New Zealand, 2009. 6:21 mins.
Team: Matthew Taine and Andrew Crone
For many years locals of a quiet mountain town in the Southern Alps of NZ have pondered the mystery of an interesting phenomenon. This short documentary presents several interviews which look at the evidence surrounding the mystery, and questions the existence of ‘Frosty’.
Camera: Sony HDR-HC1E Digital Video Camera
Audio: Built in camera microphone and external Sony ECM-MS957 one-point stereo microphone.
Filming ran smoothly, keeping reasonably close to our original production plan and adapting the story appropriately to our best available footage. We were rushed to produce a script for the narration due the time constraints of our narrator and found actors in relatively short notice, however we were lucky to have friends willing to fill the roles and were extremely pleased with their performances.
We faced some issues with weather and mountain closures, but a flexible filming schedule and opportunity to shoot elsewhere meant we could get the shots we required. Wind also caused some issues when filming long time lapse footage in exposed areas. Light tripods and a small camera being particularly susceptible to very slight movements.
During editing we discovered that the camera records a larger area than the camera’s view finder displays, which required some cropping. This did not effect the quality of image overall due to the high quality of the original footage.
During the capture of the Professor’s interview we discovered a significant echo due to the location we filmed in. We did our best to remedy this but discovered echo in recorded audio is almost impossible to get rid of. We learnt from this and took extra care in filming the second interview in a “friendlier” location. The quality of the audio greatly improved in the Manager’s interview. Another sound issue we faced was a popping noise in some of the films music tracks. We discovered this was due to difference in sample rates between Final Cut and the imported audio. This was fixed by converting the audio files to 48K .aiff files using itunes.
“Frosty” was the creation of Matthew Taine and Andrew Crone. The group was formed in an earlier Design Studies paper and wished to continue the relaxed and professional approach to their project. Both members developed the idea from early storyboarding to the final cut and took a equally active roles in the filming and editing.
A small team and cast kept production simple. We were lucky enough to have the help of Dave Goosselink’s professional narration skills which gave a nice edge to our film. On short notice we acquired the help of Edwin Darlow and Andrew Wilshire as the films interviewees, both creating strong believability in their characters. Andrew played the slightly eccentric scientist particularly well and Edwin was convincing as the straight spoken Manager of a Ski Area.
A rough cut of the film without the remedied audio issues was entered in the Mothra Student Film Festival despite these flaws the it was nominated for Best Mockumentary.
Conclusion / Outlook
The team are pleased with the result and have learned a great deal of valuable skills throughout the project. The film has been well received from those who have viewed it via Facebook and Youtube and we have had some really great feedback. Many thanks to Dave Goosselink, Edwin Darlow, Andrew Wilshire, Ralf Hebecker and Dell McLeod for their involvement in the production and critique of the film!