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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Law Revue Video Diaries - Part One

So, tonight I was cleaning out my My Documents folder and came across something that I had COMPLETELY forgotten about.

2005 was my first year doing the videos for the UQ Law Revue, and at the time, I wrote down little bits of trivia for each video for the show that I thought would be useful for a DVD commentary if Marc, Daniel, Bin and myself ever got around to doing one (which we didn't). To this day, there has been no produced DVD of the Law Revues for the cast. That I know of.

So, for nostalgia's sake, I thought I would republish a few of these as they were written at the time (with a few updated edits), with the embedded videos.

It's self-indulgent yes, but I will probably never get to do a DVD commentary so this is it. :p


"You Wouldn't Steal"

  • A very random and silly way to start the show. We didn't know what structure it would have or what the punchline would be at first - all we had was a series of very silly things you wouldn't steal. Fortunately, we had gotten that shot of Ryan walking into the UQLS office, and, when it came to the editing, it just seemed like the right place to end it. I came back later and filmed Karen at the photocopiers to bookend the sketch.

  • It was the second video filmed, after Dugongs, and surprisingly quicker. Dugongs had taken practically a whole day. This was done in an hour. Probably because there was no dialogue for the people to learn - we could just direct it like a silent movie.

  • The very first "you wouldn't steal" we shot was "You wouldn't steal a wheelie bin" but I accidentally taped over it with "You wouldn't steal a building". Oops.

  • Nick actually broke the handle on the door of Forgan Smith on the first take of him "stealing a building". Oops.

  • The video featured my favourite special effect cheat - the video rewinding effect.

    We originally shot Tom Gole lurching out of the library stacks with the pile of books, but when I went to edit the video, I discovered that my editing program could not reverse digital footage. (2009 ed. - times have changed) The same day we shot Newsreel and Intimate Injunctions, Grdo re-did the shot and, on my cue, he physically reversed his actions, walking backwards.

    In editing, I sped it up, and added with the sound effect on the audio track - ta da! - it looked like a video rewinding on itself!

"That's What I Want"

  • The way I understand it, Daniel had wanted this idea to open the 2004 show (which he convened), but there had been uncertainty between himself and Sam (who was in charge of the videos that year) of how it could be done. I loved the idea and actually thought it was better suited to the 2005 show, since it would be opening the show in an actual movie theatre. (2009 ed: prior to 2005, the Law Revue took place in the intimate Cement Box theatre in contrast to the large theatre space of the Schonell)

  • The other great thing about it was that it got our obligatory staff video done and out of the way. We were also able to get much more staff than usual to do it - they barely had to do anything, just say the words "That's... what... I... want" to the camera and do some hammy action. Very little organization in the planning of it - just walked around to their offices.

  • The staff appearing in the video were (2009 ed.: since some members of staff don't actually know I've uploaded this video and may be sensitive about their names turning up in search engines, out of respect, I won't publish them here. Sorry.)

  • I remember telling Daniel about all of the staff we had wrangled and expressing my disappointment in the fact that Suri was never in his office - I'd unsuccessfully visited his office four times! - so we'd just have to go without him. Five minutes later, Daniel calls me back and says "he's down here now". So, we were damn lucky to get him!

  • I recorded the actual song on a digital dictaphone at a screening of Star Wars Episode III, just to get a sense of how it sounded. I made a simple midi backing track to edit all the shots to, then recorded Gerard and Hailey M. about a week before the show.

"The Amazing Race"

  • This was originally Grdo's idea, and was written by Grdo, myself, Marc, Daniel and Bin in a scriptwriting session.

  • Originally, it was going to take place in the city - in Waterfront Place, up through the mall and ending in the court complex. When Chris (our video assistance dude who had just graduated from the VCA) informed us that we'd probably need to get permission and pay fees to the council, we baulked. Since we also lacked an office to film in, we restructured the sketch so that it would be situated around UQ.

  • On the day we shot it, there were graduates in their gowns all around the uni, which was perfect since it fit in with the theme of the video.

  • As the IT guy, I'm wearing the same tie that Marc wore as the snooty Photoshop assistant in the 2004 revue.

  • The "chase" music is a track from the soundtrack of Alias. Originally, I was going to use music from the soundtrack of 24, but when I returned to the shop to buy it, someone had bought it! So I bought the Alias soundtrack instead and this track worked perfectly. The "staying awake" music is from the main titles of Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo".

  • I think this video unanimously won the directors' prize for best blooper - Kavita fully stacking it as she crosses the finish line. (2009 ed.: you can see this video on my YouTube channel) Interesting, since only minutes before, we were all stunned by Adrian's amazing flip onto the ground, which he did THREE times.

  • Mickey Lyons makes his only appearance in the 2005 Law Revue, but - come on - who else were you going to get to play a yuppie devil? He even brought his own smokes (although I provided the soul patch and horns). We shot his bit the same day as the girls' half of Intimate Injunctions and Bin's shot for St. Lucia Home.

"Puns Ahoy!"

  • Very quickly done the week before the show. Ex-Law Revue cameos include Toot Sivyer (at the bar), Colette Bots (the crazy egg smasher) and Carly Fox (girl who's "not with him")

  • The egg shell smash was done in one take and it was done with a lot of people around. As soon as Colette smashed the egg on my head, everyone around gasped in horror. If that footage went for one second more, you would have seen me burst into tears of laughter.

  • You can even see the paper toweling on my lap.

  • The joke about the "cab rank rule" was intended for a sketch about The OC that never eventuated. ("Why do I fall for every man who comes along?" "Three words: cab, rank, rule.") It was adapted for this format instead.

  • Unfilmed puns include "Extinguishment of Native Title", "Estoppel" and "Hump Ahead". We ran out of time to do them properly. (2009 ed.: to date, these have not been done. In 2006, I actually sought technical advice from a fire extinguisher expert on how it could be done.)

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