Video Production | Almost
Almost is a video about “I” who woke up in the game-like world, completing options to eat some cakes. This article is a report about the film produced for uni assignment.
The process consists of:
Pre-production consists of producing:
- other paperworks
- risk assessment
- filming Schedule
- shot logs
I will show full premise and outlines, and show part of script, storyboard and other paperworks.
One day, I woke up in the world where I see an option board that asks what to do, so I selected to go to town to do some activities until the option board allows me to have some cakes.
1. wake up in the park
2. take a bus to go to town
3. select activities in Churchill square
4. go to drug store
5. go to clothing store
6. go to stationery shop
7. go to café
8. phone alarm
9. end role with title
• bus stop
• Churchill square
• drug store
• clothing store
• stationery shop
• Background sounds
• singing birds
• key typing
Production phase consists of filming and rough cuts. I will briefly explain how I filmed and edited and problems I encountered and how I solved them.
Filming and recording took place over 5 days despite the plan, which was scheduled for two days, as better footage for the cake and audio for singing birds were needed.
I filmed cakes for three times in three different locations to get right lighting effect. The footage used in this project was filmed in a cafe near the Brighton station. In the footage, the natural light come through the window and hit the cake which creates heavenly atmosphere as I intended. This process illustrated that importance of having clearer image and interpret it in the script and storyboard as it helps to decide a location.
Recording singing birds took place in the park; it was difficult due to disruption of wind and traffic noise and was not successful. After couple of attempts, I decided to change the location and time; successful recording was done 6 in the morning before the traffic gets busy, in the back garden where I live. Visual images and sound effects for the scene had to treated as individual parts to achieve the best result.
Since the scenes consist of multiple shops, I asked each shop (including extra shops for backup) for permission to film. Couple of shops did not allow filming in the shop but it was not the big issue as there are plenty of shops in Churchill Square.
Sometimes, people stayed in the scene unexpectedly long time. People started to have chat in front of the camera (smartphone) as soon as filming was started in Super Drug. It happened at the bus stop too; passengers were stayed in the scene as they were waiting a bus. In both cases, I had to stop filming and leave or wait for another chance; these things need to be considered when planning filming schedule.
Scenes are edited in separate sequence such as 01 Park for scene 1 to avoid confusion, which then combined in a single sequence called “00” all toghather. BGMs that overwrap several sequences are added to “00” while BGM and sound effects that complete in a single scene are placed on individual sequence. Footage, BGMs and sound effects are located as accordingly to the storyboard.
A pre-set transition effect “Dip to white” is applied between sequences except between scene 7 and 8 accordingly to storyboard. Blur in transition is planned to apply but has not applied yet as I wanted to see if other effects (that are planned to apply in the next phase) work fine.
I used Premiere Pro, After Effects and Audition to finalise the film.
Editing in Premiere Pro
The video consists of two distinct sets, one is set in a dream and another is set a real world. The dream part is a games-like world with a touch of Impressionism in design. Impressionism is a movement of art developed in 19 centuries, described its characteristics as
A greater awareness of light and colour and the shifting pattern of the natural sceneTate, n.d.
In order to create the dream part, I used Lumetri Color and Channel Blur tools. The real part in contrast, has a natural atmosphere.
The dream part
Before start editing, I created second layer, placing footage on top of another.
Working on bottom layer
I used Basic Correction and HSL Secondaries in Lumetri Color to adjust colours and saturation. The Basic Correction tool is used to adjust overall colours, and HSL Secondaries is used to adjust colours of selected area which is “defined by a color key (Leirpoll., 2018)”. Screenshot 3 shows the result of colour manipulation; the footage is coloured vividly and became more games-like.
Working on top layer
Next step is to add a touch of Impressionism. Firstly, I changed Blend Mode to Luminosity, then applied Channel Blur. Channel Blur allows to blur RGB channels individually and prevents edges to be darkening and becoming more transparent (Helpx.adobe , n.d.). Blur direction is set to be vertical as it looks interesting. The outcomes do not reflect definition of impressionism; however, I believe they have a touch of what it looks.
