13 Hours of Tan Lines in Just 1 Minute
I spent the day (and night) filming the performers, installations, and attendees at Beacon Quarterly’s Tan Lines Festival.
It’s been just over a month since Beacon’s Tan Lines Festival at Century Bar, but the fact that I’ve spent the last week sifting through hours and hours of footage makes it feel like it was just yesterday. With artists and activities filling up every one of those thirteen hours, it was super fun to have the opportunity to film it all — even if my limbs hurt for two days straight afterwards.
The day began bright and early at 8 A.M. (yeah, no, that’s not when I prefer to wake up either). I arrived along with countless other crew members for setup and final pre-festival checks; were my batteries charged? Thankfully, yes. Did I forget a lens at home? Also yes. Where the hell did that mounting plate go? I still don’t know.
My setup consisted of a Canon T6i mounted on a Zhiyun Crane. Considering I had to stand and film for the better part of thirteen hours, my goal was to keep my rig as light as possible. Obviously, I didn’t do good enough, because I really felt it for the next couple days. I also didn’t want to take up too much space — everyone and everything was constantly shifting around, so I didn’t have room for tripods or (dare I even say it) jibs. This solution worked wonders and I was able to get near every shot I wanted smoothly and with tons of control.
“Screw it, I’m gonna’ do a quick-cut epic thrown over rock music”
During the editing process, I spent around 80% of the time in front of my computer just trying to decide which footage to keep and which footage to cut. When you’re sorting through hours of footage and trying to condense it down to the key ideas, it can feel really tempting to just say “screw it, I’m gonna’ do a quick-cut epic thrown over rock music”, but I tried to, um, not do that as much as possible. And as much as I love the song I ultimately landed on (Moi å Moi by Blossom, for those of you that are unacquainted), the 13 seconds of relative calm at the beginning really dug into my time limit as well. At the end of the day, though, I felt like that scene was key to the setup for the rest of the video, so I decided to keep it.
I have a couple words of wisdom before I leave you: 1) Don’t leave a shot in just because it looks cool. If it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t make sense. 2) Stuck on a time limit? Incorporate speed ramps and layered video if the style allows. 3) Don’t be afraid to just shoot for shooting’s sake. Many of the shots in my video were children of this concept, so just do it. Unless you’re shooting on film, there’s no reason to stop shooting.
Alright! Time to get back to the edit lab. I hope you enjoyed the little video I put together for Beacon’s Tan Lines Festival and look forward to seeing you at future events!