A divergence from stop-motion animation, this live-action video was our experiment to use video-making as community building. In this project, we asked Kevin Christofora, then owner of Woodstock Meats and Deli to let us make their promotional video. Kevin is a quintessential community guy. He is the president of the Mountain Valley Little League, has organized Kids’ New Year’s Eve Bash at the Bearsville Theater, among many other community events and activities. His store is an old-fashioned butcher and deli, where he carries local meats and produces as much as possible without any frills.
We matched Kevin with Marlon DuBois, a 6th grader from Bennett Elementary School, to write, direct, and edit this video. Marlon is a talented young artist who has a huge collection of videos he directed in his Youtube channel. He is funny and friendly, and works well in a spontaneous situation.
What started out as a simple, small project turned out to be a community video shoot, requiring a lot of extras to come out in the wee hours of still chilly April Sunday morning, to run in a mob on Woodstock’s Tinker Street. It seemed doable when Marlon came up with the idea, but 2 days before the mob shoot, we still had no idea how to convince people to come out. We took the easiest and fastest way, and posted a photo message (see above) on our Facebook page, and asked friends to share it. It was posted at night, and by next morning, the photo was already seen by more than a thousand people! Within 24 hours, the post was shared by 22 people and was seen by 2500 people.
In a brief meeting on Saturday, Marlon, Kevin and I all agreed that we had no idea what to expect, so we would just improvise as we go. The next morning, about 50 people showed up. Kevin brought boxes of doughnuts and gallons of apple cider, taking the edge off the pain of getting out so early on Sunday morning. We also got help from Franco Vogt, a local professional photographer. The shoot could not have gone more smoothly. It took two takes to get a perfect mob scene running down the street.
Then the mob moved inside the store, grabbing everything in sight in a frenzy. To quote Mariella Bisson’s comment on our Facebook page, “running amok in the store was just great.”
Everyone involved felt the morning shoot was perfect, which is curiously paradoxical, because it was hardly planned at all.
We shot a few additional scenes in the following week, and Marlon took a full advantage of abundant footage from multiple camera angles. He finished editing in a few days, and we now have a video that is a great snippet of our community life in Woodstock.