Creative Project : Just Smile

The Creative Project that Joshua and I collaborated on is a 4 minute long video about smiling. I admit the reason we were keen on doing a video is because neither of us wanted to go up in front of the class to talk. I ended up not really talking at all during the presentation; we hadn’t really rehearsed a script for introducing and explaining the content of the video so Josh just took centre-stage.
In regards to the 4 P’s, (Persons, Product, Process, Press (Place)), I feel that the part we spent the most of our time on was figuring out the process. Since Josh is a music student and I’m a Visual Arts major, we had a lot of different ideas regarding what we wanted to do, such as baking, doing a cover of a song, making a stop motion video, etc. Eventually we came to this idea, to make a music video that could accompany a song, because it merged both visuals with music and therefore was a good representation of both of us.
Our process consisted of filming people with neutral expressions, which then slowly turn into a smile. I’ve only recently acquired my camera, so this gave me the chance to use it for filming. I still don’t know very many people in Victoria, so I mainly asked people from the church that I attend here to participate in the project. I’m still quite amateur at these things, as I’m a lot more used to working with traditional media like drawing and painting, so the clips included that I took do not look as well done as Joshua’s. To add to that, he also went beyond what we originally discussed and took it a step further by making a storyline out of what he filmed. It wasn’t what I had in mind, but I still really loved the emotion that he brought into the video and the way he shot his scenes.
In linking to the aspect of persons, I would say that Josh and I are both pretty happy people, which is why we decided to do our video on smiling. We wanted to create something uplifting and encouraging for people to watch, to allow them to remember that even when life throws you down, there are reasons to get back up again. In our video, we mainly deal with bittersweet emotions, feeling both sad and joy in our lives.
Originally, we were going to use the song “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin, but his voice sounded too melancholy and we felt that it made the video too sombre. So instead we decided to go with the cover done by Glee; the melding of the voices seemed to better represent the message we were aiming for, the way people are linked through the sincerity of their smiling faces. The dialogue at the beginning was created by merging two thoughts into one. We brainstormed phrases that would best introduce the video we created, and I took both his ideas and mine and combined them into a lyrical piece.
The end product was surprising to me because it did not turn out the way I had planned in my head. When we first started on the project, I had expected the smiles to be somewhat silly and light-hearted, which was what I had been going for with the parts that I filmed. Joshua took it in a different direction, and the video became a lot sadder and more symbolic than what I had in mind. He did most of the editing, since he’s a lot more skilled at it than I am and had more of the film clips saved on his computer, so a larger portion of the video channels more of his thought processes than mine. My role was mostly to look over it and point out parts I thought should be moved around or changed to better accompany the music. Overall though, I’m really happy with the final results and impressed by Josh’s editing skills.
I feel the part that held us back the most were the time constraints and our environment. Since our schedules didn’t match up, we had to compromise several things. We weren’t able to get together to edit the movies because on the days he was free, I would be busy, and on the days I was available, he would have to teach piano. Since I moved here from the Vancouver area, I also personally felt strained by the interactive component in this project because it was frustrating to be in a city where I no longer knew a lot of people. In comparison to Josh who goes to high school here and has a lot of friends to help with the filming, I could only select a handful of people to help with the filming. But I feel that our overall product turned out quite well, and that together, we made a good team.

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