“I remember separating my kids during the fight scene,” said RoseAnne Votel Sky, best known as Roro, single mother of two. “It looks like I yank my son off but the scene was sped up a little for effect so it was an effect.” Probably not the most common statement you hear from a typical Mom. But Roro is experienced with common and typical Mom tasks just as any other Mom. And so, she made a movie about it. The film is titled “Wow Mom!”
“When I first saw the ad on Facebook, it said, “Don’t be a chicken. Do it.” (Make a movie using your cell phone to shoot) I knew I could do it!” she told me on a Friday morning during our interview. “I knew I could do a story portraying a Mom, because I didn’t even have to know how to act well. I ‘am’ a Mom.”
“I used to do Jon-Jon’s with some family members…silly episodes about a silly story…we played around when I was younger making these episodes. We had to shoot them in the order we wanted it to end up like (live in-camera editing). We didn’t have a video editor or anything. We used to do that for fun, they are on VHS now, but they were silly and funny.”
Roro said she wanted to be in the film festival. She also wanted to have a memorable and unique piece of her family as a keepsake and a film about what being a Mom is like with a message sounded like a great idea.
Charley Miller, who did the editing and audio mixing using Apple’s GarageBand & iMovie, told me Roro did her own filming with her two children, Katia and Quintin, and Laura Vaughn her roommate’s daughter.
The children were naturally good actors and I personally feel the fact that the “film crew” was extremely familiar, brought out the best in them.
Roro filmed everything using a tripod she purchased herself and Charley didn’t need to purchase much himself, as he is a podcaster & editor among other credits. He used GarageBand and iMovie, both which are free with a Mac computer.
One of the conflicts, Roro remembers, was branding. Thankfully, she had knowledge of copyright problems arising out of showing brands on her film without express permission. Therefore, she had to be really careful and precautious.
“Here,” she said, pointing to a scene of the film on her iPhone, “here you see Quintin has his shirt on inside out.” As the film played on Roro quickly pauses it. “And here,” she points to another scene when he hands her a phone, “it happened here too.” Charley Miller fixed a lot of the branding issues in post-production, she said.
Charley commended Roro for filming everything herself, she tried to give him some credit by reminding him of an instant where the family was inside their mini van and he hit the record and pause buttons on the cell phone as it was on a tripod. But Charley did a remarkable job with the audio.
He actually sat the kids down after their day of shooting (production), put headphones on each one, set the microphone and told them to talk about their scenes.
He then mixed the tracks together with effects and music. All of which he used GarageBand.
Roro laughed as she remembers how easy it was to not have to worry about studying lines. “When I was on the phone I was like, ‘Justin Bieber got a haircut…!’ and whatever just joking around because none of the audio was going to be used.” *The requirements are that only the camera need be a cell phone.
Charley mixed the audio track using GarageBand. “When Roro came to me she had a concept for the audio but no ideas really,” Charley said. At first, Roro came to me with the idea of both of us each doing a film, but I was very busy at the time to do it with the deadline being so close, so I agreed to help her with her film…I had no idea at first about editing.”
“I realized that for me to learn to edit would take too long and I would miss the deadline. So Charley agreed to edit since he was experienced.”
Roro didn’t have a script or a storyboard. “I took notes. I took notes of typical Mom things I do like combing my kids’ hair, wetting a napkin to wipe their face…” Roro explained, “I mean, it was all everyday stuff for me.”
Roro shot a lot of the scenes with the phone as a camera, on a tripod and I must say, with all the chaos portrayed in the film about what being a Mom is like, it works fluidly without ever stopping to think about it as a viewer.
The music was well put together and the audio worked well. Once Roro explained her concept and Charley began putting the footage into the timeline, Roro became fascinated with non-linear editing. “I was like, ‘Oh, move that part here, and that part there…I didn’t know the software and didn’t have the editing skills but watching Charley I was excited with all that can be done!” She said.
Charley was pleased that when he put together his first rough-cut Roro liked it. So all he had to do was finalize the film. He sped up some scenes slightly to show and enhance the chaos of having children. During the end scene, as we watched on his iPhone, Mom and kids walk in the park, “I saturated the colors here to give it more vibrancy.” He said. ‘It works!’ I said.
Some things Roro learned were that even though a lot of it was in her head, she missed some things here and there. A lot of them they were able to “fix in post,” as they say. However, a storyboard at least would have helped. Especially, it would have helped Charley as the editor.
Earlier in this blog, we told you about the message Roro sent her audience with her film. Her message is evident when you see the film. When all the chaos and craziness of being a Mom is said and done, at the end of the day, it’s all very worth it.
When the International Mobil Film Festival first launched, I had hoped someone like Roro would take me up on my dare. I was happy to see her film when it was submitted. Roro is an ordinary Mom, a super hero Mom like many other Moms. She had a dream of making it into a film festival and not only was she able to do that, but Roro was able to walk the red carpet and be a part of a film festival by using her cell phone. Her film shows talent, skill, good acting, comedy, cute children and it promises fun for anyone who watches it.
We are featuring this filmmaker as one of the commemorative pioneers of Mobil Film Festival’s mobile filmmakers.
Roro has a job that has nothing to do with film and is excited to make another film…the fact that she has the camera in her pocket makes it doable. Even though she is not a filmmaker by “profession” she is a filmmaker as she completed a film, entered a film festival and was accepted and received an award.
Charley is now a Dad to his first-born, Andrew, who was born last September. Drew was all smiles and without a fuss during our entire interview. We wonder if there may be a “Rad Dad” film in MFF2013 about Charley’s fatherhood days as a new Dad. You can listen to Charley every day as a matter of fact.
Charley’s podcast and radio show, Random Variety Show is available as a free podcast in iTunes.
Congratulations to the crew of Wow Mom! They did a great job. The crew was Charley and RoseAnne. Actor credits go to RoseAnne (Mom), Quintin, Katia (RoseAnne’s real children), and Laura Vaughn (Family friend). The budget was tight and the expenses were too minimal to list.
About S. Botello Productions™ / Mobil Film Festival
S. Botello Productions™ created the Mobil Film Festival where only people who shoot movies with their cell phones can submit them to the festival free. Any cell phone brand. All ages qualify. “Don’t be a chicken. Do it. The red carpet is in your pocket!”
The Mobil Film Festival is sponsored by Grossmont College. Deadline to enter is March 3, 2013.
The purpose of this film festival is not only to create interest and spark creativity in people of all ages with limited income or resources but to actually inspire creative filmmakers to live to their potential and realize the opportunity to fulfill their dream.