Monday, January 23, 2012

The End of Get Buckles...

I did it. I finished the very last episode of Get Buckles.

If you haven't heard of it, I'm not surprised. It was over a year ago that I last made an episode. This one I'd been putting off for a while because I hadn't written the script. Turns out, when I finally did sit down to write it I finished it in under two hours. Which is maybe a good thing and maybe a bad thing - you'll have to watch the episode and decide for yourself.

So for those of you who haven't heard about my "series"or who have only vaguely heard, here is some background.

It was my fourteenth birthday. Mom bought me a Flip camera because I'd been making little 5 minute videos on my pink digital camera. Needless to say, they weren't the best quality. I found filmmaking intriguing, though, and I had four or five willing slaves siblings always at hand.

It also happened that we had been watching a lot of Get Smart around the same time. So I had the idea to do a series that was similar to Get Smart, but was also a light-hearted parody of it.

Here's the premise: a happy-go-lucky private eye named Jo Buckles tracks down her arch-enemy, the criminal mastermind Wanda Schultz.

What has making this series taught me about filmmaking? That's it's hard. It's a lot of work. I've spent hours and hours on the computer editing the footage to make it just right. I had no idea how much time you could spend editing, and these were just 5-10 minute videos.

I've tried out new techniques that I saw in films or read about in filmmaking books. I learned how much fun montages are to do, even though most of the the screenwriting books I've read advise against using them. (I think I ended up including a montage in every episode, though. I know I did in the latest one.)

I've gotten odd stares from the neighbors as we acted out fight scenes and chase scenes on the street and I followed the action with my (rather small) Flip camera. I've filmed a few episodes at RCC (link to one of them here).

I've had a lot of fun making these. And sure, they were not the best quality. The stories usually had a couple of weak spots, some of the jokes were lame, the filming was usually blurry/shaky/boring (I'm not a natural cameraman), sometimes the editing was poorly done, and until recently the sound was always too quiet. Oh, and I don't own any of the music I used, except the music in the latest episode (all of which, except for the Prokofiev song, I wrote myself using GarageBand).

But I enjoyed making them. I know most of my friends and siblings enjoyed acting in them (I acted in them, too, but I would rather not have). I've heard from friends and relatives who've enjoyed watching them.

Have you watched and enjoyed Get Buckles? Comment and tell me! If you haven't, here are some links for you:

The very first episode:
Get Buckles Episode 1 - Help Wanted

And here's the very latest one:
Get Buckles Episode 12 - Spy Wars

All the episodes in between are on my YouTube channel.

By the way, an explanation of the "Spy Wars" title. If you haven't already guessed, the whole episode is a spoof of Star Wars. A parody series that parodied a parody series does a parody! I also did another parody in the episode "Agent of the CD" (which is one of my favorite episodes). Watch it and see if you can guess which film it parodies.

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