When I set off on this project, one of my big needs was the video. When you're creating your project, KS gives you all sorts of helpful hints and clues along the way and they really stressed the importance of creating a great video. When I began to think about how I was going to do mine, I instantly thought of Adam Boozer out of Charleston, SC/Atlanta, GA. Adam and I had met about a year ago, when I had the opportunity to work with him and his team at Jewell & Ginnie for a 3 week long client shoot at locations all across the country. The shoot was fast and grueling and I was truly amazed at his ability to convey a message and put his subjects at ease and create a finished product that is both artful and effective (plus, he's an awesome dude to hang out with).
When I approached Adam about creating this video and he was quickly on board. I'm a big believer in working with good people and letting them do what they do best, so I gave him the nuts and bolts of what my video needed to do and to communicate and let him run with it. We faced some challenges. The timeline was "squeeze it in when we can" and the budget was basically the cost of enough gas in my car to make it to Charleston and back, the cost of lunch and one green tree air freshener. All that being said, Adam came back with a great idea that captured the spirit of the project and fit my personality and approach. We would film little scenes that captured the moments of inspiration of several of the shoe entries, while I spoke about what the project was about and what I was trying to do.
I took off at 4:00am to make the 3.5 hour drive from Charlotte to Charleston and meet Adam that morning. I was really excited and nervous about this thing finally becoming real as I made the long drive, watching the sun come up in front of me. We met up in a coffee shop that was way too cool for me and talked about some of his ideas for the scenes and a plan of attack for the day.
We started out in Adam's office, clearing away his desk from a large chalkboard wall. He lit the scene simply, set up the camera and told me to "draw some stuff." After he left the room, I stared at that blank wall for a while, not knowing what to do. I just began to draw things and much of what came out were my thoughts, hopes and fears about the project itself. It was no Dana Tamachi, but it was pretty cathartic to write and draw all of those things to start the day.
Once that was finished, we began the interview section. I had seen Adam go through this with many other interview subjects, but I was a little rattled to be on the other side of the lens. That's one of Adam's true gifts as a filmmaker though. He begins a conversation. Asks you questions that lead you to the heart of what it's all about. You'll find that when the right questions are asked, and you're passionate about something, you have much more to say than you thought you did. I look back on that footage now and I don't even remember saying most of those things.
We wrapped the interview and then set out across Charleston to capture some of the scenes that connected to the illustrations. There was a lost pit bull sign right outside his office that we used first. We then started searching for a church with the right stained glass. We really wanted to find a small butcher shop or meat counter but we found out, people are very reluctant to let you film their steaks. We searched around and found a great comic book shop (Captains Comics, Thanks dudes!) for the scene where I flip through old boxes of Hulk comics. We then headed over to Adam's house to set up the pancake shoot in his kitchen (thanks to Adam's patient wife). Adam was up on a chair and I was standing under the tripod, awkwardly reaching my arms out to mix the ingredients. The last shoot of the day was driving around with the air freshener. Adam and the tripod, crammed in the back seat, while I drove around the block a few times. That was a wrap. I drove back to Charlotte, thinking about the day, with 1000 things about the project running through my mind.
Adam began his editing process. I had contacted Twitter friend and talented designer/illustrator, Nate Utesch, from the band Metavari, about possibly using some of his music and he had generously allowed us to use anything we wanted. A while later I received my first edit. Once I got over the shock of hearing my own voice and seeing it come out of my face (truly weird experience), I realized Adam had really nailed it. Video uploaded, time to hit the big scary "LAUNCH" button.
It was a long and fun process and If this project succeeds, it will be in big part to Adam and Nate for lending their tremendous talents.
We are at the halfway point on our funding! Things have slowed down quite a bit over the last several days, but I'm still getting the word out in whatever ways I can and would appreciate you guys continuing to spread the word. Work on the book is going well. I've got a new idea for a series within the book that I'll be sharing some of soon.
I took a few test shots for the MAX-O's entry that I've been showing you guys. It was quite a scene in my kitchen...my kids all wondering what's going on and once they figured it out, offering me suggestions for the shot and for all kinds of shoes I could do. I couldn't help but laugh wondering how they'll remember that morning when they grow up.
It's been an awesome couple of days. The biggest push of pledges since the project began. I can't thank all of you guys enough for supporting the project and please keep spreading the word. I've really appreciated all the comments and messages and I read them all. It's really humbling to see the list of people supporting so far and recognize names of friends, respected peers and good people that I have worked with. You guys are great.
And as for the project, I'm still cranking on lots of ideas and doing some stuff I'm really excited about. This last big push has been great motivation for me. You're going to get sick of hearing it but, THANK YOU!
One week in on this project and it's been a roller coaster. Some days feeling like we'll reach the goal and other days, not so much. I keep focusing on the task at hand, coming up with new ideas and working on content for the book. I've attached a little sketch to final sequence of the first "official and approved" entry for the book.