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8 May

We’ve reached the end of the road. Kyle and I are both happy with what we’ve made over the course of just one semester. For myself, it was the first time seriously working with a video camera. We’ve learned a lot about both the technical aspects of documentary but also quite a lot about our topic. If you’re going to be in Ithaca, please come to our screening on May 16 at 5:30 pm in the Transmedia Studio! For now, here’s the script of our documentary, Beats and Bytes. We plan to have it online at some point soon, and possibly even with some extras also uploaded to YouTube. We had even more content that just didn’t fit into the documentary, but we want to thank everyone in the ICGSO for all of their help, participation, and enthusiasm.

Doc Script Final


Final Interview and Second Rough Cut

30 Apr

We can officially say it: We interviewed Austin Wintory!

Austin is a composer, most known for his work on Journey, but he assured us that the last thing he wants to do is just repeat Journey over and over. It was our longest Skype interview, and the video quality was fantastic, which is more than we can say for some of our other videochats. Austin had a lot to say and got us laughing. It was a last-minute interview, and we really wish we could include more of it in the documentary, but we’re low on time. We’re actually doing well for time constraints concerning the due date, but we’ve found that we reached the 15-minute mark of the rough cut quickly! And there’s still more awesome footage and pieces from interviews!

Editing has been a challenge, but a rewarding one. When filming the ICGSO concert, we set up three cameras. We’ve now found that the footage with the best sound quality is not necessarily the one with the best visuals. We also like to vary up the angles, which means we’ve been working on syncing the different videos to the audio, watching it over and over to make sure that they match. In addition, while editing the trailer, we discovered how to blend audio. In the trailer, we used the beginning and ending of “Dragonborn” from Skyrim. To make it sound natural when we cut out the middle, we were able to do an audio cross fade with precise timing to make the transition from one clip to the next almost unnoticeable.

We’re more and more excited for how this will turn out. If you’re in the Ithaca area, please check out the screening for our documentary (as well as a few other great documentaries) at the Transmedia Studio on the commons at 5:30 pm on Thursday, May 16.


24 Apr

We proudly present our trailer for our documentary, which we’ve now titled Beats and Bytes. Enjoy!

The trailer can also be found under the media page.

The Concert

7 Apr

We’ve pretty much wrapped up filming! Last Tuesday was the Gamer Symphony Orchestra concert. Kyle’s friend Nate assisted us with filming so that we could have three cameras set up: two on either side and one from the audience’s view behind the conductor. As for my experience, I had a piano set up to my left, so my view ended up being rather restricted (thank goodness for the two other cameras!) and I could only get shots of the woodwinds and strings as I had to keep Kyle and a photographer out of frame, as well as navigate around the pianist with limited room. The first piece was from the game Skyrim, and it had a male chorus. I filmed them and then just before the second piece began, I quickly raised the tripod as high as it would go and leveled it out again. I caught a few happy faces on both the musicians’ and audiences’ faces during the concert, and it was definitely a fun experience for all!

We’ve now started working on our rough cuts and going through interviews. The hardest part is trimming down interviews. There are just so many good things said that it’s hard to cut anything out! It’s hard to believe that it’s already April 7th, and it’s time to step it into high gear and edit, edit, edit.

There are also new stills from what we’ve filmed! Check them out under the media tab.

The second interview

7 Mar

We had our second interview today, once again with a member of the Ithaca College Gamer Symphony Orchestra. This time we sat with Tiffany Lu, a graduate student getting her Master’s in conducting, and she’s also a conductor for the GSO. Filming this time went much smoother than in our last interview (which we had to reschedule thanks to the camera deciding to turn to black and white). We also had no issues with sound, and I am loving how great dialogue sounds with a lav mic.

We were short on time with only 30 minutes in the Hockett Green Room, so thank goodness there were no problems! We set up the tripod and the camera while we waited for the music students in the Green Room to leave, and then it only took us a few minutes of adjustments to get everything ready once we were inside. We were able to speak with Tiffany about her experience as a casual gamer and what she loves about conducting for the GSO.

We finished right at 3:00 and were able to pack up quickly. Hooray! With some time to spare of our own, we did some b-roll of the Whalen building itself, inside and out. We plan on filming one more rehearsal before their concert, but other than that–we’ve got most of our on-campus footage finished.

Our third interview is tomorrow…

– Carly

Press Start

27 Feb

It’s the start of our first documentary adventure. We’re still working out a title, but we believe this is going to be a great documentary because we are loving it already. So far we’ve been watching and recording the Ithaca College Gamer Symphony Orchestra, a group of students who arrange, perform, and conduct music from video games. I have to do my best to refrain from humming along to my favorite pieces.

We already have our first interview finished. We spent an hour with ICGSO founder Michael Samson as he told us about the orchestra and his passion for video games and music combined. It was very fun for all three of us, and I’ve enjoyed my time watching what he does for all of the other students.

We spent some time with the GSO a couple of weeks ago, but this past Sunday we were with them for three hours, getting footage of the (very manly) chorus practicing for music from Skyrim, an open-world action-roleplaying game. We then filmed the strings’ rehearsal and later the rest of the orchestra. Boy, is that a lot of music to love.

Kyle and I have our fingers crossed for what we hope will be one of our next interviews.

– Carly

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