Sunday, March 23, 2008

What kind of day has it been?

Today we worked on the Bud Light commercial for XLNTads. I think we all had several different ideas for the past week, but really we're coming late to the game and couldn't do alot as per Budweiser's Guidelines. Tonight we got quite a bit done. Came up with a nifty idea and knocked it out by about 9:30pm.

Got started at about 4:30, first with a few videos for actor Chris Plouffe. I'm working on his demo reel as well as helping him produce some videos for his acting profile. Then went into the Bud Light stuff.

Got home around 10:30 and continued back on what I started the day off with. Editing Monster Cops.

What's that you say? We've barely shot anything? Correct. Plenty of test footage, rehearsal video, and fx tests. Out of all that, there's maybe 2 minutes of footage I could use and sneak into the actual movie. But editing goes beyond just cutting footage together. There is quite a bit of graphic and titling work to be done, and I might as well get started on sound effects work.

This is basically a 22 minute series pilot we're working on. So I've already created an editing timeline in Vegas starting off with the usual, black tone, bars and tone, and a countdown.

Can you tell I use to work in Television? Does anyone even say bars and tone anymore. If you don't know what I'm talking about here's the run down. We start off with black tone, which is really just a black screen. We use to call it black tone, or black burst, because back in the days of analog 3/4 inch video you had to actually have a machine that produced a black screen (called black burst or tone) that you'd record on to your video tape. 30 seconds worth because back in the day you had to make sure enough video tape had run through because the very beginning of the tape was always more at risk to be damaged or degraded in a video deck. Nowadays you don't have to worry about that, so I do about 5 to 10 seconds of black, all on the good old computer machine ;).

After a black screen, we have the color bars and tone. You may have accidentally seen this on tv late at night. Color bars are there so whoever is playing back your video can adjust their equipment to the correct industry standard colors. Again back in the day a machine put out a color bar signal. Now all I have to do is click a setting in Sony Vegas. So easy. The tone part of bars and tone means a sound tone. One long sound in order to help whoever's watching adjust their volume accordingly.

Then of course the countdown. Self explanatory. A countdown is there to let the presenter of your video no where to cue it. That way your video is ready to go when the lights go down, or when the curtain comes up, or whatever. They hit play and it's ready to go. The countdown you see here is the typical start at 8 and ending at 3. Starts at 8 because honestly 10 is just too long, and ending at 3 because those last 2 counts should be black screen and then the actual start of the movie. I made my own countdown, full of color and hues, just for the heck of it.

The episode starts off with very official looking government office graphics. I'm using actual department seals and logos, along with the Shadow Company Unit number, file number, video number, etc. Really trying to give you a feel that you're watching something produced in secret by the government.

Got to specify that you are watching a training video of sorts. As if you yourself are being trained as a Monster Cop, or that you are somehow being treated to a sneak peak into a secret government project.

After all the graphics and ID flashes and such, we go right into the action. Starting with this text. Trenton County is a fake county I've used in previous productions. I've decided to set most of the Monster Cops action in the town of Magic Valley, USA. A creepy little town I've written quite a lot about. When you watch the episode(s) Magic Valley and Trenton County are going to look like a hybrid of The Triad and DFW.

Here's the main titles for the show intro. The following pics are freezes from the intro.

The intro as it is right now only has footage from rehearsals and test runs, as well as footage from the first movie. Look it's Roy and Tabije.

Speaking of Tabije, I'm glad to say that the boys in Texas had a successful shoot last Saturday. They knocked out quite a bit of footage from the pages I sent them for this episode, and I can't wait to see it all put together with the stuff I'm shooting here.

This wednesday I hope to work on the Bud Light ads more, get some work done for ExpoTv, and hopefully get into some Monster Cops footage. I NEED A CAMERA PERSON!

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