Monday, October 10, 2011

"Linden Eagle News Gone Wrong" - A Mikenny Productions Skit

This is one of my favorite skit videos we made in high school for Video Productions. At the time, we were fully immersed in the video announcements for the school, which were played at the end of the day. Basically, two "anchors," the talent, would sit on camera and read the announcements instead of them being read over the PA system by the principal. The problem was, they're just as boring to watch as they are to listen to, so we tried to make them more interesting by throwing in little jokes in between announcements or do little skits at the end of the video.

The problem was, we were discouraged from adding a little humor to the announcements, so we were constantly fighting to allow the extras to be included in the video. I mean, personally I looked forward to the videos more if there was something to liven up the announcements, and it was something to look forward to at the end of the day.

And not only were we discouraged from adding little skits, we were also discouraged from reading the announcements in an interesting way (such as with accents, with odd voice inflection, as a different person, etc.) because they "distracted the students from comprehending what we were saying." We argued back by saying that if the announcements weren't interesting, the students weren't going to watch them anyways. They'd tune out. Many times we were convincing enough that our skits were allowed to air, but sometimes we were not.

The idea for this skit rose out of us spending so much time working on the announcements. They were very much on my mind when I started writing the short little script, and I knew I wanted to make them funny. It didn't take long for the idea to come to me that everything would go very, very wrong.

I knew from the get-go that it would be Mike and I as co-anchors, because, well, up to that point most of the videos involved the two of us but more than that, it was because I think Mike and I play off of each other really well and there's a good dynamic there.

We filmed it one day after school, and our video teacher had someplace to be so she had to leave the school quickly. We weren't allowed to film in the studio by ourselves, though, so she stood in the studio while we hurriedly set everything up and filmed as fast as we could (our friend Cameron Germain ran the Teleprompter and did the cutting back and forth between camera shots). The next day it was edited quickly and was ready to be tacked onto the announcements for the end of the day.

I think the people in charge were hesitant because it was a longer skit, so of course they didn't want to put it first and have the bell ring for school to end before all the announcements were read through. For some reason, though, they were even hesitant to put it after the announcements. This is something I'll never understand, because if the teachers don't want to watch the skits after the announcements they can just shut the video off when it gets to that point. What's the big deal? Eventually the video was uploaded separately to the video page, and not given much notice by the teachers at the end of the day. We pushed our friends to have their last hour teachers play the video, but I think many at the school never saw this video. Maybe that changed when I uploaded it to YouTube, maybe not. But I'm really proud of what we did comedy-wise in this video, and I'd love to share it with you now.

Check back in tomorrow (and every Tuesday) for recommendations on music that has been inspiring me lately.

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