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2019 SXSW Recap: Day 4

There’s so much to see and do at SXSW that there’s no way one person can even accomplish a small fraction of what all they’d like to do and see while they’re there.  Yesterday, I talked a lot about some of the sessions that have been the most impactful to me, but movies are also a big part of the festival, and given that I attended one of the debut screenings of Running With Beto, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about that today.

 

I won’t get too deep into my review of the film here, but will say that I definitely enjoyed it.  I’m a lover of all things politics and definitely followed O’Rourke’s 2018 campaign closely, so the subject and topic were right up my alley, especially as someone who’s a sucker for a good documentary and a good story.

 

Perks of SXSW

 

 

What is cool about seeing movies that premiere at SXSW is that typically you get also get to be part of a little Q&A with the Director and sometimes members of the crew after the movie.  Some of the things that I thought were particularly interesting about that came up during the Q&A were in regards to how the film was assembled, which being a video production guy, I thought about throughout the film as a viewer.

 

For one, we all know how micromanaged and careful many politicians and the camps are about messaging and what goes out to the public.  In this case, the film-maker met O’Rourke while playing softball and approached him about the idea, but with the stipulations that it would be a purely independent film and that O’Rourke or his team would have no creative input and would not have access to any of the footage.  What that did, was allow the Director to create a piece that felt very organic and told the story the way they felt it should be told.

 

A Look Behind The Scenes

 

Some of the behind the scenes notes were quite interesting as well.  They started filming the documentary 12 months before the election, back before the race got as close as it did and before the entire country had started to pay attention.  Over that time, they shot 700 hours of footage.  (That’s a lot of material and a lot of sub-clipping!)  They also talked about how they rotated different cinematographers in throughout the process so they had multiple options who knew the style they were looking to portray.  On election night, they actually had six different camera crews out in the field capturing footage in different locations, a night that reminded me a lot of our night at PEG the night the Cleveland Cavaliers captured the 2016 NBA Championship.

 

The Process Stays The Same

 

It’s always fun to hear the behind the scenes of how a movie or video comes together and it’s neat to see that often times, regardless of how big or small the production, and even across different types of video, so much of the process is the same.  There are a lot of steps and a lot of legwork involved that most people never see, but the payoff of getting to see a good story come together, whether on the big screen or on a computer screen, is always worth it.

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