It has been a wonderful first year of freelance editing, fortunately and unfortunately I have been busy enough to let the steady flow of content here diminish, and for that I apologize. During those busy times I have collected a pretty good back log of content that I hope to show and share over the next few weeks. I also have plans to update the look and feel of barryclegg.com to more of a website than a blog.
About a month back I got word, from Facebook no less, of Scott Lebeda’s company Good Natured Dog Productions whom he runs with his wife Alecia along with a stable of talented and creative folks, that they were looking for an editor for a spot with a quick turn around. Scott and had worked together multiple times on the road for corporate work and I had wanted to collaborate with Good Natured Dog for a while. Long story short, I emailed them and off I went on my first project with Good Natured Dog and the first gig I booked through social networking. Yet to find a gig through Twitter (@cleggthis), but I am confident this will happen at some point.
The treatment for the spots was one of real customers giving testimonials about their experiences with Roche Bros. along with BROLL of their immaculate stores. Having picked up the footage the night of the shoot, I can say without hesitation that Roche Bros has the nicest food market store I have ever been in. Roche Bros was offering $10 gift certificates for anyone willing to be interviewed for the commercial, but having watched all the raw footage I have a feeling customers would have done it for free. Roche Bros really is one of those cut above kind of stores, the kind that still helps you bring your purchase out to your car. When was the last time your super market did that?
Before we got into it I had a phone call with Scott who was going to be the main DP on the production and was informed the primary camera was going to be the Canon C300. I won’t get into all the tech specs on the C300, there are a multitude of sites on the internet that can tell you anything and everything you need to know. There were a couple tech issues I wanted to go over before we shot since I had done some projects recently with the camera. First was to insist we shoot in Canon Log so that we had a nice, flat image to color correct from. For color correction it was all done within Media Composer with some shots being masked with the Animatte tool for some secondary corrections, but I am not going to tell you which ones were which…that would take all the fun out of guessing. On top of the correction I did some minor vignetting using a 35% superimpose with a black frame and an Animatte effect with a soft feather. Below is a before and after screen shot.
As far as frame rates go, most often with spots I have been dealing with 1080p/23.976fps source footage. Great thing about working in the Avid is you can easily switch sequence formats. Scott informed me he was going to shoot in 1080p/29.97fps. I hadn’t worked in that way yet going back and forth, but I knew that Avid would give me the flexibility to do whatever I wanted. What I discovered is I could do it all in the same project. When working in 23.976, the Avid automatically puts the pulldown on each clip, which inherently makes a motion effect on each clip, so you in essence always have an effect to render or playback in realtime. Since broadcast still takes 1080i, my workflow was to edit in 1080p, then at the end any and all graphic work was done by switching the setting over to 1080i. It was easy to switch back and forth, when editing footage I had the project at 1080p with no motion effects, then with graphic work switch back to 1080i and the footage had motion effects on them. The motion effects play in real time, so there was never any performance issues in either setting.
A majority of the BROLL was shot on Canon 60D DSLR cameras. All the footage was linked via Avid AMA. The 60D footage I transcoded to DNxHD 145 before editing since sometimes the H.264 format can get a little quirky with the AMA interface, but lately I have been having good luck with AMA linked H.264 footage. With our quick turnaround though I wanted to have MXF media to sift through. Plus, I ran it overnight before the edit began. The C300 footage stayed AMA linked throughout the process.
After Effects was used to do all the graphic work, which really only consisted of the logo bug, the catering logo (which only appears on one spot) and the end tag. The main reason I used After Effects and not Avid was simply really, I just enjoy After Effects for graphical work, I think it is easier and more flexible. It gives me one project/bucket for all my graphic work and all the logos were sent to me as .eps, which means I can natively import them in After Effects and continually rasterize to keep the quality at its highest no matter how much I scale, rotate, position, etc. I rendered all the graphics at 1080i so I could have fields for the final output to the 1080i sequence.
For the end tag I used two techniques I use a lot in my day to day work. One is the write on effect. You can easily so this by drawing a mask on your written graphic and adding a stroke effect and changing the mode to “reveal original image.” By doing this you can keyframe the “start” and the logo will write on.
If you look closely at the vignette on the end tag, you will notice the left side is the red of the Roche Bros logo and the right is the purple of the Roche Bros logo. I do this a lot when a logo is over white that I normally would put a vignette on and a company’s logo is two toned. It is achieved simply by making a solid with a soft ramp of the two colors and using that as the vignette source.
Enough of the tech stuff, I want to talk about the flow of the project. The commercials were directed by Ben Zidel and he was instrumental in getting all the great content from the interviews. Ben and I agreed that I would take the first pass at pulling :30 from all the raw footage since he wanted my creative input as well. This was great since it gave me some ownership of the spots as well as being efficient when it came to the point when we both sat down to make the final tweaks. We weren’t fishing through all the raw footage, but instead making edits to the keepers I had pulled the day before. I have to give Good Natured Dog credit, the amount of usable footage I was provided was a breath of fresh air. They basically had three units in the store, C300 with the interviews/key BROLL and two 60D units shooting beauty shots. One 60D on a slider and one 60D on a steady-cam. Needless to say, we had more than enough great footage, which is always a great problem to have.
I look forward to working with Good Natured Dog in the future, they are a great group of creative people and I think these spots show that. You can see how much fun these guys have in the behind the scenes video.
Here are some more behind the scenes photos.