Archive for Month: July 2015

Watch my windy TV Interview here

Hey y’all!

I just got back from an interview for the local TV-station, but this time I was actually not behind the camera asking the questions, instead I found myself right in front of it …

Please excuse my hair, the wind made it crawl into my face, wups!

I definitely prefer being behind the camera, but I think it’s highly necessary for a journalist/director to see it from the other side sometimes. Maybe it’ll help me be a little more compassionate towards my future interview objects? However, I’m convinced even Oprah felt slightly awkward watching herself on TV for the first time… at least I hope she did haha!

I’ll post the full documentary with English subtitles as soon as I’m done editing it – hopefully within two weeks.

Bless u,

Minions and fog

I just got back from the local movie theater where I watched Minions. I’m not a huge fan of animated films, but I enjoy them every once in a while. Like “Up” and “Finding Nemo”  – because of the important message they send, and “Ice age” because it’s actually funny. But Minions, well.. it’s the typical “The good wins and the villain loses.” It wasn’t in particularly funny either. I laughed about five times, four of them was because of the lady who sat next to me, and her hysterical laughter. I guess the film just didn’t hit my sense of humor.

Anyway, I had to utilize the nice foggy weather, so I forced my friend Siri to model for me on our way back home. You can’t really see the fog in the photos, but I thought it added a nice misty atmosphere to them.


Aaand the photographer got to refresh her gymnastics skills


Bless ya,
Maria Lavelle

Lesson learned

Yesterday was the last day of shooting for the dcumentary, yay!

And now I’m done editing one third of it as well, which surprisingly enough only took me 25 hours. Had it not been for my overworked MacBook Air (Which is pretty unfit for editing HD video files) I would’ve been done in half the time. But I’ll have to make the best out of the equipment I’ve got at this point so…

Anyway, on Friday I got a text that made me think I’d have to it all over again, because one of my sources suddenly decided she didn’t want her interview to be in the film at all. So I’d have to cut out her part, schedule a new interview with a new source, do the interview, edit the new part and then re-arrange the whole thing – in less than a day. Not cool.

Luckily, I managed to convinced her to let me use it. But from now on, I’ll make every single source sign a form where they commit to being a part of the project that gives me the rights to use the footage – regardless of whether or not they change their mind later. It doesn’t matter if they’re my friends, family or complete strangers – everybody will have to sign.

However, I completely understand the discomfort of talking in front of a camera – it’s not for everybody! But with the new forms, at least I’ll give my sources the chance to back out before we shoot = much easier for both of us.

Lesson learned!

Even it’s frustrating at times, these are valuable experiences that’ll help me become a better journalist and filmmaker in the future.

G’night folks, bless ya!
– Maria Lavelle

Time and Film

I’m still amazed by the response on my last post, and I appreciate every comment and e-mail I’ve received from you guys! I went to the police station with the picture of the perv-guy, so it should all be taken care of shortly.

Yesterday I finished up my 28th session of shooting for the documentary I’m doing.
Just a few months ago I was completely ignorant of how time-consuming this stuff actually is! Gosh, it might sound like all you do is meet up with a person, ask a few questions and then you just paste it together in iMovie before supper… So before any of you get you expectations up, let me explain why it takes time:

Find an idea
– Whose/which story do you wanna tell?
Contact your sources
 – Ask the people you need: “Would you be interested in being a part of my documentary-thing?”
Schedule appointments
– Now this is the hard part… You gotta make sure their schedules fit into yours, and when you have 28 appointments in ten days, it becomes a challenge.
Go out and do the interviews
– During this project I’ve experienced that people forgot about their appointment, or backed out the moment I showed up, I also drove for two hours to meet a person – only to find out my GPS fooled me, and I got completely lost somewhere along a fjord.. But luckily, it turned out well in the end 🙂
Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 00.55.35
Organize and back up clips
– With hours of footage, you’ll need some kind of system, and you’ll also need backup of the system.. so here you go – an hour extra work for each time you shoot.
Clean up clips
– Even when people are really great speakers and capable of saying the most brilliant things, you’ll have to throw away 70% of it.
Put clips together
– undoubtedly the hardest part. Make sure all the clips you have are leading you towards your goal – telling the story. You need enough detail for it to make sense, but too much will make it boring, so watch out.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 00.57.42

Match the audio
– Since I’m the only person in my crew, and I can’t be both the audio operator and the photographer/journalist/director/producer, I have to use a separate microphone that I attach to the “object”… that means the audio is unattached to the video. So for each clip, I need a separate audio clip that I have to match to the visuals. With three hours of footage comes a three-hour long consecutive mp3 file, so I’ll have to go treasure hunting to find those sentences that I already have in the video clips so that I can match them and make the audio sound decent.
 – The fun stuff! Soundtracks, colorgrading, light correcting and other effects + final adjustments.
– The absolute “funnest” part – Project completed!

I’m not by any means a pro, in fact, this is my first video that is longer than four minutes… so please bear with me. I know this can be done in a much easier way, but as for now, this is the only way I know of.

The reason I even do this, is because I want to learn the craft of filmmaking. There’s no shortcut, and I’m not interested in being “kinda good” at it. Maybe there’s a reason why the great movie directors such as Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Robert Zemeckis and James Cameron are all in their 60s or older – it takes time.

If God wants me to become a movie director, I’ve got 40 or more years of learning the craft… so no rushing.

Bless y’all,
Maria Lavelle

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