Production Update

Posted on Posted in Production Notes

Published August 24th, 2012

Since my last film production update, I have been focused on logging interview footage for my documentary. To log the footage, I watch it on my computer on one monitor, and on my second monitor I have an excel spreadsheet open.

Screen of video editing for WANTED: Crohn's End

In the excel spreadsheet I am logging information about what the interview subject says on video. I include start and end times, I write the gist of what they said, enter keywords, give that specific segment an identifier code, and most important to me, I rank the relevance of what was said.

Sometimes what is said is only slightly relevant towards the goals of my film. Other times what a person says is incredibly relevant, profoundly insightful, or rich with raw emotion.

It’s important to rank the segments of footage so that I can zero in on the relevant, important parts to improve the quality of my film. Ideally, at the end of production, my film only includes segments that I ranked as the highest quality.

The process of logging, while important is extremely slow going, and time consuming. To make matters more challenging, I am hard of hearing and have worn hearing aids since the age of three. I spend a lot of time making sure I am hearing the audio correctly.

Screen of how Reid logs what is said in the interview footage.

I’ve considered having others to help log, but when it comes to ranking the relevance of the video segment, which is to me the most important part, it relies on my personal opinion, which other people may not share. This makes getting help with logging difficult.

I had originally sought to finish the film by the end of this year (2012). Unfortunately, because logging is so time consuming, the film probably will not be released this year. However, I feel it will be worth it in the end, to take the slower approach of doing it myself, and ensuring the best content that suits my vision makes it into the film.

Other than logging interview footage, I did travel a little bit between July, 18th through the 22nd. For the first couple days I visited Tara Rosas for an update to an interview I did with her last summer. Most of the trip however was spent hanging out with Sean Ahrens of Cronology.com, filming an interview and B-roll footage.

When I take a break from logging, I am piecing together Tara’s story, from beginning to end in my video editor. It’s really fascinating to see how far she’s come, and changed as a person because of her experiences with overcoming IBD.

It was great to visit her for the update to see that she’s continuing to do very well. I am sure her story will be inspiring for many people.

I also did several pieces of B-roll footage with Tara that I can overlay on top of various segments of her interview, both from last year and this year. I’m not concerned about B-roll video that is chronologically out of order impacting the presentation of her story. I will likely have video of her cooking in 2012, while you hear her talking about cooking experiences she had in 2010. Ssshhhhhh, no one will notice!

Screen of b-roll film of Tara cooking.

After the brief visit with Tara, I met up with Sean Ahrens who is working on an incredible website called Crohnology.com. I wrote about Crohnology.com previously if you haven’t heard of it before. I shot B-roll and interview footage with Sean over several days. He was kind enough to allow me to observe how he and his team of web developers work, including one really fascinating design meeting where they discussed specific features and user behavior on the website.

I could see that Sean Ahrens was a true leader, encouraging feedback, open to new ideas, but also able to filter them on the fly to ensure they meshed well with his vision for Crohnology.com.

While filming the design meeting, the most exciting parts for me were when they started drawing on the glass windows with colored markers. It looks really cool, and I can’t wait to get that into the film.

Smart software developers + trying to find cures for IBD + drawing diagrams on glass = BOSS.

Screen of b-roll film from a crohnology design meeting.

One last highlight of the trip was that I was able to speak at an event for Crohnology.com members. I talked about how to become an empowered patient. I said it’s important to have the right attitude, conduct research, conduct experiments, and share your results if you want to be an empowered patient.

I was given feedback that I should have made the whole talk about my healing journey, and how I became an empowered patient. Only briefly did I go over my personal story in the presentation. It left me a bit pissed that I didn’t use my story as an anchor for the topic. But I’ve been working on the presentation to make all the same points, but ground it in my personal experiences, rather than talk about it abstractly.

At the end of my presentation I was able to talk with many of the Crohnology.com users, sharing stories about our IBDs, and the treatments we’ve tried. It was a great feeling to connect with others, and I’m looking forward to doing that more in the future. Probably on a film festival tour!

Slide from Reid's presentation on how to become an empowered patient.

The trip was very successful, and well worth the money I spent. Many thanks to everyone who helped with accommodations, food, friendship, and conversations.

At this point in the film’s production, I am not anticipating any more interviews, but it could happen, especially if my story editing reveals gaps of missing information or story. My goal is to finish logging footage, and constructing Tara Rosas’ story to get a feel for what it’s like piecing stories together. Then I will have to work on including other patient stories. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but I’m excited to do it.

Stay Colonized,

Reid B. Kimball