We began with a brain-storming session to hear one another’s ideas and choose the best one. We picked Nick’s idea for a pool game using the computer’s icons. From there we had the idea to do an intro with Steve Jobs (played by myself) as if this dinky pool game were Apple’s latest and greatest design. It then became clear that Jobs would be the main character as the story went on, giving a bit more weight to our comedic gags.
From the ideas and some rough sketches accompanying them, we did a more formal story board. One very tricky element was how to orchestrate the paths of each different ball as we went through the story. Given that we only had a 30 second goal for the length of the video, we didn’t need to have 20 shots. But we did want to maintain an element of authenticity to actual pool. So we chose to do 9 ball and have three go in right off the break.
I found a YouTube video online that had three balls going in off the break (or close enough) and we modified that break to fit our needs, some balls going in, some not. And it gave us a realistic map of the ball movement per frame, as they each had their own speed throughout the break. The initial break was the toughest and longest shot because all nine balls had to be mapped. Again, the video was a big help as we could scroll frame by frame and match our paths to the video.
The end where the pool stick stays on the screen was an accident, but we knew right away that is was a crucial touch so we left it in there. Some other problems were the mac screen auto-dimming as I put my hands over the light sensor by the camera. So I had to dodge that as we went. Also, the lighting changed as I moved around the table, which kinda takes you out of the moment a bit.
The laptop screen was velcro-d down to the table beneath. We had sand bags on the tripod to hold the camera in place. I was hands-on the table, Nick was running DragonFrame, and T was running Adobe Illustrator and moving all of the “balls”, which were custom icons she made from scratch.
In the end, we would have thought the details through a little better, but you can’t account for everything and I think we did a great job on the fly as needed. It would have been nice to have another monitor for me to see as the performer or perhaps a more ergonomical setup. I was really happy with all of the improvisation that happened once we dove into the project. We would all have ideas to contribute and fight for, but the best ideas were the ones that made us all laugh with glee. From a technical standpoint, working in a group is tough for me if I know how to do a certain task, but someone else is assigned to it. I was able to build trust with my group mates though and they really shined through, doing things I would not have thought to do!