How We Created Our Halloween Video

November 1, 2018

For Halloween, we launched our first ever TV present/theme track/90’s revival parody with the Vidyard Family model of the Addams Family. Holiday movies are type of a convention at Vidyard, however this video outperformed any of our earlier movies by leaps and bounds.

If you weren’t fortunate sufficient to see it when it was first launched, right here it’s once more.

As a marketer who likes to make the most of video – I assumed I’d sit down with our video crew after the shoot to search out out simply how they achieved a number of the cooler points of this video. Here’s what I realized about video manufacturing, and a few insider tips you may discover fascinating, too!

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Video Production: Creating Illusions on Film

#1 The Full- Body Drag

Making of Vidyard Halloween Video - Dragging

A variety of thought went into this shot. Mat King, Video Production Manager at Vidyard, defined that it was necessary on this scene to make it appear to be Lurch was really dragging Wednesday and Pugsley and never simply strolling together with them. Mat was initially planning to have Wednesday and Pugsley crouch down and stroll slowly with lengthy steps beside Lurch, however after a couple of minutes of planning this out on set with Blake, our Creative Director, and Mat considered one other, resourceful thought.

“I just looked over at our skateboard wall and was like, oh hey – we’ve got longboards right here. Why don’t we just use these?” mentioned Blake Smith, Creative Director at Vidyard.

So Blake received in there instantly and used skateboards to assist. Blake pulled and Tyler pushed the 2 on skateboards together with his forearms. Mat coached our workers on learn how to crouch down and droop their shoulders with a purpose to create the looks of their physique weight being lifted from the again of their neck. As Mat says, giving correct route is totally crucial to the success of live-action movies:

“The ability to give direction is really important. You’re the one with the vision in mind. It’s really important that you communicate your vision well so you don’t have people just acting out their own interpretation of your vision.” Mat says that should you give individuals sequential directions, they’ll determine it out. From his expertise, “if you just give your actors one action to do, they’ll do it and then look at the camera, which pretty much always renders that shot useless, unless you’re making really tight cuts. If you give them multiple steps and let them know how to finish at the end, you’ll be golden.”

#2 Making Electrocution Look Real

Making of Vidyard Halloween Video - ElectrocuteMaking of Vidyard Halloween Video - Electrocute#

Watch this shot carefully. What is it that makes it look reasonable? It’s not really the “lightning bolt” impact, however the lights strobing within the background. But in fact, in his traditional fashion, Mat did take just a few pictures with out the strobing lights simply in case the impact didn’t work out properly as soon as they received all the way down to enhancing. He’s at all times ensuring there are alternatives to play with! The electrical currents are undoubtedly crucial right here, although. That was an impact in After Effects known as “electricity”. All you need to do is present the place you need to the present to begin and finish and it basically does the remainder for you!

The different factor that makes this scene is the props. Mat and Blake recreated their very own electrical chair with a mic stand, a metallic salad bowl, and a few additional wire taped on to the bowl. As Mat places it, “it worked out really well that the props could look homemade just due to the quirky nature of the Addams family”. While home made props are so much simpler to work with, Blake and Mat nonetheless spent a good period of time sourcing the precise props at Value Village. For instance, this bowl needed to be large enough to suit Garth’s head with out being too giant. It additionally wanted to be deep sufficient to get an excellent portion of his head contained in the bowl. There was so much to consider!

#three Turning ‘on’ the Bulb in Uncle Fester’s Mouth

This one is comparatively easy, nevertheless it’s nonetheless one thing I had questions on. I imply, clearly they didn’t plug the sunshine bulb in, so I assumed that Blake and Mat added this in post-production. Turns on the market are things like prop gentle bulbs! Garth (appearing as Uncle Fester) took one for the crew right here and wrapped some tinfoil on the top of his tongue. Whenever the cue got here to gentle up the bulb, he would simply contact his tongue to the top of the bulb, full the circuit, and voila! He did say that there have been a pair occasions he received a fairly good tingle. So watch out of this one should you’re planning any ‘light bulb lights up in mouth’ scenes.

Making of Vidyard Halloween Video - Light Bulb

#four Building Real Life Moving Photos

Making of Vidyard Halloween Video - Moving Photos

To get this shot, Mat and Blake filmed four totally different segments: one in all Lurch dusting the wall and one in all every of the individuals within the portraits. In post-production, Blake adjusted the lighting on every so that they have been all comparable, then masked out the centre of the body in order that it turned clear, moved the movies in behind the body and moved them round till the topics have been in the precise spot. They discovered the frames on-line after trying to find “Victorian, Gothic Frames” (or one thing like that!), however one factor they made certain to do was to create a backup shot with precise frames that have been on the wall. Why? Because in the event that they couldn’t discover the frames they wished on-line, they might have needed to recreate the whole scene, simply once they thought they have been finished filming!

“Usually you don’t use the back-up, but especially when you’re getting into more technical things, this can really save you.”, Mat defined.

