I am simply writing a collection of notes on my experience in creating the videos that the police department needs. A lot has happened since I kickstarted this project and it is about time I put it onto paper. These notes will be posted in four parts this week. This fourth and final (for now at least) installment of my Production notes provides a little information on the tools we have used.
I will finish off with an incomplete list of the tools used thus far and their functions.
First off is the megaphone. That's the tool used by me, the director, to call out my commands. When I say "Quiet on the set" in that thing the location really does become quiet.
The GoPro was needed for the underwater shots. The first day we used it the water was so green on camera the video was unusable. We re-shot that footage on a hot day later in the afternoon when the sun was over the pine trees. I also aimed all the lights we had into the pool and that really helped brighten things up. On that first day the video was also shaky which is very pronounced with its very wide angle lens (170 degree FOV). The reason - Erik was shivering in that pool!
I bought a handlebar mount and attached it to a pool rod and that really helped improve the quality. It also gave the camera operator more control on camera position!
Reflector: Did exactly that- bounced the bright sunlight available to fill in shadows on-screen.
Blue Yeti mic The first THX certified microphone, this thing is amazing! You can really tell the difference from the on-camera mic. The sound is richer and there is no operating noise heard such as moving the zoom lever on the camera.
Television One thing I noticed from the first day was that I needed to bring a TV on set. It helped with framing and it meant I didn't have to push EriK aside to see what the camera saw.
Tripod Dolly I made a dolly before which meant I didn't have to waste time building it during this project. It helped create a dramataic close-up of Mrs. Polik's reaction to Elise's pool death.
Final Cut Pro 7 Our editing suite of choice, this gives so many creative and organizational options that are not available with iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. Good work Apple!
PFHoe Pro **_or _CameraTracker** This software is so cool. It is not something I ever wanted or plan to use later down the road but it became evident that something like this was needed for this particular project. What it does in a nutshell is pick a bunch of points in a video and tracks those pixels. From these data paths it is able to calculate the camera move that was performed on set in 3D space. This information is then used in compositing software such as After Effects to place objects (such as the swarm of minature cleaners) into the 3D space. So when that camera zooms in, that greenscreened object placed on the ground grows and stays on that point on the ground.
The new estimated completion date is somewhere in September. The entire water safety video has been shot and is now entering the editing process. We have already began filming the litterbug video and plan on filming more next week!