The First Day of Kindergarten, a video poem (view this story)

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Rep: 8
Mike De Sisti Sept. 7, 2010, 11:20 p.m. permalink

Killer approach to the first day. Well done. I'm ripping this off for next year. Hope you don't mind. Why no kids reading the poem? Not that you needed it. Just curious as to your thought process.

Rep: 444
Eric Seals Sept. 8, 2010, 3:54 a.m. permalink

Mike, you are a reviewing machine! I think you set the record for most reviews on FtF in one sitting!

Thanks for checking it out.  Feel free to do it next year, God knows I've seen videos on here and other sites that I've either done something similar or want to :-)

I thought about getting kids to read it but the poem is strictly about kindergarten, was written by a kindergarten teacher and suppose to be the voice of a teacher plus get 5 year olds to read this would have been daunting and a big time commitment as they are use to the whole "See Spot Run" kind of reading. LOL!!

My thought process? I wanted to do a 1st day of school video but have it run on the 1st day of school which forced me to think how to do something ahead of time.  Started searching for poems and found many but this is the one that teared me up to be honest and started conceptualizing and storyboard this. Got in touch with PR department for a few school districts, wanted a diverse group of black and white teachers to memorize their parts.

Wanted to have nice details of school type stuff to go over the teachers as they talked and felt using a zazaslider for slow horizontal movement was better and different than slow pans in and out plus I had never really done it before or used my 5d exclusively for a video so I thought why not?

There are some things I wish I would have done differently like with the opening shot of the teacher writing. Wished I would have shot really tight of her fingers holding the chalk using a 100 mm macro and capturing that detail.  

Other things as well I'd try to improve on but overall it was really fun and a different video than I'm use to doing.

Thanks again :-)


Rep: 87
Michael Fagans Sept. 8, 2010, 10:38 a.m. permalink

Nice, refreshing and fun! Glad to see you getting outside your comfort zone.

Rep: 20
Will Yurman Sept. 8, 2010, 10:50 a.m. permalink

Hey Eric,
Sweet video, great idea, well done. But maybe it's just me, but I found the music overbearing and distracting.  I don't think it needed it all...but if you wanted it, I would have have least had it fade out during most of the poem.

Maybe let the chalk sounds linger through your opening montage, or find a couple of other natural sounds...or let the reading of the poem end your piece as you show us those tight details at the end...

You have all this nice sweet real stuff going on - sincere human voices, pretty visuals - why muck it up with canned music?


Rep: 6
Andrew Satter Sept. 8, 2010, 11:09 a.m. permalink

Eric, I thought this was great. I didn't mind the music, I thought it added a nice emotional punch. I'm going to send this to my brother in Boston who dropped my neice off for her first day of kindergarten last week.

On a technical note, did you do anything in post to get such vibrant colors, or were those straight out of the 5d? What codec did to you convert to for editing? And any tips with using the zazaslider? I've been wanting to get my hands on one of those as well.

Rep: 444
Eric Seals Sept. 8, 2010, 12:42 p.m. permalink

Thanks Michael, Will and Andrew for checking it out and the feedback.

Michael yes indeed man, it was very nice getting out of my comfort zone with my usual Panasonic. 

Will, I hear ya about the music and for me it's a case by case basis with the subject and tone of a piece.  In this case I really thought the choice of music I found in Soundtrack Pro helped set a tone throughout the piece.

Andrew, it was all color out of the 5d and perhaps the big litepanel I used helped make the color pop more.

As far as the zazaslider, I'll write something up on the forum section of FtF.  Great tool to use and doesn't cost a lot if you build it yourself.  Mine cost $220 but they can go up to $1,000 if you buy one out of the box.

I'll try to do a zazaslider forum this week :-)


Rep: 21
Peg Achterman Sept. 8, 2010, 1:32 p.m. permalink

beautiful....the piece I watched had some video "hits" -- kind of tearing we used to see with Beta tape - don't know if that was just download, but something to watch for.

Great great lighting on these teachers!

Rep: 444
Eric Seals Sept. 8, 2010, 5:59 p.m. permalink

Thanks Peg.

Someone else said the same thing about the "hits" or a stuttering of various frames of the video but in the original .mov that I uploaded to my vimeo page and my newspapers website it all plays smooth. Perhaps it is a problem with vimeo on a hiccup on the internet connection.

Thanks for watching it.  Those litepanels are amazing and at $1,700 for for the 1x1 version I used it better throw off good light.  Actually has a great dimmer with it as well


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