The following is a personal apology following the premiere of the documentary I’ve been working on throughout the 2010-2011 school year, entitled A Serpent’s Tale. The film tracked the lives and times of the South Miami Senior High Cobra Band, from its beginnings in summertime Band Camp, to the rigors of competition throughout marching band season, to their trip to Atlanta and more. It also featured the Band’s Color Guard and their separate winter season, and also exhibited the Magnet Orchestra’s performances. A difficult, lengthy project whose very difficulty I underestimated, its premiere was much less than what I’d hoped for, and thus the following is a compilation of brief thoughts about the film, about the ride it was making it; above all however, it’s an apology to those I’ve disappointed.
Band, Color Guard and Orchestra:
as you may or may not have noticed, the video shown today was not complete, nor wholly adequate, nor what I wanted to show. Titles were incorrect, some exiting seniors were not featured in the film as they should’ve been, editing was shaky and inefficient at several times throughout the film, etc. A laundry list of don’ts. The point is, it was not, for some more than others, the end of year band video you guys wanted to see. It needed improvement. Lots of it.
I don’t like to give excuses (believe it or not) so I’ll just say that work, time and balancing the two caught up with me this year and as a result, the video was not done on time; I started the editing process too late. That’s why some sections were drawn out, some montages not in sync with the beats of the music, some interviews not in the film.
And this frustrates me for several reasons. For one, as someone looking to enter the fast-paced world of journalism, film and broadcasting, it’s a technical/professional failure that not only demonstrates that I need to get my act together, but also shows others that I might not be ready or even capable of handling due dates, large projects, etc.
Furthermore, it’s an emotional/ethical failure as well. I realized, afterwards, that the two hours spent in the chorus room, in the company of your life-long music pals, in the company of the freshmen that looked up to you; this is what you’re leaving with; this is the reminder of, at least, this year in the Music magnet. How can something like that be presented unfinished? How can such an important piece of media be rushed, left incomplete?
I apologize for having been inefficient, the last several weeks, in delivering this project properly. From an empirical standpoint; you guys, the customer, are disappointed. From a more personal standpoint, you seniors, you Band people, you guys, are disappointed. I’m sorry I messed up.
Now, for the DVD release, the video will of course be retouched, shortened in some portions, added to in others. All interviews will play a larger role in the film, more events will be included, others either shortened or removed completely. In any case, the DVD disc will contain not only the film, but the interviews in their entirety, all performances, all music, photos and outtakes. Well, if disc space allows of course. It’s a lot of stuff.
Again, I apologize for having failed you in this defining moment. But do not let my lack of attention today underscore my experience working on this project. You guys let me in to your close-knit family, for no reason other than “oh, he’s filming”, and I appreciate that immensely. I am eternally grateful to you all for your friendship, for the opportunity to embark on such an adventure as this year was.
Hope you enjoy the reworked version,