Kyle Bailey is a film student at Asbury University in Kentucky, and most importantly, a member of Filmpunch. Not only that, but he’s one all-around amazing guy with whom we had the pleasure of working side by side on the set of Olan Rogers’ Pop Rocket this past summer. Here’s what he had to say:
The Greatest Two Weeks of My Life by Kyle Bailey
Filming Pop Rocket was my very first independent movie making experience, and my first experience working with professionals. Meeting Olan Rogers, Jake Sidwell, Thomas Gore, Brett Driver, and a few other YouTubers I’ve looked up to for years was an experience within itself (getting to work with people you look up to always is). But it didn’t take long for me to realize that what I had seen in their videos didn’t even show half of who they were in real life; they’re real people with hopes and aspirations, just like you and me. Lots of friendships were made over those two and a half weeks, including Andy and O’Ryan aka the Filmpunch Guys. You two are some of the most talented and humble people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Thanks for being amazing.
I had decided that once I got down to Nashville, I would keep a journal detailing everything that happened each day and night we filmed. It’s a very unique feeling to be in the midst of something special and know that you’re recording it for others to see. So much happened during my two and a half weeks of filming, and hopefully, I’ll do a good enough job of recounting my favorite parts. I’ll start off with my impressions after being there for a day:
“I’ve looked up to Olan and Jake as both being creative powerhouses, and it’s nice to find out that there are actual people behind the videos—people who care about their work and their friends more than getting views or being famous. They’ve both got something special and I’m blessed to be a part of it.”
Like I said before, that’s one of the things that really impacted me—I was working with real people who had real talent and heart, and that made a difference in how work was accomplished on set. In fact, this next entry talks about just that:
“I know that this is a budgeted production, but I’m used to stuff like this at school. It’s almost bare bones, but there’s a vibe in the air that’s much more friendly and open than any I’ve ever felt at school. This is how sets should be run—messy, wild, rugged, with laughing at the forefront of the seriousness of what’s going on. I love it.”
I’m a film major at my university, and there’s a huge, state-of-the-art media facility at my disposal. I’ve directed TV shows, worked cameras, and been in musicals in that building, but none of the productions I’ve worked on can come close to having the same sense of camaraderie that the set of Pop Rocket had. Everyone got along with each other while getting things done quickly and efficiently. If there was a problem, we talked about how to fix it the quickest and easiest way possible, and then we did.
A large number of entries I wrote talk about how tired I was after each day of shooting. I did a lot of different things on set, including setting up green screens and soft boxes, making countless tracking markers, and about a hundred other odd jobs that needed to be done, oh and lest I forget cooking heaps of hotdogs. One of the things I enjoyed the most was getting to take behind the scenes photographs and videos. But I’m not going to sugarcoat it: filmmaking is hard work—seriously hard work. Late nights and early mornings for two and a half weeks will take their toll on your body and mind, and there are moments when you question whether or not what you’re doing is really going to make a sound once it’s released. Here’s an example:
“Today was definitely one of the more exhausting days. I got a bunch of experience shooting on a full green screen set that I helped build. Aside from that, I got to help out with the actual filming. I swept lights across Olan, Jake, and Thomas when they were on the hover bikes to make it look like they we’re racing down a city skyline. It’s something subtle, but I’ll be able to show it to people in the video and say that that’s what I did…if it makes the final cut, of course.”
You do so much work to make a five or six second shot look the absolute best it can, and even then, sometimes it’s not good enough. The simplest little problem can seem like a mountain that will never be climbed. But those moments can and will pass. Any problem can be solved with the right amount of thinking…and duct tape. And Reese’s. Always Reese’s.
Here’s the last things I wrote in my journal:
“I learned so much in such a short amount of time, and I’ve been influenced by so many people, Olan and Jake in particular. My time with the crew and cast has been just amazing. I’ve made so many new friends and memories with people I never thought I’d get to work with, and those memories will undoubtedly last for the rest of my life. It’s been a crazy two weeks of filming, fun, hardships, and work. I’ve never been a part of something this big before, and it’s staggering to think that I was even able to come down and help out. I wouldn’t trade these two weeks for anything in the world. The relationships I’ve made with people, the experiences I’ve had, and the product that’s been created have all had profound impacts on me. I can’t wait to start making movies of my own. It’s the only thing I want to do, and it’s the only thing that will satisfy me. So I’m going to do the absolute best I can to make that dream a reality.
Here I Go…
Making movies isn’t just art. It’s not just a career path. It’s something that can literally change lives. Movies are one of the easiest ways to bring about that change, and creating them is one of the things I cherish most in my life. If what I help create can change someone’s life for the better, then I’ve done my job right. I have no doubt that Pop Rocket will change people for the better; it’s got heart to it. I’ll leave you with this: if being on the set of Pop Rocket has taught me anything, it’s that working together on a project everyone loves and wants to see succeed will bring those people closer together. And a group that works well together can accomplish just about anything. Don’t let the little things get you down, and never ever stop looking for inspiration. That’s the key to making something you believe in a reality.
You can follow Kyle’s work here.