It is finished! It took a hot minute but the fitness video collaboration @deckerra and I did for the Progenex lifestyle video competition is a wrap. The concept of the clip was to portray how working out closes the gap between “I would” and “I will.” It’s, as Ryan put it,
“The documentation of a day in the life of athletes who believe it’s not only about what you do under the bar and in the gym, but what it enables you to do when you step out the door.”
As it turns out, capturing a series of “money shots” on film is hard work. It’s been well worth the effort, though. Maybe I’m biased but I think it’s slicker than residual snot on a nose hair after a sneeze. Check out WHY we work out!
So much planning and thought went into picking locations, working with weather, and manipulating lighting that I figured, “Why just stop at making a video?! Let’s give a behind-the-scenes glimpse (with special permission from Mr. Ryan Filmmaker) into the making of Get Up. Get Fit. Get Out.”
But what you don’t see is:
- The “Decker” script is our real handwriting! It was signed on my Wacom tablet and then later animated with the help of YouTube tutorials. The info is out there, you just have to know what you want and go out and get it.
- The cloud timelapse required waking up at still-dark-go-back-to-sleep-o’thirty in the morning. It was made out of 180 total pictures. Since we didn’t have an intervalometer, and we weren’t enticed to drop $136 for it, we calculated that we would need to MANUALLY take 1 picture every 5 seconds for 15 minutes for a mere 5 second clip. My elementary math teachers would be proud. Did I mention we deemed the first timelapse “meh…not dramatic enough” so we had to rinse and repeat the whole process! It’s just so hard to settle for anything less than “BAM.” If you don’t get BAM! the first time, “kick it up a notch.”
Could you tell that my shirt is purposely inside out?! Apparently, all those words were kind of distracting on film. Which brings me to a photog tip: Neutral colors and clothes with smaller prints/designs work best since they are more versatile (color wise) and not as distracting (but if that is the intent, the this product of the 80′s recommends neon.)
But what may not have been so obvious is that we lacked fancy video lighting. So, for ALL the shots filmed in the garage, Ryan got creative with placing Home Depot halogen shop lights around whatever he was filming. Hip hip for working with what you have! You know what they say, “It’s not what you can do when the tank is full, it’s what you can do when the tank is empty.” Well our video-making budget may have been empty but, in the words of Kanye, “Who gon stop me? Who gon stop me, huh?”
We were luckier than a rabbit in a cage full of hound dogs to be able to capture the sun-flare goggle shots. The sun was quickly setting behind the mountains at the time. In fact, getting a lot of the shots was a matter of racing and chasing the sun. We were bonafide light chasers.
Which brings me to another tip when making movies or taking pictures: YOU MUST MUST MUST PAY ATTENTION TO WHERE YOUR LIGHT IS. Play around with sun flare (my favorite!), backlighting, and directional lighting. And, psssst! The best time to get your shots is within an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset when the lighting is the most delicious, hence why photographers call it “The Golden Hour.”
This is what you see in the video but if you look closer, you’ll notice my fingers are red. It was colder than a polar bear’s bum but wearing gloves was distracting and it decreased my dexterity, which looked sloppy on film. So, off with the gloves and on with the frostbite. Yet another tip? WHEN PHOTOGRAPHING PEOPLE, PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THEIR EYES AND THEIR HANDS. Hands have the potential to portray a lot of emotion. You ever see a Valley Girl dining al fresco with her BFF in California? You can practically see what she’s saying just by watching those pretty manicured hands.
The idea for this shot was derived in the quiet minutes between fully asleep and fully awake. I woke up and thought, “Headlights!” And so this shot was filmed in freezing temperatures, at night, in front of the car’s headlights because… I had a dream! I mean, we had to change things up from the halogen shop lights, anyway, so…
Well those shots were filmed on a pedestrian bridge over a highway. Filming these shots took longer than a check out in a Walmart Express Lane because we had to wait for pedestrians to walk out of the frame. It was exceptionally windy that day and so half the time I attempted (rather futilely) to get shelter from the wind by hiding behind a 45lb bumper plate. Rubber – it’s not THAT warm.
The trail running shots were filmed at my favorite place to trail run in Boulder. There is a network of trails that start behind the National Center for Atmospheric Research and curve for miles on ridges, to canyons & gulleys, and past meadows.
The segment was filmed up on a ridge so it was extra windy. In between “Cut! Retake! Aaaand… action!” I could be found trying desperately to warm up under my snowboarding jacket. This is the fake smile I give when I feel like I’m f-f-f-f-freezing.
You ever trying hanging from cinched harness on a taught rope over a snow-covered river with a full bladder? Don’t. It’s actually not that comfortable. For this scene I forgot my helmet in the car (shame, shame) so I borrowed Ryan’s, which was two sizes too big ’cause his head has to be big enough to accommodate his super smart brain. So, when we reviewed the clips on scene (always review your clips on scene!) it was discovered that the oversized helmet was CROOKED the whole time (a climbing pet peeve of mine.) That’s when we opted to refilm the whole segment – while hanging in the harness, in the cold, with a full bladder – in less than 5 minutes because the sunlight was quickly diminishing. Dedication and attention to detail? Yes. Yes, I think so.
Not sure how I managed to remember to wear a mitt on my right hand and not on my left hand for this scene. And the whole time I was convinced I had a circulatory problem when only one had started getting wet and cold.
The “asleep before your head hits the pillow” scene starring Ryan was achieved in only 5 takes. Apparently, 5 takes of falling backwards on a pillow is all it takes to end up with a brain-sloshing headache. I always loved falling backwards on my bed as a kid and never got a headache. Maybe that explains why my brain is way smaller than Ryan’s. I hope Ryan thinks the mild concussion was worth the shot.
And so there it is! “Get Up. Get Fit. Get Out.” If our submission doesn’t win the contest, it’s still cool ’cause what we both learned about making films is invaluable. This was Ryan’s second edit so win or not, it’s only going get better from here. If nothing else, we at least had fun getting outside and doing all the outdoor things that is the motivation between converting a garage into a gym and waking up at 6:00am in the dead of winter to deadlift!
What’s the motivation behind YOUR workouts? Drop a link to any of your fitness videos – I’d love to see what’s got you fired up.