Friday, 28 January 2011

Silent Transition - The Progression of the Concept

There are kids downstairs and I think they're folks have left, and I'm about to pull my hair out. To give you an idea its 1:30 AM and I can feel the vibrations of their thumping sub shaking the couch as I type this. Ridiculous!

Anyway - on to the details of the execution of 'Silent Transitions'.

Silent Transitions was a concept revolving around the idea that believers are called to 'be still and know that I [He] am God' and it is this concept that initially got me thinking about how I can communicate the idea with some footage I already had. I had shot some stuff in New York in June and really wanted to put it to use - but after playing for a while with the NYC footage - it just felt too 'bitsy' and I needed to start fresh. ST was actually all birthed out of a single frame which I saw on someone's reel - I really liked the frame and wanted to explore how I could interpret it in my own expression: This was the frame - from Danny Yount's [Prologue] reel

So here is the progression of the piece:

- felt the phrase 'Silent Transitions' come up in my heart - with reference to psalm 46vs10
- started playing with NYC footage:

- on the way to Jerusalem - wrote the score for ST during a 14hr transit
- got back to Dubai the next day - thought about using slomo/twixtor doing massive jumps around the city
- tested jumps the next day with keying etc - it worked!
- went around Dubai the following day - shot jumps in morning and late afternoon [before and after work]
- left for SA the following day - starting messing with keying and sky replacements
- realized the NYC footage wasn't going to work
- got back to Dubai 3 weeks later...not having done much on ST as there was wedding photo jobs to be done
- played around with some grades that I based off another video
- asked my mate franzwa to act for me - he did
- edited/graded the rest
- asked luke to do the VO [I wanted the mood from the nike 'addicted' ad] - he rocked it I thought

- Mixed the SFX/VO/Score
- Merged Video from AE with audio from PT in FCP

This took me about a month to do - as I was shooting and editing before/after working hours and over weekends. If there are any questions - feel free to pop them my way.

Here are some shots to show concept progression [random]

I hope you get a glimpse into creatively how things develop for me.

I will write some more on color and twixtor and what-not when I get the chance - but for now - I'm going to bed [the noise downstairs have settled and I can now sleep in peace] - adios!



  1. Brilliant. Wondering if you would mind talking about your Protools setup? I've been thinking about composing my own music for a while now but I know so little about that world that I'm afraid to commit to any one system. Not only are your visuals stunning and mind-blowing, but the music is damn nice as well. Would appreciate any knowledge you could impart about Protools and soundtrack composition.

  2. my question is what program do you use for editing your text? and what do you use to put the clouds in? did you just treat the blue sky as a blue screen? reply back would be really sweet!

    thank you

  3. Cool. Can't wait to see the actual footage. Nice grading. May I ask how do you get the data field text effects? Is it a plug-in used in AE or and expression? Really think its dope how you use various elements in you work.

    @Rob I'd take a wild guess and say he uses AE for those aspects of the piece. You may want to google "sky replacement" and see what's out there. If not I'm sure Salomon will give you some pointers.

  4. @rob

    Hey mate - yeah i use the blue/white sky and use their luma [luminance/lightness - not color keyed - I did not use the color blue as a key] value to pull out a key- then I place the timelapse sky behind the character. Hope that makes sense for ya!

    and yes i used after effects for the grading and effects


    hey bro - thanks for the comments the data field effect is from an animation preset which comes with after effects - its called 'typewriter' check the animation presets

  5. Amazing job on the video. The narrator did an outstanding job too. Always learn something new from your blog. Thank You.

    Cheers from California


  6. man, let me just tell you - i'm speechless. This film is so inspiring. I got chills from watching it, all the way here in Nashville TN. I really connected with you on the obvious fronts (visually, sonically) but especially spiritually... very rare to see masterful work with such a powerful message.

    would love chat with you, pick your brain. I'm always trying to better myself as a filmmaker, and as a person, and i'd love to learn a few things from you.

    if you find a chance - send me an email.

    thanks - take care

  7. This is some awesome stuff right here, I like your grading!
    Is this also shot on the 7D with the Sigma 30mm f/1.4?

