This is a typical video that I like to create. It is videos like this that inspired me to create JaWaVi Films. This is an entire compilation of pictures and video clips that spans about three months (August – October of 2013). The primary reason I would develop such a long time span? In my opinion, to make a movie, you have to want to make a movie. Inspiration can be fickle.
My inspiration for this particular movie was the song itself, “Sirens” by Pearl Jam. I was a big fan of Pearl Jam in high school and college and had not really heard anything new out of them in quite some time. One day last fall, I happened upon their new song, “Sirens” when I was driving home from work. I knew almost immediately that I wanted to use that song as the backdrop of my next movie. I’m not sure if it was the lyrics or somewhat somberness of the song, but the way it fades in and out from melancholy to inspiration really cemented my desire to use it.
What about the title of the video?
That one is pretty self explanatory. There are five of us in the family and we’ve tried the Party of Five to reference ourselves in the past, but most everyone in their 30s or older can remember the TV Show so it seems a bit too
nerdy predictable. But anyway, “Sirens of Five (a family together)” was the moniker I gave it after post production. I liked it much better than the generic “Sirens of Five: 2013” that I used when putting the video together. At the beginning, where you see the clips of NYC, we were apart, then by the middle and end of the story all five of us are back to running in our usual routines at home in Athens, Ga.
What made me want to make this movie?
I had the song and had also spent time away for work in New York City for two weeks and remembered how much I hated not being able to spend time with my kids for that extended amount of time.
My wife, aka, JennySue Makeup was able to join me over one weekend during my stay, which was an awesome mini vacation. I stole some of her images that she included on her own blog posting, “A Weekend in New York City“.
So NYC was the genesis of which my mind started turning about putting together this video. I had the song and the starting point of the video – NYC. When you spend that much time in New York, it’s hard not to want to capture all aspects of the grand sights and sounds happening all around you.
So how did you make it all work together?
I suppose there is no right or wrong way to develop a movie. I want it to be interesting, funny and most of all satisfying. For this one, I only needed the beginning of the story. Initially, I was just going to make it a picture montage of memories, hence, you do not see any video clips of NYC. The Big Apple part was pretty much finished when you see the welcome home sign. After that, the images of early fall such as 1st day of school, Georgia Football games and family outings began to fall in place. I just let the images and videos fill in around the lyrics and didn’t rely too much on keeping the time frame as accurate as I typically do. You will see clips of obvious October footage linked in and then you might see a shot where it was late September.
Of course all of my personal videos seem to have some common themes: Golf, which my boys and I love, and also Georgia football games. The Georgia footage is a bit of a given mainly due to the fact that we reside in Athens, Ga and are proud graduates of UGA.
What is the reason for using photographs, video and also slow motion video?
The got the iPhone 5s in around September of last year. These were the first few video clips where I had utilized slow motion effects. Mainly it was accomplished pre-production, meaning I just filmed it that way due to the new features that the 5s allowed, one of which was slow motion. Needless to say, it made the production a bit easier; I did not have to manipulate the footage as much during the editing process. If you have a 5s, I would highly encourage anyone to record some clips in slow motion, especially anything sports related.
Two of my favorite slow motion shots in this film occurs when:
- My youngest son ad libs a celebration in throwing the cups he had just received from the ESPN GameDay set during the tailgate for the Georgia vs. LSU game.
- Being able to successfully capture the rotation of a football as it comes down to me during a pick up game at a birthday party. I was casually filming some clips (trying out the slow motion) during the party and just happened on the idea of trying to catch the football while recording. I think it turned out pretty well.
How did you decide on the ending?
I really like to have a focal point for an ending. That’s the last impression people have of the video that you spend hours and hours getting just right. In fact, I will completely stop working on a project if I can’t seem to be satisfied with how I will end the story. The shot of my daughter acting uncharacteristically silly was the nexus of the few ending shots. Sometimes, as I did here, I like to “set up” the ending frame. You will see some of her earlier antics within the last minute of the video. This helps set up the ending so it is something that feels like a continuation from the main context of the overall story. To me her last expression with her hand said exactly what I was feeling, “Til the next one…” It made me happy and worked well with how the music was fading out.
Movies like these are very personal and fun to make. Try to notice when certain events happen that seem to be in lock step with the lyrics, that is by design. I have a proclivity to watch life happen with a soundtrack playing in my mind, so moving pictures + music work for me. Kind of the reason I started up JaWaVi Films.
So as a photo taker or video maker (too many Dr. Seuss books), try to always take those extra shots or next time shoot some clips of your son or daughter in slow motion. Those extra files will allow you more freedom to express yourself when you decide it is time to mash it all up into a long-lasting 4 or 5 minute movie. Keep recording, always be on the lookout for inspirational music or songs and then
make your commemorative movie save your files to a thumb drive and send it to JaWaVi Films to make a specialized movie for you!
Enjoy & Til the next one….
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