The Vlogger Style
As I was looking for a change of pace last week, I got a text from my buddy Craig—plays Donald on the show, has a legitimately successful YouTube channel as comedy-vlogger Wheezy Waiter. He was all-Hey, you want to blow off work early today and help me film an action movie for my channel?
Uhhhhhh…yeah. Action movies are the most fun to make. But I’m not really the kind of guy that can blow off work. Thankfully, my current job involves a lot of freedom of movement and individual time management, and I don’t want to take advantage of that. Having come from the punch-in/punch-out world of retail, having the ability to move freely and manage my own time is like finding a friggin’ Aladdin’s lamp. So, I want to respect the amount of time they’re paying me for and earn my check.
So, I was all—Can you just do a regular vlog today, and we’ll shoot that on Saturday.
And he was like—Sure.
I rarely shoot with other people. These days, if I’m on a set, it’s usually my set and we’re piecing together a carefully mapped out puzzle from my script and shot list. So it was just a breath of fresh air to get to work with Craig on one of his vlogs. The process is so incredibly different. He just makes things up as he goes. He has a series of story beats he wants to hit and then just starts filming a scene. Each shot has one specific purpose—something as simple as: In this one I need to get from the corner to the coffee maker—and then he just vamps for 10 or 20 seconds saying things that strike him as funny. He’ll grab the best stuff in the edit and there he goes. We were using rolling office chairs and skateboards as dollies, I was sliding the GoPro along the ground shooting 120 frames a second, we would get to a scene and just make it up, try to say some jokes. It was a lot of fun.
I knew his process was to make it up as he went, but I haven’t really done this kind of thing since high school. It felt a lot like shooting videos for Telecom, our high school’s TV production course.
I’ve gotten so locked into the idea that everybody’s time is so precious, I better have a script I like and a precise idea of what’s going to happen so we maximize our shooting time. That means everyone will give up less of their free time getting something we can definitely use. Craig gets folks together and says, “We’re going to shoot something and it’ll be funny.” And then he does it. It’s very loose, very free, and a lot of fun.
Maybe the biggest eye opener was when we were running out of daylight and he was like, “I don’t know, man. What are you doing tomorrow? We might have to shoot another day.” And it sounded like a big thing. A two day shoot. Then after we couldn’t shoot anymore we went to a sandwich shop for a coffee and his girlfriend Chyna met us there. When he told her we were going to be shooting another day she said, “Whoa! A two day shoot.” A little bit joking, but with enough sincerity that it hit me again. Craig’s projects are one-day shoots. He decides to shoot something, he shoots it in one day, and he puts it up. PoPS episode 8 is a 25-day shoot and the end date keeps getting further away as schedules refuse to line up. It’s just a completely different deal. Lots of fun though.
I’m going to do some effects for the Craig video, maybe this weekend, and I’ll embed it here on the blog once it’s released.
I’m still getting ready for my own one-night shoot on this 30-second horror movie. Of course, I can’t just let it be simple, I’m trying to assemble all the little pieces I need to make it happen. Props that need to be designed, and some fake flooring to facilitate an easy clean-up.
I’m still working on editing episode 8 too. No worries there. I’ll keep chipping it away at it. Just recharging my batteries with a couple fun little projects.
Thanks for reading.