movement) HOW to say the line.  To say the least I became embarrassed and even more nervous that I was doing a horrible job.  I decided not to look at any of the playbacks of the footage in order to not make this a worse situation, i.e. become even more nervous as a result of seeing on film how horrible I was in my mind.  The director wanted me to be “bigger” and I kept thinking that I wanted at all costs to avoid being a caricature of myself.  As the long day wore on I realized that what she was asking for was NOT a caricature but how I am in real life, when a camera is not pointed in my face – I became more relaxed and as a result was indeed “bigger”.

1st segment

1st segment

Today we shot the second segment of the reel (we have yet to do the 3rd and final segment).  We added the element of my design process and part of that is my interaction with one of my employees.  Having her there made it feel much more real and I was able to do the takes much faster and with fewer “CUT”s yelled.  Later we did a direct interview about why I wanted to do this show and by that time I felt entirely comfortable – my employee was not in this part so she watched from the sidelines.  When we finished for the day she told me that she was really inspired and that I really came across the way I do in real life… this was, of course, my big goal.2nd Segment

I think we all need to do things that scare us, things that not only inspire ourselves but others – to reach for the stars.  I am already a good designer, I am confident in my abilities and knowledge.  I get so much joy out of doing what I do that it is easy peasy (japaneasy) for me and while all those are good things, they can be limiting in their comfort.  I am happy that I am being forced out of my normal day to day and facing my fears.  I would suggest that you try it too, you might like it.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeff D. permalink
    October 27, 2009 12:28 am

    What you forgot to mention is that you were AWESOME both days! 🙂

  2. Kendra McPhee permalink
    October 28, 2009 7:12 am

    How awesome, Michelle! I can’t wait to see the finished product.

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