WE MADE OUR FIRST BOX VIDEO
THURSDAY 20 08 20
Setting out to record our first box video was a fascinating task. We had never filmed anything like this before, and I certainly hadn’t edited anything like this before.
After getting locked into isolation, we transformed into online rehearsals for Serotonin but still wanted to be making music. We decided to make a music video and by coincidence we were asked at the same time if we wanted to release something for Stress Less Week at Griffith to help people destress during their exams. Seizing this opportunity we suddenly had a pretty quick timeline of filming everyone, editing all the videos and vocals, and making sure the stress of our quick turn-around would help other students relieve their stress.
We asked all of our members to record themselves singing their part, giving learning materials and other help to facilitate all this work. Now, I must commend our newest members that we auditioned on the last rehearsal before isolation; they managed to learn the entire song in such a short time as well as submit their recordings, all within a few days.
As for me, I had played around with Logic Pro and to a much lesser extent Final Cut Pro, but I threw my hat in saying that I’d give it a go. I made a mockup recording studio and covered a makeshift frame with blankets to try to get a good recording and went at it. I had a few Serotonin members around to record their parts and videos, lighting up their lovely faces using a ring light I soldered together from spare led strips. Most of the submissions in the video were of people recording at their own homes, one person being in Norway at the time, and everything went surprisingly smoothly. I applied the few tricks of recording and and editing a cappella that I'd been watching on YouTube and using my 7 year old
laptop struggling to keep up with all the processing, I had a finished track that sounded lovely. I’d heard the song hundreds of times in a couple of days by this point and still loved hearing it. Hearing the sound of close friends all singing together was great company during isolation.
Onto the video! At this point in time, and a few days before the release of the video, I had opened Final Cut Pro and clicked a few buttons before closing it. That didn’t give
give me a great deal of hope, but having an abundance of free time meant this new program for me was going to have to play nice. I had been working on the video for a few hours, making my way around what buttons did what, when something stopped me. My computer had run out of storage. I couldn’t even delete anything because it was so full. (Computers, what can I say?)
After copying every file I had to this hard drive, I reset my computer completely. I didn’t have to, but it hadn’t had a good cleanup in years. In the morning when I heard the deep chime from starting up, it was time to set up my computer from scratch. It launched onto my desktop and I was ready to transfer the necessary files back. Once done, I opened my True Colours file and nothing showed up. Scouring the internet for a while didn’t seem to show me any results so I decided that this was a calling to start the video again. The previous time was a forced test run. This time was going to be better, I thought. I grabbed a notepad and started sketching out exactly what I wanted to happen, what each screen looked like, who was in it, the lot. Who knew that planning out what you wanted to do would save so much time and streamline so many things? Well, I can vouch for that now because I stayed at my computer until it was done and was fortunate to not hit any snags until I was able to render the video, even with a few days to spare.
Making True Colours with Serotonin was a wonderful learning experience and I got to see so many of my friends’ faces for hours on end when otherwise I had my living room to look at. We released it and started sharing on social media. It was so exciting to see all of our efforts finalised, it got shared so many places, even ABC asked to share it. We saw a bunch of Griffith students watching it and interacting with it and it brought us joy to know that we were able to bring a few minutes of joy to so many others. If you haven't seen it yet, watch it here!
This started something in us, knowing that even apart, we could be together. We’ve even released another video “Accidentally In Love” which we were able to record a bit more publicly given isolation rules had relaxed a bit. Check it out!