I figure that I shoot an average of about 20 minutes of video for every two-minute story I end up with. So a bunch of what I shoot never gets seen by anyone but me. And in most cases, that's just as well. But I ran across a couple of clips that I don't want to discard without using them somewhere. One of them was this one where I'm pulling back from the Old Capitol while I'm standing in the middle of Capitol Street. The story was to have been about Mississippi's secession from the Union 150 years ago in January of LAST year. Ended up that I didn't need this shot in the story but I don't want to waste it after standing in the middle of the street to get it, Oops, well, there it goes. Lost my nerve. But now I've used it the shot, anyway.
And here's what I'll call the story of the two that got away. It was a foggy day recently with clouds scurrying over. The story was to have been about how gloomy our winters here in Mississippi. And knowing the full moon was rising that night, I even thought I'd shoot some of the afternoon clouds day-for-night. Now, they used to do this in the old cowboy movies a lot, where a night scene would be shot in broad daylight but with the lens just stopped down and crickets in the sound track to make it seem like night. It's a little trickier in color. Now with film, they'd just use indoor film outdoors and it would be all blue. And with video you just change the color balance. Went to all that trouble and never used the shot in the story.
But that night I did get shots of the rising full moon. Now, when you're zoomed in this tight on the moon, its motion is noticeable. It rises about the distance of itself every three minutes. So that means you have to constantly be adjusting the camera to keep it framed correctly. So naturally as I was jiggling the camera, what happened, but a once-in-a-lifetime shot! And airplane flies directly across the face of the full moon. Only it does so while I am shifting the camera so much that I can't use the shot.
So I settled back in to just getting shots of the moon rising, bemoaning my misfortune. And when it came time to re-set the camera again, guess what happened! ANOTHER once in-a-life-time shot, as ANOTHER plane scooted across the face of the moon. TWO once-in-a-life-time shots within 5 minutes of each other and I'm jiggling the camera both times!
Shot for another half hour hoping it would happen again. Not even a moth.
But now I've used them. So I don't feel it was a wasted evening. And I suppose I could always employ one MORE video element somewhere down the line and get even more mileage out of my plane and the moon shots: freeze frame!
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