#5 Turning V-bots Claw into the Real ‘Thing’

Making of Vidyard Halloween Video - Vbot Claw

This illustration of ‘Thing’ from the actual Addams Family is the craziest, most complex, and undoubtedly most superior impact of all the results on this video. Mat and Blake spent a number of time brainstorming how they may add Thing into the video in an genuine approach – i.e. it really simply being a floating hand, of types. (Of course, we tailored the bodiless hand to be a claw for a bit of Vidyard model infusion.) Mat and Blake decided that having the claw leap in and land on a chair was an effective way to showcase this impact, so that they created a scene to make this work utilizing Morticia, who was a stoic determine, sitting formally in an armchair.

In order to have the claw look reasonable and never simply be dragged in awkwardly by some fishing line and flip-flopping about, Blake used a two-layer course of. The first layer was shot as you see it, however with Blake sporting the claw and a blue sweater. The blue was used as a substitute for the standard “green screen” strategy as a result of we couldn’t use inexperienced as a result of similarity in coloration to V-bot’s claw. But blue is one other coloration that may be simply faraway from pictures.

The second layer known as a backplate picture was a nonetheless shot of the scene. If there was no secondary picture then when Blake eliminated his personal arm (yep – I simply typed that) in After Effects throughout post-production there would simply be a black gap the place his arm was beforehand. A crucial tip is doing this with the shadow as properly! Leaving the total shadow in would come with Blake’s arm, in order that portion needed to be eliminated. Mat described this to me saying “you couldn’t rely on the blue in this scenario to pull out the arm shadow, but you have a little more leeway with shadows because they have a softer focus and therefore a less-defined edge. If you don’t pull it perfectly, it’s unlikely anyone will notice.” And sure, you do want the shadow. Even although individuals won’t have the ability to pinpoint what’s off and not using a shadow, they’ll know one thing is!

Making of Vidyard Halloween Video - BackslateMaking of Vidyard Halloween Video - Vbot Claw

In order for Blake to take away his arm from the shot, he needed to monitor the leap of the claw so he might take away the arm all through the entire movement. Blake and Mat did all of this in After Effects though Mat defined that it is also finished in Premier – it could simply be a bit of extra time-consuming!

Take a peek into the actual enhancing course of right here as Blake explains the method to our design crew!

Killin’ It in Black and White

“Shooting in black and white comes down to adding the appropriate level of contrast and planning ahead of time”, says Mat. “It’s not enough to film in color, desaturate your footage, and move on with it.”

Mat explains that producing a black and white video includes tweaking your black tones, mid, and highlights. “If you’re going for a retro look (like we were), you up the highlights so the skin is bright. You really do need these three layers of shading to sell the contours of people in your video.”

In each single shot, Mat took a photograph on his DSLR digital camera on the monochromatic setting to get a really feel for the black and white look of the common scene. This helped him to find out if there was an excessive amount of black, an excessive amount of highlighting, or not sufficient distinction. For instance, within the scene with Pugsley chained to the wall with the apple on his head for Wednesday’s capturing follow, Mat and Blake initially arrange the shot with a crimson apple on Ji’s head. When he regarded on the monochromatic shot, although, Mat realized there wasn’t sufficient distinction and switched that Red Delicious for a Golden one!

Making of Vidyard Halloween Video - Contrast

Taking monochromatic images all through additionally helped him to regulate the publicity for every scene which made coloration balancing simpler in a while. As Mat explains, “there’s only so much adjustment you can do later on. If each scene is drastically different in grey-levels and contrasts it’ll stand out in the final product.”.

Mat taught me that should you’re utilizing the second videographer to edit footage in post-production, to verify they achieve this in full coloration and ship you the supply recordsdata in full coloration. You’ll need the change to black and white to be finished by one particular person since there may be really fairly a big spectrum of “black and white” and one particular person’s conversion might look totally different than one other’s.

The most necessary tip Mat had for these trying to create a video in black and white is to “re-approach” – or in layman’s phrases, stroll away out of your video enhancing and coming again later. Your eyes alter after one thing for lengthy sufficient so they might trick you into considering your black and white video seems well-balanced when it’s actually not. Walking away and permitting your eyes to reset will assist you optimize your blacks, mid-tones, and highlights.

Final Thoughts on Video Production

When requested if there was anything he wished our readers to find out about this shoot, Mat mentioned “it seems like this video was really simple, but it was so important that we planned this out. Without the pre-planning, storyboarding, scripting, and prop planning, it just wouldn’t have turned out like this. Oh and also, if you haven’t done anything like this before, practice. Do tests to see if your scenes are going to work, if you have your lighting on point, etc. Practicing can make a world of difference when you do it before everyone’s on set and you only have 10 minutes to complete a scene.”

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Kimbe MacMaster

Kimbe MacMaster

Kimbe is the earlier Manager of Content Marketing at Vidyard. She loves all points of content material advertising and marketing and has a particular place in her coronary heart for utilizing video to drive actual enterprise outcomes. She can be reasonably (okay extraordinarily) obsessed together with her fluffy chow chow, Noah.

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