How Long Does It Take Filmmakers to Make a Basket?
by Brittany Hanson and Josh Bernhard
It was hard to decide on a practical process. Josh originally imagined the process of preparing for class at 8 in the morning, until he realized that the assignment description strictly forbade that theme; Brittany just wanted to blow things up. Obviously neither of those worked.
After brainstorming for a few hours we came up with two videos that roughly demonstrated what we wanted from the project: “Getcha Head in the Game” from the first High School Musical, which takes a basketball practice and extracts the rhythm of dribbling and passing to make up the introduction to the song; and Julian Smith's “Techno Jeep”, which in itself isn't a process but showed how individual sounds can be edited into something creative. Our vision wasn't necessarily a song, but a shortened process of playing a game of “Horse” in a similar editing pattern.
Ultimately our piece illustrates a game; it’s not edited into a true soundtrack such as in High School Musical or “Techno Jeep,” but the rhythmic influences from these two pieces got us thinking about how we could edit the sounds of playing basketball in a purposeful manner. The most intentionally rhythmic moment in our piece happens near the beginning when we spliced in the same repeated sound of a ball bouncing off the backboard to emphasize the comment Josh makes afterwards: “So I don’t play sports.” This moment, created through editing, is representative of the process of missing a shot repeatedly from the free-throw line during our game.
With this assignment, we learned that even a simple process can tell an interesting story with rising action, a climax, and a satisfying resolution. We also learned how rusty our basketball skills are. We both thought that the process of making a single basket would be too short for this assignment. Turns out, we grossly overestimated our free-throw abilities: It took us eight minutes and 24 seconds to actually complete the game, which we then condensed. The benefit of playing “Horse” as opposed to simply shooting free-throws was that it guaranteed a long-enough process with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Our audio clip begins with the sounds of dribbling the ball and shooting until Josh makes the first basket and says the letter “H.” The middle consists of multiple shots, misses, and baskets, each of us racing to be the first person to spell the word “horse.” We even ended up with some pretty good tension during the rising action: Josh is ahead and Brittany’s frustration is quite audible. Then within the last few moments, she catches up and we hit the climax: The ball hits the rim and you hear Brittany get excited, and then she hollers that she won and forgets to spell the final letter in her excitement. She and Josh high five, and that’s the end.