Sat Sep 1, 2012, 08:36 PM
rocktivity (36,625 posts)
I'd like to invite my Classic Film buds to my filmmaking debut!
Last edited Sun Sep 2, 2012, 07:56 PM USA/ET - Edit history (16)
I've made a couple of videos before, but this was the first one I found myself approaching as a "serious" filmmaker -- it turned out to be a real education!
It all started with EarlG's latest "Photoshop Fun" thread -- he puts up a "blank" visual for you to download, improvise upon, and upload. (No Photoshop skills, no problem. Just post your idea, and if a graphically correct DUer really likes it, you've literally got it made!)
This time around, we were invited to create "appropriate" background visuals for the Republican National Convention stage -- they ranged from swatiskas to the Titanic to Jesus chasing out the moneychangers to Ronald Reagan. I collected about three dozen of the images for the video, thinking that I'd just line them up to music. But it came out all wobbly -- I wanted the effect that only the backdrops were changing. Which meant that I was going to have to get artistic about it.
First, I converted the visuals to the proper 16-to-9 ratio video format. That eliminated most of the wobbling, and I synchronized the remaining visuals by re-creating them from scratch. Now that it animated perfectly, the next step was to create a "narrative flow" instead of just having the backdrops come up haphazardly. Should I put the one of Ayn Rand next to the sinking Statue of Liberty? Should I switch Code Pink and the 1040 tax form, even if it means having two black-and-white visuals in a row? Would including Hitler and the KKK be "too much?" Is there enough time for you to "read" that Clint Eastwood is talking to a chair, or would I be better off with a tighter shot of him? Is this how Cecil B. DeMille got started?
At this point, I saw a video another DUer had done based on the backdrops. It contains special effects, and I think the choice of soundtrack is beyond brilliant: Adele's Rolling In The Deep (I mean, if that doesn't describe three days with the RNC, nothing can!). I thought, "Either I come up with a song idea that's at least that good, or I might as well quit right now."
I'd decided that the closing backdrop would be a satellite photo of Hurricane Issac, and I'd read that it had caused a New Orleans levee to overtop. That made me think of Led Zeppelin's cover of When The Levee Breaks, which also happens to mention Obama's political hometown of Chicago. (Which in turn got me to thinking that the video should end on an "up" note!)
Anyway, here's where you can find my "summer blockbuster." And now I'd like to thank all the little people in the DU Classical Film Group for introducing me to high artistic standards and not settling for just being good enough!
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