The Vollmar Project


March 3, 2018 — In English Cinema Studies, we study films and learn filming techniques to apply to videos. Early in the school year, Mr. Mielke, my teacher, said he needed a video crew to help student Nyah Vollmar film a music video. Nyah is a well-known mem ber of the community. She has sung the National Anthem for the Oregon Ducks and she has a beautiful voice. At first, there were a couple of students who wanted to do it, but in early December, nothing was done. Mr. Mielke asked me if I wanted to take over the reins of the music video project since there had been no progress. I was ready. She would sing “What About Us?” by P!nk.

After spending a month creating a storyboard, it was ready to be put into action. The day before filming the video, my fellow student Hannah Rasmussen joined us; we both know each other pretty well. Hannah did a mini- assignment on feeling music and did very well on it, so we thought this would enhance the project.

It was Hannah who came up with the title of our production: “The Vollmar Project.” I thought it was a good name since it had a good rhythm to it.

In addition, this production was also the first time Hannah and I used a clapperboard, a device that is useful in editing. When you clap it, it will show a sharp line in the editing software of the audio track to help you line up your audio. We had fun using it.

We met on Thursday to get started. With all the necessities completed and ready — camera, storyboard, clapper- board and Nyah — we set out to record the music video.

My vision for the video was to have a beautiful sunset in the background for the end of the song. Instead, it was a gloomy, grey day. Hannah and I then got new ideas for the music video. Since the song was pretty depressing, we thought the clouds could enhance the music video’s meaning. So off we went with new ideas to film.

We decided to have Nyah on a porch looking down the river, sitting beside a tree in the middle of the mini forest in Historic Old Town Florence and walking down the street toward a beautiful heart.

After getting all the necessary clips, we called it a day.

We met again on Saturday due to the fact it got dark and we didn’t have any lighting equipment Friday evening, so we decided to meet at an earlier time the next day.

We had to film Nyah running through Old Town and lm the dance break. We decided to have Hannah and Nyah meet earlier so they could choreograph to the music. We then finalized on a low angle shot to make her look tall and powerful since, in the video, she is rebounding from a failed relationship.

When we were halfway through in the session, my sister, Isabella, helped with the clapper- board.

We also filmed Nyah running down the sidewalk toward the pier to get her into position for the dance break. While filming this time, the weather decided to throw fog at us and have a little more people in Old Town. We didn’t want anyone else in the video because we worried that if we got anyone else on the set in the final product, it would look unprofessional. We still got some clips and many dance break clips. We also thought of a new idea for a second opening to the song if the first one didn’t impress us enough. However, it got too dark and even though we still got a video clip of Nyah under a streetlight, it was not satisfactory.

On our last day of filming, we used the gazebo in Old Town. Even though it would be only one location that we would use, it would be hard to get some video footage because there were visitors that wanted to see the bridge from the porch next to the gazebo. While we waited for the visitors to move along, Hannah and I decided to get footage of gulls and other birds flying around the area and use it as transition clips for when we edited the whole thing. We managed to get four video clips, since it reached tourist rush hour.

After wrapping up our filming, I decided to invite Nyah and Hannah over for lunch at ICM for a reward for their hard work. We all had a great meal and talked about various topics. When they left, Hannah and I knew that we had one more step to conquer. Editing.

Every single music video, good YouTube video and movie that has been made has gone through a process known as editing.

In editing, every clip is taken in. Some clips aren’t good enough and are thrown away.

You can change the volume of the audio, skew colors in the clip and even put in transitions. Sometimes you might find unexpected perfect timings — like when you put in two video clips and when the first clip cuts to the next, the music is perfectly timed without editing. You may find out a clip that you thought was bad, suddenly turns good for a transition.

When we came back on Monday, we had to watch “Run Lola Run” for class before we could edit the music video. Our goal was to finish editing the video by Friday to have it ready as soon as possible for Nyah.

The first day was the hardest, since we had to wait for a long time for all the clips we took to load into the computer. When they were all done, we then had to backup the files in case something happened to one of the clips in the editing software. By the time we finished both of those steps, we only had a few minutes to get the clips onto the video track. When we finished, however, we still did not have the actual recording of Nyah singing “What About Us?” from the sound engineer, Nate Kaplan.

We came back on Tuesday and Hannah thought she had already sent me the song, but when I opened my drive, it could not be found. Hannah then decided to have Mr. Mielke email it to her again. After going through two stressful minutes, we finally had the actual recording.

On Wednesday, we worked on editing the clips to fit each section of music. Frankly, it was not hard, but not exactly easy, either. We had to brighten some clips up to fit the time of day it should be in and there was one slight problem. If we brightened up a clip too much, it would appear pixelated and we did not want that to happen, so we did our best to keep the video in high definition.

On Thursday, we inserted the transition clips that we had filmed on Saturday. However, since we only got a few clips, we did our best to use multiple parts of the clips. We then tweaked a couple of aspects of the video to fit in with the transition clips. After this, we did a full run-through of the music video to see if it was satisfactory enough. After finding some unsatisfactory parts, we decided to edit those on Friday, the due date.

On Friday, we got straight to work to fix the video. We had to remove a transition clip because it was too slow and darken a clip since it was too bright. Finally, we were done. We then started to render the video. However, videos take 12 minutes to render and there was no time left in class, so we decided to come back on Monday to see the result.

When we came back on Monday, the video finished rendering. We took a look at the final product. The feeling of the video was good, the setting was perfect and the editing was good. Overall, it was a good music video. Even when going back through some parts of the video, we felt like there were a couple of spots that didn’t look good enough. It wasn’t the perfect one we hoped for, but a good try on our first music video.

We presented it to Mr. Mielke and we both got an A.

I would like to thank Hannah, Nyah and Isabella for making this possible. It has been a great time to work with you three and I look forward to another “Vollmar Project” in the future. Hannah and I are sticking together to see if we could come up with other good ideas for the next video project. Who knows, it might be a big hit.

The video, including bloopers, can be seen on- line at www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIC0iP7b1qQ.

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