Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Carol's Off the Christmas List

This is me with my friends Brendon (left) and Kevin (center). We are full of accurate information about the Festival of Lessons and Carols, which will be put on next week by Church of the Resurrection.

In a short form improv show, Madrigal only takes about two minutes to perform, even if you allow time for Brendon to come up with one of his increasingly complicated Origins of the Madrigal speeches. So I thought it would the three of us, veteran town criers that we are, no more than half an hour to film a Madrigal, especially without the pressure of a live audience.*

Apparently, having never made a short film before, I am naive about time. It took about two hours. (Brendon, who has made short films, insists we made good time.)

We filmed take after take, not only inventing new lyrics as we went but also playing with the frame and our presentation: Oh, no, we have to redo that one, Kevin stumbled on his words, Brendon was singing in a different key, Alyssa moved completely off the screen, were we supposed to be looking at the camera that time? None of these things would matter in front of a live audience, but they're noticeable and annoying on camera. So we would try again just one more time. And one more time after that.

After two hours of one-more-time's, we decided we had a passable take and called it quits for the night. Brendon suggested that, since we were finished working on the announcement, we should turn the camera back on and be ridiculous for awhile. The pressure was off, so we tried to do everything exactly wrong, just for the fun of it. 

That's the version we actually kept, the throwaway take we filmed at midnight. In comparison, the other takes look labored, like we were Trying to Be Right. The performance was better when we stopped needing to be right and really played.

Good work, Kevin and Brendon!

And if you're in the Wheaton/Chicago area, come to Lessons and Carols! We didn't make up that part about hot chocolate and Legos!


*It turns out that I am less nervous in front of an audience than in front of a camera. The bigger the audience, the less nervous I get. I am the opposite of everyone.

No comments: