Funniest Idea

IMG_1595So a little under 18 months ago, I received an email from Margie at Cap City Comedy Club asking whether I would like to be the official videographer for the Funniest Person In Austin (FPIA) contest.  I was grateful and equally shocked for the opportunity- I had taped maybe five shows at that point and had little to no experience.  Yet, two weeks later there I was, taping the opening preliminary round of the 27th FPIA on April 2nd, 2012.  Since then, we’ve (my wife Jen and I) cut together over 300 FPIA clips, amassed an endless amount of standup footage, all the while making many friends along the way and learning just how grateful we are to this community of comedic artists.

Little did I know, that email would start us on a path leading to this post- we’re going to make a feature length documentary about the FPIA contest!  

I’m not going to reveal our entire plan, but I want this blog post to serve as the first of many, chronicling our journey.  This will not be a fly by night venture; our planned  completion date is late 2015, early 2016.  So why post now?  Several reasons-

  • I’m taking advantage of what’s in front of me.  I’m heading to St. Louis today for the weekend- attending my dearest friend Mike’s wedding- but while visiting I plan to shoot several interviews  related to our project.  Thus, principal photography (or however you want to categorize it) starts tomorrow, August 30th, 2013.
  • Somewhere, somehow, someone might find this and learn something from the process. Questionable, I know.  But I’ve stumbled across enough blogs to know that logging a filmmaking process can be educational for someone.  Don’t worry, there’s a list of gear I’m going into battle with to follow this post, NERD!

Ok so that’s it for now.  We’re at the beginning and I’m a crummy writer so I’m stopping short.  I appreciate your support (you’re reading this so I assume you are complicit) and hope that if anything, you learn a bit from the blabbering that will ensue.

Currently the movie is titled Funniest.



St. Louis Trip Gear:

  • Canon EOS M – if you need a DSLR right now, these things are a bargain
  • Tokina 11-16mm – I’ve only used this for one shoot (I’ll link when the video hits), but this lens rules.  Nuff said
  • Tamron 17-50mm – My standard
  • Canon 22mm – Good, all around lens.  We’ll see how much I use it
  • Zoom H2n – I performed some tests trying to connect my Rode NTG-2 and it wouldn’t register any audio.  Peculiar, but the mono mode on this mic was good enough in my tests to give it a shot (bracing for the, “you’re an idiot” comments if this blog ever becomes popular)
  • Zoom H1 with Azden EX-503 Lavaliere mic – my backup
  • GoPro Hero3 Black Edition – B-Camera extraordinaire
  • Kingston MobileLite – I’m shocked at how well this allows for easy backups  on the road
  • Various tripods, lights, and whatever else fits in my bag

So why not take our Blackmagic Cinema Camera?  It’s just too big.  I’m hoping to pick up one of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras in the Spring, but until then our EOS M, which we’ve named Tiny, will have to do.