so today is the day of my sea otter movie
premiere. i'm up until 1.30am writing the
voice-over script. get up at 7.30am and sort out
the microphone. Record the parts to my Akai
digital recorder, and then have to muck with the
soundcard drivers to get the digital input
working. I was expecting this sort of trouble,
and it didn't take long to sort it out. Chopped
up all the audio and put it in its proper place
on the Premiere timeline. Grrreat. Adjust a few
levels here and there and its ready to mix down
onto my camera.
Once its on the DV tape in the camera, its over
to the TV and the VCR to make a VHS copy. Hello,
that doesn't sound right. There's something wrong
with the audio at the start of the film. Rats. I
check the Premiere project and there's a section
of wav file out of place. Delete. Fixed. Sorted.
I mix down to the camera again.
Then its over to the TV. its 12:30, the transfer
to VHS takes 30 minutes, I'll be out of the house
and on my way to the 3pm showing no problem. I
switch the camera on. Low Battery. I plug the
mains in. Low battery. I try my monster great
fully charged 10 hour battery. Low battery. I
take the batteries out, wander round the house
for a minute, try again. Low battery. The camera
will do nothing except display Low Battery.
This is the final process in getting the finished
film ready. And I'm stuck, totally. Despair hits.
Obscenities fly at nobody in particular. Then I
have an idea. I pack the camera and the tapes into
my bag and run into town to the camera shop where
I bought the camera. I tell them my story. The
man tries my camera with a fresh battery and
it says 'Low Battery'. He takes it for repair,
and offers to make a VHS copy from my DV tape. I
have to come back in an hour.
Its funny having an hour in which you're in a
tense deadline situation but there's nothing you
can do. I walk back home and try to relax on the
couch. I also search for the receipt for the
camera, and find it in my desk draw.
After an hour, I pack everything I need onto my
bike and speed back to the camera shop. The film
is being transferred on a machine in full view in
the shop, and some customers are watching! I
wander into town and sit by the fountain for ten
minutes, relaxing again. Nothing I can do.
Back to the shop, and pick up the tape. Its now
2.25. I speed onto campus and arrive at 2:45, just
in time. At 3pm there's a few Biology students and
some friends in the room to watch the film. They
all seem to like it, and four of us go and have
a coffee in the coffee bar afterwards. I think
they liked it. They certainly liked the otters.