March 23, 2017 at 5:38PM

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"The Trump Diaries" - My RØDE Reel 2017 Entry

Hey guys, this is my entry in the 2017 Rode Reel competition. I just shot it over the weekend. Basically no budget. I structured it in a way that allowed me to utilize a lot of B-Roll from past projects I've done, so it looks like a FAR more elaborate short than it really is. With the exception of one shot of Donald Trump and a stock photo of Chicago that I got from Pixabay, every shot in this film is my own. I'd love to know what you guys think of it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFt_75YKxTM

5 Comments

The footage looks decent (not a fan of the film grain effect much myself), but some things seem extremely insensitive in the story. Showing people shooting US soldiers in a pseudo-documentary seems extremely distasteful in my opinion. Especially casually throwing in a faked future mass bombing on US soil. If it wasn't set up to be a documentary, some things may have been more acceptable, but those really set me off in the video. Also, I got confused when the narrator started talking about the 1940's, and the 'modern day' footage still had a film stock look. It made it seem as if he was speaking about the 1970's and 80's, because footage from the 2000's isn't shot on 8mm film, so the two didn't separate to me. On a positive note, the voice over sounded solid, and the general pacing was smooth.

March 28, 2017 at 9:51AM, Edited March 28, 9:51AM

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Craig Douglas
Writer/ Director/ Editor/ Videographer
1576

Is it really that "insensitive" to show soldiers getting shot at in a dystopian alternate reality where the government has become straight up tyrannical?

As far as why the footage was made to look old, making it look like it was from the 60s/70s/80s was the entire point. You're supposed to assume that the narrator is speaking in the present day about his experiences as a child and a young man until the twist reveal that he's actually speaking from 40 years in the future. After establishing that aesthetic I kind of had to run with it the entire time even if it didn't really make sense for the latter part of the video, and because it was important to be able to differentiate between what is supposed to be the "modern" documentary and what is supposed to be archival b-roll.

March 28, 2017 at 7:58PM

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David West
Writer/Director/Cinematographer/Editor
922

I think the biggest part is that the soldiers weren't actively attacking, and everything seen is rebels shooting then with their backs turned, or ambushing cars. But overall, just seeing the depiction us US soldiers being killed in any sense, even during a dystopia, rubs me the wrong way since I have several friends in the military risking their lives for freedom daily. But as long as you had a solid reason for the film grain, then I guess that works. I personally didn't get it, but just because I didn't, doesn't mean it doesn't work. But either way, best of luck to you in the competition.

March 29, 2017 at 11:17AM

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Craig Douglas
Writer/ Director/ Editor/ Videographer
1576

I actually thought this was pretty cool. The political messaging aside, I thought the video was creative, had an effective storyline, and was nicely edited together. I personally enjoy these types of creative expressions, where the viewer is transported to the future to "look back" at their present day circumstances for a different perspective.

Using your own b-roll was a nice touch as it kept it cohesive.

The only thing I didn't like was the music. It felt too upbeat for some of the scenes in the beginning and middle, so perhaps that could be something to work on in future projects.

Thanks for sharing.

March 30, 2017 at 12:01PM

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BD
472

i liked it mostly. I like the idea and I think it was pulled off well overall. I was not a fan of the old film look. I know what you were trying for but it didn't quite work. especially over the news clips. there is no reason that news clips from the 80's would look like that , even more the news name is 'MSM HD' HD footage now or in 40 years will still be HD and why would there be night vision cameras with film grain. I think it would be better to put a bug that says "file footage" or "File from 2017" Now as to Soldiers being killed Im ok with that. Its similar to what you see in any war documentary ie WWII in HD or something.

March 30, 2017 at 5:29PM

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Michael Militscher
Director / Commercial Producer
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