The Five Stages of Grief

I had the good fortune of being recommended to a local university student as a videographer for her creative project…

The project was to be a creative expression representing the Five Stages of Grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance). It could be anything — a short story, dance, music, painting, whatever. The only stipulation by the professor was that it had to be “artistically arresting.”

No pressure.

Elizabeth chose a martial arts kata interpretation. My job was to shoot her choreography and choose a location.

  1. A week and a half ago, I scouted for a locale and decided on a nice wooded trail with great foliage. A perfect site with lots of variation, both natural and man-made for the theme of Japanese warrior, kung-fu type expression.
  2. Met Elizabeth the following Sunday (week ago) and shot the whole thing in under 2 hours. Couldn’t believe how cooperative the weather was and the shoot in general. It helped immensely that Elizabeth was so well prepared with her katas, because I shot multiple takes from different angles. So her consistent movements were key to easier editing later.
  3. That night after reviewing the footage, my boot drive cratered! Couldn’t believe the luck. Stupid Murphy.
  4. On Monday night, I bought a new drive and installed a fresh copy of OS X Panther and iLife ’05 (iMovie).
  5. Edited like a fool all week for the Friday deadline.
  6. Burned a DVD and made a backup VHS tape for the Elizabeth on Thursday night. She was very pleased with the outcome.

Overall, we were very happy with how it turned out. The edited movie was about 6 minutes long. The ONLY things that I was disappointed with were:

  1. Some pesky sound “blips” before and after clips in my timeline where audio was lowered to 0%. It seemed no matter what I did, I couldn’t get rid of about a 1-2ms duration of the audio of that respective clip. Even if the clip audio was killed to zero. Strange.
  2. Burning a DVD went great, but previewing it that night on my TV/DVD player was a little disappointing. There were strange digital pops and video glitches here and there. There were maybe 6 of these on the DVD.

Overall, it was a really fun project for me in the creative department. Let me know what you think of it!

So, without further ado, here it is.

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  1. I was heavily involved in drama in high school. I’ve really been missing it a lot lately. Wish I had some kind of outlet. I am too busy with kiddos to try out for community theatre, me thinks.

    1. Julie, remember when I came to see your play at Odessa with James before you kids were married? It was Arsenic and Old Lace, I think.

      You were really great. When the kiddos are older you should get back into theater!

      1. Yeah, I remember! I was one of the Brewster sisters!!! That was sooo fun!!! I usually ended up with a lead role, which made it even more fun. Gee, I am really tooting my own horn!!

  2. all the evidence that you ever need that i am truly your friend. i waited through the near 10 minute download time to watch your movie.

    my two favorite parts were denial and bargaining. denial because of the intensity and bargaining because i thought the uphill battle was an especially accurate portrayal of the experience. also, that shadow shot from under the bridge during Depression was nice.

    1. Wow, thanks for sticking it out, Patty! Yeah, the silhouette shot under the bridge is one of my faves too. That whole stage is probably my fave. That one is actually Acceptance though.

  3. Rob, we need to get that movie site up and going for you. I want to see everything you have done.

    My server should serve those files about twice as fast.

  4. Rob,
    Well, the DVD was a big success. Everyone seemed really impressed, including my professor, which is great. I had a couple of people ask about my director, where I found you, what you did etc. I got to show the entire 5 minutes without a complaint, and the professor actually asked to burn a copy of it for his archives.

    So thanks again so very much for spending so much time on that for me. It was so well-done, so professional, I’m really humbled by the work you put into it.

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