Monday, 13 September 2010

The Last Call BTS

First off - I am in no way a VFX guy - but I just tried this to see what would happen if I applied myself a little. AE is now a goal - a program to master - or at least understand more adequately.
Don't have much time to write about this today, but thought I'd quickly do a little behind the scenes write up - for the few that have asked to see some of the precess [mr digifrutella!].

I've been listening to's podcasts [ - listen to #106] and they recently did an interview with the VFX geniuses who worked on Inception - so in comparison - what I did here feels like childs's play. But I felt completely inspired to push things further - visually. A behind the scenes short [] on the sound design of Inception also left me feeling syched to push things further sonically.

In the above shots I added lens flares [VCPLT's Optical Flares] and sky replacements. I used it to push the mood a little more towards ominous/urgent - storm-like.
I also heavily graded the footage and added grads to the sky.

Its very basic - I used techniques that I found on Andrew Cramer's And for the heart rate monitor graphic - I used a technique which I found from some obscure website - only half the tutorial would load - so I kept the graphic VERY basic [I could've added some grids and stuff - but even just the graphic felt like it could have been too much - but I needed some visual there in indicate 'life']

Thanks again to Dan DiFelice for all the input - you insane bra!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Four Hundred Years BTS

Thought I'd quickly throw this out there.

A few weeks back I was given the task of coming up with a little film around The Word of God - for a course our church is running in October. I had an initial idea of what I wanted to do - but when I started shooting - around our home, it just didn't seem to work.
The idea of 'Heaven was silent for 400 years' - a historical fact - jumped out at me as I was chatting to my wife about my frustrations of trying to shoot the initial idea. She then came up with the idea of having the Bible come together in mid air - and we started thinking about how we were going to go about filming it. Initial thoughts were having only 1 continuous shot - but when I started working on the score it became clear that I was going to need a lot more footage. Thus, when it came to shooting we had to make sure we got the action from various angles. I shot it at 60fps and quite a high shutter speed [so that we could slow it down even further in Twixtor]. It was probably 7 am in the morning and the sun wasn't casting ugly shadows - that helped when it came to sky replacements too.

The shoot took about 2 hrs, and post pro and audio probably 6 full days [12-14 hrs per day].

The sky replacements were only done in the first part of the film so as to help set the mood - create tension - echoing the line '...holding fast to the hope, that one day, the silent skies will break open.'

This is brief, but if there are any questions - throw it out.


Sunday, 5 September 2010

On being 'technical' or rather 'non-technical'

I have this strange dilemma - I'm not at all technical. I wish sometimes I was better organized with my Final Cut Pro Sessions, could navigate more easily through my AE sessions, or could keep track of my latest bounced track in Pro Tools. Reality is - I work in the midst of chaos - [except when things get lost and I really can't find them again].

I reckon this will change soon tho I as have more work piling up and greater opportunity for collaborating - I am slowly but surely trying to make the creative process a tad more organized - but it's a battle!

I really don't know how to do much in any of the programs I use
Here are some of the things I struggle with in the 'creative' process [maybe it encourages others to just got for it, in-spite of what they do or don't know]

1. I don't know how to use the render-Que in After Effects [I always just export]
2. I don't know how to read music.
3. I don't really know how to master music - but use Izotope Ozone 3 until things sound good or I can't hear clips anymore
4. I don't fully understand mattes in After Effects
5. I use bits of tutorials to help me amalgamate ideas into a concept/execution
6. English is not my first language.

Despite all the above-mentioned I still get the 'work' done. Partly because there are things that I have learned - skills that I have developed. I think the key to seeing a concept go from stupid to amazing is linked to how much time your willing to invest in it. Obviously the idea needs to at least have some life - but the execution needs to take time. Its important to labor over an idea - take a break - then look or listen to it again - work some more - take a break - then look and listen some more.

I honestly feel like I don't know too much, but at the same time I also feel that there's nothing that can NOT be done - Its all about collaborating and having people around that can sharpen you or that can do the things you can't do - its about working in team and allowing your self time and space to be objective.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Second of Many

This is going to be the 2nd of many 'choose-the-look' posts. The idea is to get input from other people - especially other creatives - so as to lock in on a 'look' that would serve the heart of the story/truth the best. I do have my wife and she is brutally honest with me about most of the audio/editing/pacing issues - but this is something that could be way more collaborative - and I really benefit from the input.

The reality of living in the middle east and working for a church, is that its very easy to become isolated. Isolation is no good! It kills creativity.

Its awesome having a mate like Franzwa in the church office who can help out and give perspective too. He's our graphic designer at church. He just bought a 550D and and it was sick having him out shooting with us.

Here are a few stills from the clip i've been working on.- Keep the theme 'for 400 years Heaven was quiet' - [Desolation] in mind. This is being played along with 'The Last Call' clip for the first time today - so thematically they kinda work together.

Again I've got an idea for which grade or 'look' to go for - but I wanted some more input. I had an initial idea [even started shooting some stuff for it] for this but scrapped it on Sunday while I was chatting to my wife in the car - I was telling her what I had already shot and what I was envisioning for it - when while in mid thought - this idea came to me....Sorry you're going to have to wait for it - because vimeo won't let me load up any more videos as i've used up my limit for the week with 'Last Call'

The video is done and is being shown today at church but i did a very strong contrast render seeing that the projects at church are poor. I'll do a more vintage render for the website I reckon

This was done as to promo a course our church is running in a study of the Word Of God. Again - I could have made a 30 second little mograph piece, but I wanted a little 'story' to drive the message home - its my natural affinity [I'm trying to develop an understanding of mograph and 3D but haven't had time to give it due attention]. If I had better mograph skills like friends of mine Dan DiFelice and Glenn Stewart, I'd put them to use here - but alas - I don't know Cinema4D and I have not had too much experience in the area of motionography. For now, I'd rather stick to audio and 'cinematography' and then hope for the best.

I did more but I reckon these are my favorites

So which one?

Picture 1. Bluetone
Picture 2. Vintage Purple
Picture 3. Church Hi-Contrast
Picture 4. Vintage Green