Deployed… Again Film by Tyler
April 28, 2009 by Tyler
Here it is, my final film about the multiple deployments of Kevin Geisel! hope everyone enjoys(ed) it
Now then. When I set out to make this film I had an initial goal in mind. I wanted to tell the story of one of my friends who had been deployed three times and was going over there again. I knew this had to have an impact on him in some way, shape, or form. I just wasn’t sure as I had only been deployed once. Also, when I saw what was being put out in major documentaries didn’t address this topic. Most people just didn’t get to discuss a second deployment. I wanted to though.
Problem was, my friend fell out so I ended up going with a young gentleman and fellow PSU student named Kevin Geisel instead. Kevin was a Marine that had been deployed three times while being in service for four years. Two of those were spent overseas. So Kevin understood the rigors of being deployed and how it impacted his life.
During preproduction I wanted to mainly focus on talking to him and making a good line of questions for his interview. The first time I talked to him I had to open him up a bit and get him to talk to me. He was reserved for obvious reasons. But I shot some general questions his way and got a feel for what I would like to ask. I also had bit of an idea of what I wanted to put on the screen. Based on his answers I was able to come up with my line of questions for the interview.
The longest phase for me was production. I conducted an hour interview in Kevin’s bedroom as it was a comfortable place for him. I also liked the Marine Seal tapestry and put it behind him. The line of questioning went great and lasted for an hour. When I got that footage I was able to go over it and see what I needed. Which in this case was a lot. There needed to be photos, other footage, and most importantly some other context to put his line of facts into. When I asked the class, the idea came up of interviewing his mom. Problem was she lived in New Jersey and I couldn’t get there. So a phone interview was set up. She was wonderful and very forthcoming. Combined with a lot of photos and some other video I had something to work with in editing.
Finally in post I sat down with everything I had and started to sort out the story I wanted to put together. I started out with an introduction to start the movie. I liked this idea and it helped me form what I wanted to do. Next I found the chronological storyline in Kevin’s words. I was able to put that together into a sequence that I liked. Then on top of this I layered some parts of his mom’s interview and cut them into Kevin’s. This gave some real context and some exposition to what he was saying. Then I inserted the appropriate photos and footage where I needed to in the movie to keep it interesting and moving. Finally I added in the titles and the maps (as suggested by Heather!).
All in all I was happy with what I got. I wish I had other footage of Keving to add in but scheduling conflicts just made it too hard some times. I was ecstatic with his mom’s interview and what I got from her and Kevin. I feel pretty good about what I have put together. It was quite a learning experience for me as I like to make narrative films and not documentary ones.
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The course utilized a blog both to continue the discussion outside the classroom, and to provide training for the students in blogging, video compression, and video sharing.
Students used the blog to post reflections and ideas, to share and comment on the video assignments, and to respond to each other's posts.