Saturday, April 20, 2013

Kidz Zone at Sturgis Bike Week: On Location

Here is my latest work:  a documentary style advertisement for Thunder Road Ministries.  I filmed this last year and have been working on it a little bit at a time to get it ready for this year's Sturgis event, which will be going from August 5th-11th.  If you think this is something you'd like to help out with, you can contact Curtis for information or to sign up a few ways.  Probably the best way would be to simply call the number at the end of the video:  719-252-1086.

This video ended up being quite a bit of work.  For one thing, I hadn't even planned on making a video at all this year!  But, when I was up there, I just couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to interview some people, put it down on film.  I felt like I had to at least try.  So, during the week, I put together a few questions and wrote them down on a little sheet of paper.

I was really glad to see that I had at least brought my portable recorder, which happened to have a stereo mic on the front.  Since I had not thought to bring my fancy Rhode microphone with a wind buffer on the front, I just had to put a bandana (one of Dad's smiley-face bandanas, in fact--some of you know how much he wears those everywhere) on the front of the little microphone, which helped a little bit.  But there were bunches of noises that got in the way of every recording--the wind seemed to be blasting like crazy every time I got someone to give me enough time to interview them.  But more than that, you have to realize I was filming in the middle of a motorcycle rally--and not just any rally, but Sturgis Bike Week, arguably the largest rally in the US!  I had to cut out whole sections of audio due to motorcycles revving by, music blasting over from distant concerts, advertising airplanes, kids running around and yelling, and noisy bounce house motors all over the place.  However, with some tedious cutting and a little audio work, I was able to pull together what I think is a halfway decent sound (at least in the short version).

It was a lot of work finding people who both wanted to stand in front of the camera and answer my questions and had the time.  But I thank the people who did--they were very patient with me and gave me what I needed to put this video together.

Probably the hardest work was in the editing.  Simply going through the massive amount of information, the seemingly endless clips of people giving me their honest answers, and then sorting them into some kind of a coherent order, was a pretty big undertaking.  But when I came out of it on the other end, I knew I had something I really wanted to share--with some more work and polish.

I finally thought I had come to the end of it when I showed my family the video.  They said they liked it, that it was okay, stuff like that.  But when it came time to show it at the biker church that we do every Thursday (you can find out more from the link) I came to realize two huge problems.

One, the audio really sounded bad coming from huge church-sized speakers.  It sounded fine in my little speakers on my computer or on my portable speakers.  But with huge speakers that could really put out the bass tones, the wind noise became far more prominent, pretty much drowning out the audio that I wanted people to hear.

And for the other, it was just too long.  There was a lot of information to digest, and looking back I think it was too much.  The main purpose of the film is to advertise--to draw people in, get them interested, and perhaps get them so interested that they would want to help.  But when the video was almost eight minutes long, is was just too much.

So I went back and cut, cut, cut until I got it down to just over two and a half minutes.  I think it is still clear, gets to the point and communicates the right message, all in a short period of time.  Of course, you can watch it below, and tell me what you think yourself!

The one on top is the final cut, and the one below it is the extended cut.  I posted it mostly because there is still a lot of good stuff in it (in my opinion) that just takes too long if you're not already really interested.  Feel free to comment below!

Kidz Zone at Sturgis: On Location from Zachary Hubbell on Vimeo.
This is a film I shot at the Kidz Zone during Sturgis Bike Week, 2012. It explains a little bit about what Sturgis Bike Week is, what the Kidz Zone does there and why we need help to run the event. All the footage was taken by me this year, and the photographs were all taken by me as well, but come from this last year to several years past.

Started by my father, Curtis Hubbell, Thunder Road Ministries has been doing ministry at events like Sturgis Bike week for over a decade now. If you would like to know more about the organization, or their new church (Steel City Biker Church) you can visit their website at:

If you'd like to sign up or get some information, you can any of the methods described at the end of the video, but the best would probably be just to call the number: 719-252-1086.

Thanks to all of those who let me get an interview in! Kevin Riley, Richie Perko, Emily Hubbell, Ken Dalby, DNO and Steve-O--thanks bunches to all of you, even if I couldn't fit you in!

Kidz Zone at Sturgis: On Location--Extended Cut from Zachary Hubbell on Vimeo.

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