This film has definitely been the most technically complex of the films that I’ve made for this project so far. It is also significantly different in terms of how I’m creating and telling the story visually. I’m using everything from motion graphics to composited green screen footage to live performance mixed with projected images and so on. Whereas the other films have all been shot over the course of a day, this one took two days of shooting a week apart to get all the footage I needed.
The first day was entirely shot against a green screen. I was somewhat nervous going into this shoot. I’ve worked with green screens in the past and I’ve never had great luck getting a really good key from them (for the not-so-tech-minded, a “key” is used to separate the subject from the background – in this case, green – and replace it with a different background). The critical element when shooting against a green screen is getting even light across the green. If the background is lighter in one place and darker in another, it gets really hard to pull a good key without loosing pieces of the subject as well. It took about an hour and a half or so to get the lights set up and positioned well; but when it was all done, I’m happy to say that I ended up with a pretty well-lit green screen. I was stoked.
We spent a couple hours shooting against the green and got a good batch of footage. I then spent the next week working with the footage in preparation for the second shoot. The second day of shooting consisted of one more green screen shot and then the musical performance section of the video. I set Sherman Thomas (the artist performing the song in the video) up in front a plain, white wall in my living room and aimed a projector at him. All of the motion graphic and compositing work I had been doing over the last week was run through the projector as he performed. We also had a pair of lights focused on him and run through a dimmer pack and control board so we could bring him in and out of the projected image by brightening and dimming the lights. Visually, I’m really pleased with how it all turned out. I think this is going to be a fun video.
I shot a few pictures over the course of the two days of filming and put them up on Flickr here.