The real world part
Zoom Out and Roatation
The video consists of only 15 seconds of the real world, which shows a smartphone. The footage is flat close up as I was not able to film zoom out and rotate smoothly. Therefore, the post production required to apply both zoom out and rotation effect to the footage.
The process includes adding another important effect: applying a circle mask to the smartphone for exits. The effect on exit was enabled by a circle mask that can be found in Opacity setting (Helpx.adobe , n.d). The circle shrinks slowly and bounces back and shrinks swiftly which reflects a tune of background music.
Lighting effect was applied to the footage to create a depth as it was rather flat. Depth was created but the colour was too yellow as if it was in the afternoon. I corrected colour as the scene was set in the morning.
The option button that appears in the sequence 6, which displays the last option “eat yummy cake” has a different entry style. The button rotates/spins into the screen. The effect was applied to emphasis that this is the last option which the character was willing to choose.
Editing in After Effects
Blue and red button base were created as independent composition to enable them to be able to reuse it.
The motion of option buttons changed from slide in to slide down as it did not appeared to be natural or effective. I believe slide down motion helps audiens to follow buttons easier. I learnt that multiple layers can be animated at once (Helpx.adobe , n.d.), which was very useful as it short cuts animating option buttons.
HP bar is generally static, just display the current portion of life. The HP bar is animated closing up and flashes colour in sequence 3 to emphasising its existent. HP bar is animated in sequence 7 when it hits to zero HP point; a green bar shrinks and disappears.
Warning messages appear when the character’s choice is denied. A red background slide up to one third of screen. The text message slide in from left to right, and then fade out after few seconds. The option buttons required to be blurry while message is displayed as they were destructive and footage and buttons are grey out to help audience to focus on reading messages.
Mission Completed text has two effects, one is present text transition, and another is stardust effect that moves to the right. I used a pre-set text transition and modified the speed, timing and size of text transition marching to the sound effect. I followed Surfaced Studio’s (2016) method to create star dust.
The use of Jittery Wiggly Text Effect (Kekous Tuts., 2016) was inspired from silent film intertitles and is applied to text dialogue to illustrate that the game is intended to be fun.
Whenever the character was about to eat a slice of cake in sequence 7, the text with a red background appear sand flashes. The difficult part was synchronising motions and sound effect; however, once it fits, the effect works well.
I applied a stabilise effect on the footage after completed applying other effects. However, it was a wrong timing for stabilising footage. Since I applied effects that blurs the footage, it was difficult to truck the points. I managed to stabilise footage in the end; however, it had to be done before applying effects for better result.
Typewriter effect (Anoop., 2018) was applied to the title, which appears in the last sequence. I modified the timing to synchronise to the sound effect by adding keyframes.
I used two layers to emphasise the final text. The bottom layer fades in and remains on the screen whilst the top layer fades in, and then fades out and scales up in size.
Although I recorded a crowd in a local shopping centre, singing birds and typing sounds myself the other sound effects and background music were downloaded from royalty free sites. The main works on sound effect for the post productions were:
- repositioned most of audio files for better timing
- balanced background music and other sounds, e.g. lowered the volume of singing birds
- amplified typing sounds and edited the timing by Audition
- Anoop (2018). Simple & Quickest Way To Do Typewriter Text Effect – After Effects
- Helpx.adobe  (n.d.). Video effects and transitions in Adobe Premiere Pro
- Helpx.adobe  (n.d.). Masking and Tracking in Premiere Pro
- Helpx.adobe  (n.d.). Select and animate layers
- Kekous Tuts (2016). Jittery Wiggly Text Effect | After Effect Tutorial
- Leirpoll, J. (2018). The Complete Guide to Premiere Pro Color Correction
- Surfaced Studio (2016). How to create Fairy Glitter in Adobe After Effects
- Tate. (n.d.). Impressionism – Art Term | Tate