Campsite as creative space

When we find the time to make a video for ourselves, we try to create something special and fun. Well, truth be told, it took us several days and four separate filming sessions to shoot a five-minute video—an homage to our “Camp ER&L” project. Was it fun? Depends on what your definition of fun is. Was it special? We think so because we learned some rather grueling lessons in the process.


TAKE 1: We winged it the first time we shot our video and found ourselves getting lost in topics with no direction. Reviewing the footage was cringe worthy—hard to follow and with no direction of when it was going to end. Ugh.

TAKE 2: We agreed having a script would be better but knew it would not be natural. With a script in hand, we shot a second video and it was like watching paint dry. Not even a mom would want to watch it. (No offense, moms!) Back to the drawing board we went.

TAKE 3: Memorizing our script (loosely, mind you) gave us some confidence, and we found we could keep the conversation flowing without looking at a paper every two seconds. Almost there …

TAKE 4: Fourth try was the charm, not the third—whoever said that has never shot a video. By this time we had practiced our script just enough that we could kind of wing it while staying on point. We no longer looked like robots pretending to be humans. Maybe the fire pit fumes had gone to our heads.

Set design

Where there’s smoke, there’s creative fire. We originally shot with the fire pit in front of us. All the wood was damp and wouldn’t stay lit. Eventually, the smoke engulfed us, our eyes became bloodshot, and we were constantly coughing. It looked more like we were shooting a commercial for a 420 celebration. Good thing we fixed the issue in the last shoot. Creative spark: 1; fire pit: 0.

Production notes

One camera, two lights, boom mic, and an urban background with the electric rail system going by every 10 minutes drowning out all our mics. It was all about timing. Don’t mess up or we will have to do it again, and again, and again …

Heejung’s notes

I don’t talk about my design work much, so it was a good experience for me to try something different. I am actually looking forward to the next video.

Ryan’s notes

One day we will have a crew and I won’t be walking around incoherently rambling “white balance!” “Level check!” “Sound check!” “Mic check!” “Light check!”

Concluding Thoughts

We are our own worst critics and watching ourselves on video is revealing and painful. But we think we deserve an ooey-gooey-delicious s’more for all our efforts.

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