As the first official post, I wanted to start of with projects that I have both directed and edited. Two good friends of mine for years were getting married, and instead of having your typical flat art video, I recruited a group of mutual friends and we decided to take it one step further. Andy and Erin are both seasoned musicians, so we of course came up with the mockumentary shell of Behind the Music.
Luckily, Andy and Erin were getting married at Brookridge Community Church, which has a state of the art audio and video system, complete with dual 16×9 screens at the front of the church. Usually something like this would play at a rehearsal dinner, but with the ease of playback at the ceremony venue, it was determined it would play there for all to see. Andy and Erin both knew there was a video being created, but they thought it would be about 3 minutes of baby pictures and such.
The interviews were shot on green screen with a Sony DVCAM 570. I did this because I wanted to work in DV25 off my external hard drive, but I knew going in I wasn’t going to get a great key with 4:1:1 color space, but I also knew that my viewing audience would never tell because this whole thing was a surprise and they concentrating would be on that and not the blocky edges. The second reason was the playback was actually going to be a Windows Media File off a Media Shout playback system in SD. The third and final reason was the majority of my BROLL was digital flat art at varying dimensions, so having a 864×486 canvas gave me more room to do moves than an HD raster.
All the interviews were done at the same focal length and angle, the only reason people go from a left composed shot to a right composed shot is a simple flip in the SpectraMatte. The backgrounds I found on Google images and just tried to find ones that matched the “characters.” For example I found drum kits for myself and Bill, a corporate office for Mark Lonergan and, the best one, a basement that I spray painted in Photoshop for Brian, the ultimate BlindSight fan. On the backgrounds I used the Avid 3D Warp tool with a little bit of defocus and GenArts Sapphire vignette for some depth of field. I also used the vignette on all the flat art. When using the Avid Pan and Zoom tool I used the Sapphire plug-in, when I did off access moves in After Effects I just put a soft mask around a black solid and overlayed it over the pictures.
We had a blast writing it, but the most fun came in the production of it. The night of the interviews people were coming and going at weird times. In fact, my interview wasn’t even an interview, it was just me answering my own questions in my head in an empty studio. Erin’s two sisters were shot in the cafeteria of a Holiday Inn in Andover, MA. They flew in for the bachelorette party and we played production crew/interference with Erin and her friend to keep it secret.
The secret was almost given away when, half way through the edit I realized this was going to be way longer than my original 6 minute goal. I called Andy and asked when it was going to be playing during the ceremony, and he told me right in the middle. I informed him that what was going to be playing may run about 15 minutes. Needless to say he was taken back by that and asked what could possible take 15 minutes. I believe my answer was “don’t worry…it is going to be awesome and you guys are going to love it.” And you know what, they did.