Top 5 NCI Movie Making Moments By Greg Davis
Over my tenure at NCI, we have made several memorable movies & film projects for morale events and promotional items. Some of these have been amazing and a lot of fun, some less so. On the whole, they’ve been a great time, and today I will present to you the top five best moments in NCI Films, as presented by Greg Davis.
5. We’ll start off with something small. The first time we did the NCI News, we had a great script, and an established starting point basing our section off Weekend Update from Saturday Night Live. Unlike SNL, we only had one anchorperson, and a limited area to film, with no real set. Once we got set to film, we realized that we would need to do the whole thing in one take. I would have to do the whole thing without laughing or flubbing the lines, and on top of that, Mike would have to make specific camera moves at specific times, in order to accommodate for the graphics that would come up while I talked. Normally, we would hide all of these things by using different camera angles and cutting between the two, but we didn’t have that luxury this time! In the end, we made up a makeshift teleprompter so I could read the lines off the screen, but that didn’t make it simple. I was really impressed by how well we got through that first Weekend Update.
4. Our 4th moment is less happy. Anyone who was involved with the marathon shooting day for our SNL parody will remember the long hours spent one Saturday in Weatherly. This was one of those days where we planned for a lot of things and everything went differently from how we anticipated! This day was plagued by long hours, equipment malfunctions, and a surprise indoor softball practice! Through it all though, we kept going, and in the end we got some great footage, despite all of the problems getting there. One of the great things about this day was that we had a huge number of NCI employees on hand to participate, and it’s always nice when we can get everyone together. It was also great filming the band at the end of the day. We came out on top in the end!
3. Our next moment brings us back to scenic Weatherly, for our first larger scale shoot. We drove up early in the morning to shoot “Great Workplaces” and the trailer for “Snarky & Snatch”. This was another one of those days where we had a great plan, and things managed to go a little different from how we drew it up! Everything took us longer than we anticipated, but we still had a ton of fun. We had the Garvin Crew, James, Mike & Phil all up at the warehouse to get in on the action for the shoot, and everyone got into the fun of the shoot. This was a great, memorable day because although we were all exhausted by the end of the day, we looked back and knew we did a great job and had a lot of fun.
2. For number 2, we go all the way back to the beginning. Our first shoot, Buddy and Jess Present the Nickies and You. This whole thing started on a complete whim. Brian and I were talking about the Nickies, and how Brian wanted to get some announcements out at the beginning of the presentation of the Nickies, and one thing led to another, and two days later, Mike, Jess, Brian and I were in the basement filming our presentation. It was a really fun shoot and we did it all in one night. On a personal note, Mike and I hadn’t filmed anything in a while at this point, so it was really nice getting back to it. The end result was a really fun video that was fun to make. Except for the part where I had to drink syrup.
1. Ournumber one spot goes to the last day of filming for our full Snarky & Snatch short. This was also our last day shooting with our old camera. The camera had served us well in the past, but was on its last legs at this point. Early in the shoot we had gone to the PA Renaissance Faire to film a great sequence where Snatch (Greg) finds Snarky (Brian) hiding away from the world as High Plains Ian. After spending a lot of time filming at the Faire, we found out that half of the footage was ruined by the camera. Months later we had to film an entire lost scene in early December. What’s worse is we were dressed for mid-September, when it was still pretty warm, but by this point it was anything but. All three of us were pretty miserable, and the camera was less happy. We found out that one of its many problems was that it didn’t always work in cold weather, so we had to film with hand warmers on it! We managed to get the scene shot, and thankfully, there was nothing wrong with the footage! The best part was when we got to see the footage in the movie- it was among the best stuff we’ve ever shot. It was just perfect and fit in with the rest so well, that I had to rank that as the number one most memorable moment for NCI Films.