Patching Things Up

Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller dodge some balls.

I definitely have been more worried about the video editing project then I have been about any other of our assignments in class this semester. While I (like many other college kids) claim to hate writing papers, they at least are a familiar challenge. This project, however, was a whole different animal. I actually took a Photoshop class for a semester in high school, but that was my only experience with this sort of program. Not to mention I wasn’t good at Photoshop anyway. Luckily thanks to the previous paper and other aspects of this course, I was much more skilled at picking out some cinematic techniques then I would have been otherwise.

I picked Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (here’s the real trailer) somewhat randomly, it is one of the few movies I own at college. I was apprehensive about finding a way to make it different; but thankfully some inspiration came to mind. I looked past main characters Peter Lafleur (Vince Vaughn) and White Goodman (Ben Stiller); and instead chose to focus on the gruff and elderly coach of Average Joe’s, Patches O’Houlihan (Rip Torn). I made my trailer portray Patches as a former star athlete, whose career was cut short by a tragic accident. However, after many hard years away, Patches takes the job of coaching the Average Joe’s unpolished and unskilled dodgeball team. The trailer shows the movie to be an uplifting story about the redemption of Patches through his journey as the coach.

In my trailer, I used some principles we’ve learned from our readings in class this semester. I used Eisenstein’s theory of montage, outlined in the Bernard Dick reading Anatomy of Film, for the first part of my trailer. I pieced together clips to show the former stardom of Patches, and used audio from all parts of the film where a character says “Patches O’Houlihan”. I ended this montage with an extremely quick cut of a character getting hit by a car. The implication is that it is Patches, where really the character Gordon Fibb (Stephen Root) is the one being hit. I furthered the thinking that it was Patches by showing another slow-motion clip of him in his glory days, followed by a present-day clip of him drinking, all accompanied by sad, slow music.

The rest of the trailer uses the song “Vindicated” by Dashboard Confessional. I originally heard the song in the movie Spider-Man 2 and thought it would fit in well with the theme of redemption and vindication. The visuals are generally clips of Patches “inspiring” the team, even though sometimes he is yelling un-bloggable insults at his players or making general un-bloggable comments to himself. Overall, I didn’t encounter many problems with the project. This was due in part because I was not a pioneer like some of my classmates, who I am very grateful to for taking on that role. The one problem I had was a “emergency shutdown” that resulted in the loss of some sub-clips and messed up my order, but nothing too catastrophic. I’m very glad i named each audio/video clip after making them; it made things so much easier when I put it all together. All in all it was a nerve-racking but fun project.

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