Guerrilla filmmaking + NOT losING yo shit when the worst happens

A little over a month ago I heard about a contest from Sony to win the awesome FS-7 camera. I got super excited and decided to make a short documentary and enter it to the contest.

I spent 4 weeks thinking about what I wanted to do. I would get very excited about an idea and a couple days later I would scrap it.

1 week before the deadline I was very frustrated and I decided to make a short documentary about not being able to make a short documentary.

Watch it here son! (or daughter!):


So like I said before, I found out what I wanted to do 1 week before the deadline, and needless to say, it was very little time to get organized, shoot and edit.

The deadline was Sunday at midnight and I started shooting on Tuesday night.

Long story short, I began editing on Saturday and decided to do the final touches on Sunday.

I took my time on Sunday to start editing, and at 1pm, I tried to open my Premiere project… I said “I tried” because I completely failed.

I thought I had safely backed up my project on a separate hard drive, but I failed to double check before deleting duplicates. So 1pm, no edit and a bunch of footage sitting on my hard drive.

I almost quit this project. 

If it weren’t for my girlfriend Tania, I probably wouldn’t have decided to keep on going. 

So I had 11 hours before the deadline, midnight, right?

Then I thought…midnight? but midnight where? 

I checked the rules for the contest and realized it was midnight in the U.K.! Which was 4pm Vancouver.

3 hours to make an edit, after effects shots, colour grading, exporting and uploading.

I put on my headphones and made my computer fans spin like there was no tomorrow. Somehow I finished just in time to upload. 

I submitted my entry with 10 minutes to spare.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to polish it but people seem to like it. If I have some time, I’ll go back and make it the best it can be.

Lessons learned:

  • Double check that your files are backed-up. After you do that, check again. Once you’re done checking, check one last time. Now you can reward yourself with a beer.
  • Always leave some extra time to spare in case something goes wrong.

I had a lot of fun working on this quick and short project, I hope you guys enjoy it.

BTW, it was so much fun shooting with the DJI Ronin! (I might need a shoulder, elbow, arm and back replacement soon though.)