BEHIND THE SCENES AND Q&A > SCIENCE TIME
Q&A WITH ANNIE QUICK
1. Where did the inspiration for this video come from?
My extended family contains engineers, scientists and assorted others who I like to call enthusiasts. I've noticed that while these characters tend to be terribly earnest about their area of interest, they're not always the most socially adept - and also, for the most part, they don't care what other people think of them. I've always thought this combination of traits both endearing and frustrating, because the result is that these people who are very enthusiastic about a particular subject tend to be limited in their ability to convey that enthusiasm to a wider audience.
Of course, I realize that I'm the same way! It's hard for me to believe that something I find interesting might bore another person. And so when I started creating this character who channels what I find endearing and infuriating in myself - and in those like me, who are so enthusiastic about a topic that they can't possibly understand why the whole world wouldn't want every detail - I came up with PQ Gun.
2. What were your film making challenges?
I've made three PQ Gun videos with the lab. I shot them out of order - I filmed the second and third videos during Season 1 and the first episode was filmed during Season 2.
In the Season 1 videos, I directed myself, but for the Season 2 video, the Speed Dating episode, I had my Magnet Video Lab mate Joe Whelski direct for me. That freed me up to concentrate on acting and saved a lot of time. Plus, it was more fun to edit when I wasn't wincing at my own performance. Thanks Joe!
For the Season 1 videos, I hired a stunt cat. I didn't get the sense that the cat was very happy being strapped to my chest. He wasn't angry or violent, but he did a lot of sighing and harumphing, which made me feel sorry for him. I love cats and so I don't think I'll ever do that again.
3. How did the Magnet Video Lab help you grow as an artist from Season 1 to Season 2?
During Season 1, I was mostly just concerned with going from "zero to done," so to speak. During Season 2, I got a lot of feedback during the script writing and pre-production portion of the lab, so I felt like my script was much tighter going in to shooting.
All the feedback I've gotten during both sessions has helped my work improve by leaps and bounds. Professionally, I work mostly in post-production, so my skill deficits include script writing and pre-production. It's great to begin filling in some of those blanks. I relied on my Magnet Video Lab buddies a lot to help me keep at it until I had something worth shooting. I also think my editing has improved just from hearing everyone's feedback. It's a real luxury to have the opinions of so many talented people week after week.
4. What's next?
A big vacation! Magnet Video Lab is so fun and time-consuming that I emerge happy yet sleep-deprived. Both times I wanted to stay in bed for a week afterward! It's almost two months later and I still haven't recovered :).
I'm starting some stop motion projects on my own. I'm not sure yet about my Season 3 project with the Magnet Video Lab. I'm thinking of maybe developing a secondary character from the PQ Gun series. Or maybe a music video. I'd like to do something that's not so dialogue-heavy, because I get the feeling that heavy dialogue might be a rookie move. Here's to advancing!
5. Why is it important to make films in a group?
Too many reasons to list! Feedback, I'd say is the most important thing. Deadlines are really important too -- a group that can supply both is worth its weight in gold. Those things aren't helpful though, unless the people involved are kind and collegial. Everyone in the lab is willing to let you speak with your own voice, but also chime in when you're entering dead-end territory. Plus, there are so many talented people in the lab -- I've really benefited from everyone's generosity with help and advice. Thanks Lab partners!
PQ Gun brings science to the people through speed dating!
PQ Gun hatches a plan to bring science to the masses...because everyone loves educational programming, right?
PQ Gun scientifically explains the popularity of cats on the internet
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