Years ago (circa 2009), January would bring a call from Steve McFarland, then Coordinator of the Owensboro Middle School Youth Service Center. It was time to schedule another training video. We would assemble with Justin McFarland, toss around ideas, shoot for a few hours, then go to Applebee’s. (Justin and I don’t particularly care for Applebee’s, but we keep eating there.) Because I had slightly more spare time and significantly less equipment in those days, the entire process from preproduction to postproduction took less than 24 hours. The day would culminate with a screening back at the McFarland house and self-congratulations on a job goofily done.
As it is January, I thought it an appropriate time to recall and celebrate The Steve McFarland Trilogy…
Home Visit (January 2009)
Home Visit was shot on my late Panasonic AG-DVX100B at 720p/24fps and edited in Final Cut Pro 6. A few of my favorite moments both on and off screen: the guy smoking in the background at 1:05, the “breakfast” (though on screen a farce, was consumed off screen by Justin), and Justin’s compelling portrayal of both the disgruntled homeowner and wily-haired student. Bloopers from this shoot exist, though on a miniDV tape in a box of miniDV tapes among other boxes of miniDV tapes from that era.
Advisory Council Meeting (March 2010)
It’s now apparent just how much The Office I was watching at the time. Steve’s deadpan delivery during the meeting, Justin’s “There’s not a prize in these Doritos”, the narration “Whatever it takes” as Steve hands over five bucks, Agnes, and other shenanigans all make for a good time. For my part, supressing laughter and keeping silent and relatively steady was probably my greatest challenge. Despite the larger cast and longer running time, we still accomplished this in a day, with plenty of time remaining for Applebee’s.
Finding Resources (April 2012)
Shot on the Canon 5D Mark 2, edited in Final Cut Pro 7, Finding Resources commemorated Steve’s retirement from the Youth Service Center. Agnes makes a cameo, and Justin displays his acting versatility both as Dealer of Underwear and in reprising his role as Wily-Haired Student.
These shorts were great fun to produce. I hope we can get together some time in the near future and do it again. Until then, see what Steve is up to these days at his blog.