Cameras, Trucks & Drones: Behind-The-Scenes of the 2016 Academy Film

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What could be more exciting than hanging out with a bunch of awesome, creative people? Working WITH those awesome people on a project that has big trucks, an amazing set of gear, and several drones at beautiful locations!

 

This year’s “official production” was for Foltz Trucking, Inc. – one of the largest hopper bottom trucking companies in the Midwest. It was a unique challenge, but one that was great to be a part of!

Pre-Production

We got connected with Foltz through a 2015 Academy student. They liked our previous work so they wanted us to create a promotional for their company, focusing on how they treat their drivers, and why someone would want to work with them.

Over the course of several months we worked on the planning for the film. We toured the Foltz office and shop locations, talked to them, learned all about what they do and why they do it, and scouted an elevator and road locations for some additional shots.

Once I had the main concept and flow of the film nailed down, I went to work on storyboarding. Now, obviously you wouldn’t need to do storyboard every type of promo, but in our case since we’re working with an art director and a larger crew, having all of the pieces figured out and  communicated to the entire crew before we walked on set was really important.

After I finished the storyboards I also created an “animatic” to help me better visualize the end product, and exactly how many shots would fit with what time we had. (TOP: The Animatic BOTTOM: The Final Film)

 

Once we had the interviewees, locations, and shots nailed down, Hannah worked on putting together the shooting schedule. Since we work together remotely, we spent hours every day on skype working through all the many details of the schedule. Meanwhile, Lori did housing, meal planning, and a variety of other details. I’m so proud of the job they both did in pulling all of the logistics together!

Production

We had 3 days to make this film. At first that might sound like plenty of time, but when you have 8-10 locations, 4 interviews, aerial drone work, etc. to do all during those 3 days – that’s a pretty ambitious schedule.

Another factor that we had to deal with was weather. We ended up changing the entire schedule the day before shooting because we only had one day that wouldn’t be raining, and we would have to get all of our exterior shots on that day!

2016-academy-23

I’ll admit, it was one of the more stressful shoots that I’ve been on – but thanks to our amazing team of teachers and students, we got it done only about an hour behind schedule!. Everyone worked so hard to make it the best it could be. I’m proud of the work that our students did as PAs on the film!

bts-1

Post-Production

Once the academy was over and I made it back home, it was time to build the edit. The first thing I did was to add all of the b-roll into the project since that was the easy part. Being as I already had the animatic, it was pretty much paint by numbers to put it together. I next went through all of the interviews and worked on piecing together the parts that would best communicate what the client wanted.

screen-capture-editing

Once that was complete and approved, I sent it off to Joseph to do the sound design. While he worked on that I finished up the visual effects and color correction. It’s amazing how much difference the sound design makes!

The 2016 official production was an amazing learning experience for our students as PAs, but also for us as staff and teachers. We are so grateful for how God was at work even in the smallest of details, and we’re already super excited for next year!

group-photo

 

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Director - MWCFA

Andrew Bartlett is one of the co-founders of Bartlett Productions, a small media company based out of northern North Dakota. He has a passion for serving Christ through the visual arts and has had the opportunity to work on a number of films as well as produce marketing materials for businesses and organizations. Andrew is also the Director of the Midwest Christian Filmmakers Academy, where aspiring filmmakers can learn the craft in a hands-on way.

  • Andrew Wyatt

    Again, great job!