  8. Incredible, see what you have done with just a plug-in,:-D! I've watched this on vimeo yesterday, it's really fantastic.
    Why not post the vimeo one instead of the youtube one.Watching in Vimeo HD in more comfortable and cooler of course.

  9. Salomon you seem a bit short on time but I appreciate the insight that you give into your creative proces. I am wondering now how you "wrote the score for ST during a 14hr transit" ?? I am new to the score department and struggling. Wouldn't mind some insight in that if you've got the time.

    On a side note, I hear you on the sound overload where you live. I have 2 Russian girls living above my appartement and they are in one of the 4 best clothes designer schools of the world. They sleep like 2 hours and work through the night. I got used to the sounds of their machines now but that took about a month!

    Take care

    Wouter (creativeme2k10 on vimeo)

  10. Thanks for the (AE preset) help! By the way you should be getting endorsements for this wonderful work. I can tell you that I have a Sigma 30mm f1.4 coming soon. Never would've thought about getting one until I seen your awesome work with that lens. I know that you do this for your faith based initiatives and experimentations but you rock dude. Totally inspiring!

  11. @wouter

    yeah i have a small m-audio interface 'called' the transit USB - So I scored ST using my iphone as a midi keyboard controller and Pro Tools. My mac was running super slow but it got the job done.


    thanks dude

    @Halldor - yeah sigma 30mm f1.4

  12. Salomon, you always inspire me to be a better filmmaker. We have the same camera, the same lenses, and the same software, and yet your work is consistently blowing mine away, time after time. I wish I could climb inside your head and learn how you see the world. I am in awe of what you can accomplish. And it's all just beginning for you. The sky is the limit. Please don't stop making these films. You have too much raw talent to let them go to waste.

    For now, one quick did you do the effect where the man's face blurs into two? At 24 seconds? It seems like you motion tracked the footage back onto itself as half opacity? Is that right?

  13. Hey bro, nice stuff. Thanks for sharing. Added you to my blog roll.

    Praise God, keep it real.

  14. Great short film.
    I have a question. How do You manage to get a 1% twixtered slomo
    While timelapsing. I don t inderstand. Is there différent layers?

  15. @Le Seb

    Yeah mate - like 4 layers going. 1 top layer of the umping footge that has the sky keyed out using luminance mattes and then I used a timelapse sky clip behind that first layer at like 40 percent opacity and then lastly I used another normal jumping footage layer behind all of them so that when you see thru the 40 opacity of the sky timelapse you still have the footage sky behind all of that. makes sense?! Its confusing I know!

  16. No now i understand :)
    Well done . You re very talented.
    I discover your work/blog today, one more talented one in my favorite toolbar.
    See ya

  17. Wow! I am BLOWN AWAY by your work! You truly have a gift from God. I am a creative & have a heart to create shorts like this with Biblical messages. It would be great to collaborate sometime.

  18. Salomon thank you for giving us such tremendous inspiration and ideas towards movie making. Ur work is amazing..I just need one tip from u..can u list some steps on how ur getting the scratches? Are u using particular?And the lens hexagon blur?is it from particular too?Thank you!!Take care man

  19. Salomo your work is really awesome !!!
    Is it possible to share what's going on at the time 0:25 - 0:26 and the time 0:49 - 0:52 do you use a special technique ? Please share it in few words...

    Thank you

  20. what fonts you used here
    A! work !

  21. how did you animated the text ?

  22. AMAZING. I'm a film-student and I feel like I've just found a hero that I can look up to in this industry. You are a fantastic steward of the talent you've been given and you are unashamed of your faith. Your work is INSANE! I love how you're so open to helping with techniques too... God has seriously blessed you!

    I think a couple people have already asked this, but how do you get that "ghosting" technique, specifically with the tunnel, or the random blurring like at :58 with just the top half of his head? Is that an in-camera/lens thing or something in post, like an AE plug-in?