A Killer Christmas Special....
Sometimes, things have to marinate for awhile. It was more than 2 years ago that I first suggested a holiday special to Cassandra. Then several months ago while we were going over ideas for the upcoming season of her YouTube channel Cassandra McShepard Television, she brought it up. "Maybe this is the year we do the Christmas special." That was all the encouragement I needed.
My initial concept was to pair her with a little jazz combo for the musical sequences. Maybe we would film them at a local nightclub. Then my dear friend Scott Luedtke had a genius idea. His husband Brian directs The Ozaukee Chorus. Maybe Cassandra could be a special guest in their annual Christmas concert at the Cedarburg Performing Arts Center...and perhaps we could film their performances for inclusion in the special! Brilliant.
I knew that this needed to be a 3 camera shoot, and the prospect of trying to film during a live performance combined with a mid-December deadline, seemed daunting. Brian suggested that we could film in early December if we did it on a rehearsal evening at St. Joseph's in Grafton...another great idea! Killer Bee Cherrie Hanson and Andy "Rogue Lens' Conkle jumped on board the train, and I had qualified bodies to deftly man cameras 2 and 3.
David Todd came to the rescue with the amazing Jason Ruck of RuckMedia, who supplied professional cameras and finally at last- professional editing equipment! Jason and I spent 10 hours in the editing room at his office. There wasn't anything I wanted, anything I suggested- that Jason couldn't do. Frame by frame.... "How about camera 2 here, dissolving into camera 3? Sorry, I like the camera 1 angle better here, can we do it over?" Every time his answer was "No problem." Call me a dork, but one of my favorite parts of the finished product is the way the end credits turned out! In all honesty, I'm as proud of this special as I am anything else I've ever collaborated on...if not most proud.
So without further adieu (tomorrow's Christmas Eve!), I present...
BEHIND THE SCENES!
The talented Rick Swearingen of Mortensen Photography took some amazing pictures during the filming of the musical sequences at St Joseph's. Here's a 1 minute montage set against The Ozaukee Chorus singing "Caroling, Caroling". What an awesome group of individuals to work with- enjoy!