Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Far out

As we start post-production for our documentary Out Here In Kansas in early 2016, Kenny wants a unique background for the part where I'm narrating. (One of those "I'll know it when I see it" things.)
Here are some of the locations we scouted last weekend in Towanda, Kansas. They didn't make the cut, but they were just too cool not to share.
You can see a more complete photo album here.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

That sounds like a lot

A few days ago, I mentioned what a painstaking process it was to edit this film down to 30 minutes. Since then, I've been asked just how many hours of raw footage we have.
The answer, according to my editor, is about 30 hours.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Nice timing

According to the website, the worst place in America to live if you're gay is ... Wichita, Kansas. This piece comes right as we're diving into post-production of the documentary Out Here In Kansas.
Now ... this is a somewhat subjective conclusion, since there were other cities (Olathe, Kansas, for example) who scored lower than Wichita's 21, but there you have it. It was based on data provided by the Human Rights Campaign and its annual "Municipal Equality Index," which rated 408 cities nationwide on specific criteria for LGBT equality.
I'm not an expert on every city in the country, and I know Kansas laws are tough on the LGBT community. But I find it hard to believe Wichita is the absolute worst city for gay people. I mean, we do have gay-friendly churches. There are at least a couple gay bars and organizations like Wichita Pride Inc. For crying out loud, we can even claim Matthew Vines, the man behind an enormously popular gay Christian movement.
You can read the piece from NewNowNext here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Behind the scenes with Coach Lew

These quips from Monty Lewis, who was Burt Humburg's football coach in college, will not make the final cut of Out Here in Kansas. Nonetheless, Kenny and I got a laugh out of these during our last editing session.

"There's a myth that offensive lineman are dumb, and they're only gonna get dumber."
"Burt was quick and fast. Me, I was quick but I wasn't fast. Hell, I couldn't run out of sight in a day."
"He wasn't mean. He just wanted to do his job to the best of his ability. Burt would say, 'I'm to hook him and drive him back - how far do you want me to drive him back?' And we finally got to the point where we'd say, 'Well Burt, we want you to drive him back six and a half !#&@ yards. And make sure you get that half in there.'"

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Our first rewrite

That's how I'm spending my Saturday morning.
If you don't think my notes look like they make any sense, don't worry. I know what I'm doing.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Had a feeling that's what he'd say

Last week I had a serious talk with my editor Kenny about how long we should make "Out Here In Kansas."
I said from the beginning that I wanted to make this a short documentary, and I wanted to keep the story moving. However, I was starting to question the "short" part. In the past year we've filmed so much. Hours and hours and hours. Our debate between Burt Humburg and Pastor Joe Wright was 90 minutes by itself.
So I asked Kenny what he thought, and if we should re-evaluate the length of our film.
"Our goal," he said, "should be 30 minutes."
So that's our goal. I mean, I'd be foolish not to listen to Kenny. Nobody is the world is more qualified to answer that question than him.
But damn, that's gonna be a lot of good stuff on the cutting room floor.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A very '70s Christmas

That's baby Burt Humburg, the main character of "Out Here In Kansas," on the far right.
We sifted through many old videos and hundreds of photos for our documentary, but nothing screams "1970s" like this one.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Not so close, dude

Here's a little behind-the-scenes look at the drone shot we did on Halloween in Lawrence. That's Kenny holding the laptop and Savannah wearing the ball cap.

This snippet struck me as funny for two reasons ...
1. The look on Kenny's face as the drone drifted closer to him.
2. If you listen closely, you can hear Kenny watching the video and realizing he's wearing the same exact clothes he had on that day.