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Five Years of Willemstan

A Willemstan Documentary

Featured Article

This article was last updated on: November 3rd 2022

Image at the top of the screen.

The thumbnail for the Five Years of Willemstan documentary.

"A truly great achievement for Willemstan."

- Dictator Izzy Beckhorn on the release of the documentary, 09/01/2022.

"As I sit in my college dorm watching this documentary for the first time, I am almost moved to tears. This time has meant so much to so many people that its hard to imagine high school without it. Wilemstan became something much more than a group of friends. It seems like a weird thing to say about a stupid group of juvenile delinquents, but its just been some of the most fun I've ever had and its genuinely sad to think that its kinda over. Sure, were still gonna see each other, but the heart and soul of the server is spread across the midwest. It feels weird, but also accomplishing. Great job, Ian. That is a very well done video."

- Eli Payton on the documentary, 09/04/2022.

Lore

Five Years of Willemstan is a documentary on Willemstan created by Ian Hampton, which covered everything from Willemstan's early beginnings to the Summer 2022 Election. Production lasted several months, and after some delay, it was released on September 1st of 2022. Click here to watch the documentary.


Production

Early Production

Ian had the idea of producing a Willemstan Documentary since early 2021. However, he waited until early 2022 to begin production in the hopes that Willemstan's story would be as completed as possible by then. On June 14th 2021, Ian informed Charlie Nolan of his idea to make a documentary on Willemstan, inviting him to work on the project with him. There were plans for Charlie to be heavily involved in the editing process, but unfortunately, by the time production and editing began, Ian and Charlie's schedules did not line up very well.

On January 6th 2022, Ian and Charlie agreed that production should start in March, aiming for a release date sometime in May. In order to make the documentary different from the Willemstan Wiki, Ian planned to interview several members of Willemstan to give new insight on Willemstan.

On February 20th 2022, Ian and Charlie decided to name the documentary "Five Years of Willemstan". Prior to this, it was tenatively titled "Willemstan - A Documentary". After the March Incident went down, Ian decided to would be wise to push the release date of the Willemstan Documentary to sometime after graduation, so that he would no longer be under the jurisdiction of Williamston Community Schools.

Writing

From March 12th 2022 - March 26th 2022, Ian drafted an outline for the documentary, as well as interview questions.

From April 19th 2022 - June 12th 2022, the script was created, with the last two chapters, "Summer 2022 Election" and "What We Leave Behind" left partially uncompleted. Following this, notable quotes from interviewed members of Willemstan were added into the script. Those interviewed included Charlie Nolan, Collin Key, Eli Payton, Izzy Beckhorn, Joey Badra, Malcolm Hollingworth, and Sean Kavanagh. Ian had wrote much of the script on his phone while at school. In the end, the final version of the script was 57 pages long and 28,526 words in length.

Editing

Video editing took place from June 16th 2022 - August 31st of 2022. The editing, while a relatively straightforward process, was very time consuming. Narrating all 57 pages of the script and re-watching all the interviews to pull out quotes took many hours. Ian had to edit how the audio was balanced several times, in order to make sure the background music wasn't drowning out his narration. A spreadsheet was made to keep track of what music was used in the documentary, in order to make sure songs weren't being overused. The opening credits shown at the end of the "Humble Beginnings" chapter was completely redone at the last minute. The opening credits was originally a loose parody of the introduction to the Weber Project.

The music used in the documentary was always going to be overused stock / royalty free music. This was done to complement the sillyness that is Willemstan. It also prevented the documentary from being copyright striked, which made a YouTube release possible. If the documentary was copyright striked, the backup plan was to release it through System IV.

Image at the top of the screen.

A chart of the distrubution of chapters in the Willemstan Documentatry by the year they take place.

Release

Ian released a trailer on April 18th 2022 in #notifications, which announced a release date of June 2022. This was going to be June 14th, but editing took way longer than expected and quickly made that release date impossible. On June 30th 2022, Ian made an announcement in #notifications, claiming the documentary would release no later than July 18th. This deadline also quickly proved infeasible. After that, Ian decided to not issue anymore public updates until the documentary was essentially completed. During early August, he debated splitting the documentary into two parts so that it could premier earlier. This idea was scrapped because the first half of the documentary still needed to have its audio corrected at the time. On August 31st 2022, Ian announced in #notifications that the documentary would be released on September 1st, and shared a promotional photo.

The documentary finally released on September 1st 2022. It was shared in #notifications as an unlisted Silly Goose video.

Image at the top of the screen.

A promotional image for Five Years of Willemstan, featuring images of Willemstan schemes the administration had figured out.