Ok, did the first test run for ALP yesterday. Went to 1313, galleryDK, Loop Gallery, Contact Festival @ the Gladstone Hotel and Median Contemporary. That’s four galleries close to where I live and it took about 4 hours. And I was sweaty and tired afterwards. Yikes.
I know it sounds strange, but I am reading “The Zombie Survival Guide” by Max Brooks, and kept thinking about his advice for the best way to travel long distances quickly and safely – travel lightly. In this case, replace “zombie” with “gallery” and “axe” with “tripod” and you get the idea. Using the tripod once it is set up is great but it gets heavy quickly and is a bit labour intensive to set up and tear down. I am not sure what to do about that, but a couple of options would be a monopod or just holding the camera, complete with Blair Witch shakey effects. The other problem with the tripod is that while I am 6′ 4″, the tripod is not. It has to look up at me, and this would make me standing in front of it with someone else generally impossible given the audio requirement to stand close to my little camera.
Other things I tried that are not working:
1) Prompting the artist/gallery staff with questions makes it sound forced and my voice BOOMS as theirs are a bit faded. Unless I am having a comfortable conversation with someone, I do not want to be barking questions. This is a shame as it is awesome to have different people talking than just ol me. And nothing gets people participating more than showing up with a camera and sticking it in their faces.
2) I need set questions to ask, and probably to write them down on flash cards to present as cues if they are doing a PSA style one minute video “blurb” about their exhibit. No need for my booming, somewhat nervous and bumbling voice and I kept asking impromptu questions at the end that threw a couple of artists off and I have to spend 2 hours on my kinda crappy laptop editing it out. I need to it to be quick, clean and simple and just upload the videos straight to youtube and add contact info.
3) Showing up at openings – I should leave artists alone at openings. It is too distracting to pull them out and get them to read their invites to a strange man and his camera. In that case, I should do a review. I know that the point of ALP is to post info on exhibits when they open, so it may be kinda hard to avoid the openings and I really want the artists to speak about it. I should probably ask them a question or two and maybe upload two videos or more in that case.
4) Panning the camera while someone is talking to it. waaaay too distracting the camera and tripod are simply too jerky. What the hell am I trying to do here – compete with a professional film crew!? Keep the person in focus, not an attempt to document art. Just the info, the feedback and the review.
* it’s my blog and i don’t have to capitalize or speell real good either