smoking crayolas
words arts movies stuff
May 2011
ruff day
SmokingCrayolas' entry in the Video Association of Dallas' 10th Annual 24-Hour Video Race.
10th Annual! Holy cow. We've been doing this for a decade! And while there are a few racers still around from way back when, I'm proud to say that SmokingCrayolas is the only team name that has survived since that spectacularly crazy first year. From race's start on the roof of a nightclub to the "all-films-shown-in-one-night" screening it was "winging it" of the highest order. And it's been an absolute blast ever since.
This year's team comprised the usual core of Jake, Niki, Nathan, Kirk and Todd, with Kirk flying in from his new digs in Virginia. This year also saw the debut of Keaton Ozymy, Jake's girlfriend, who was a great addition to the team, weathering the 24 Hours admirably and giving us access to our first "young female" actor since? whatever year it was that Niki got old.
2011's list of requirements:
  • Theme: A Day to Remember
  • Prop: A ball
  • Location: A garden
  • Dialogue: "We can do that tomorrow."
After finally settling on a script that was a bit more "us" than our dark-comedy "dog's view during the Zombie-pocalypse" film that didn't quite pan out, we got to work on what you see above. Only we didn't start shooting it as you see it. After about 3 hours of shooting, I didn't trust the footage we were getting on the ol' MiniDV HD Canon we've been using for the last few years. After a quick import and view on Kirk's monitor, none of us were sold. This left us with a dilemma - come up with a second concept quick, or try to find a way to like filming what we wrote.
Insert Niki's new Canon SLR which has the ability to record HD video. A quick sort through the packaged lenses found a macro filter with wide angle lens. This got us closer to where we wanted to be, but not quite. Chopping the head off a stuffed Snoopy and strapping him under the lens with yarn sealed the deal. Reinvigorated, we blasted through all of principal photography in an hour-and-a-half.
Ruff Day was also the first time since Wrong Turn Timmy that we've dubbed all the audio after rough-cut assembly. A mistake on my part rendered the human's dialogue unusable, meaning that while I worked on some visual trickery, Kirk maestro'd the cast into a reasonable facsimile of what happened during shooting. I've gotta say, he did a great job, as did the cast with their mostly improvised dialogue. Niki headed up most of the foley work. The skritch-skratch of doggie claws on tile and that door opening and closing at the start sell it for me every time.
And where would we be without mentioning the first time we've ever declined to use Music Bakery! Todd, after familiarizing himself with the Robot Chicken opening and closing credits, became a champ as he composed our opening and closing themes en route to pick up his keyboard. Damn fine work, and one step closer to that 24 Hour Video Race musical we keep talking about...
Update:Ruff Day took 2nd Place in 2011's Hollywood Division, keeping the Jake/Todd streak alive. 1st place went to a very deserving film by 4pm Beer.