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Old March 19th, 2007, 11:45 AM   #1
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Music Video (CG / DV project for WarBros)

This is the most recent music video for 'Eisley' for the song 'Memories'.


http://www.eisley.com/journals/trolleywood/_24546/


It was a one day shoot (8hrs or so), shot on an XL-1s, crane, track, dolly. The set was a gym coverd, and i mean coverd in white butcher paper.

All the post work was done in FCP, Combustion, Lightwave, and Vue Infinite. I did more or less everything except for some 'grip' work done by some servant hearted Eisley fans. Probably about 2 months of post work on a Powermac G5.

Never aired on TV (as far as I know) but it seems to have done well online (youtube and myspace mostly). Can't post a QT version of the video (sorry, WarBros rules), but they do have a decent flash version up on their web site (above). Great band by they way, very lovely people (all related to boot).
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Old March 19th, 2007, 01:38 PM   #2
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Cory,

This was extremely well done and the visuals worked beautifully with the singers and the music. I loved the number and the visual treatment (and I'm an old fart of 68). The whole experience was captivating and much like a beautiful dream.

The following comments reflect personal prejudices and are not to be taken as criticisms of your really neat piece of work.

The old film effects: I think many in the industry are forcing us to try to "hang onto" the old film look to the point where it is being applied to too many works that either do not need it or where it may be totally inappropriate for the visuals and mood of a production.

My opinion: The application of old film effects approaches and actually moves into the second area above. The post added graphics/animations and the interactions with the singers was done so smoothly and so beautifully dramatic that to me it belongs to a modern era of efforts and art. Mode of dress, hair styles, and physical moves of the singers all definitely "state" NOW kind of time frame. And so to me the old film effects not only were somewhat "jarring" but do not belong.

Again it's my personal feeling, but I think your production approaches visual perfection until the harsh jumpy film frame transitions and old scratches literally slap me in the face.

But what a beautiful piece of work! I'll be returning to that site to enjoy it a few more times.
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Old March 19th, 2007, 02:46 PM   #3
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Fantastic work! While I also believe that the "old film look" has been done to death, it fits so well here so kudos. The song is very nice too. I dont listen to alot of this type of soft/emo stuff, but together with the video work, its pretty infectous! Well done sir.

How long did post take?
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Old March 19th, 2007, 04:47 PM   #4
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Great work. I agree with Jason that the "old film look" is a little tired but you put it to good use on this video. Very well done and visually interesting. The song was a little soft for me as well but the video kept me listening from beginning to end. You definitely got the most out of the XL1S. The white set looked good. How did you get the butcher paper on so seamlessly? Did you clean that up as well in post?
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Old March 19th, 2007, 05:42 PM   #5
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Appreciate the comments. Insightful and honest, just how i like em.

This video took a rather unusual route getting made on a lot of levels, very 'indie' considering it was for a 'major label' band. The great thing about it was that me and the band really got to do the video as we pleased (just not a whopping budget..ya know). I was really trying to make a video that embodied the 'identity' of the band, a video that really connected with them as opposed to just being a 'hip' video they so happen to be in. The band is very young/new but has a very strong nature infused, earthy quality to it as well. Imagine a family living in the woods reading fairy tales writing songs around a fire all while sipping starbucks and typing away on their matching mac books. So the attempted feel of the video was one that was modern and progressive while still retaining a earthy, 'antiqued' quality. More a video for the fans than a general populous. I understand all the comments of the 'old footage look' getting over used, I'm sure its true (actually, i notice it more now that i've finished) but it didn't factor in here, hah, we were really trying to completely avoid any 'trendy' maneuver and just do what was true to the band (sadly, not always easy).

I worked on the video for 2 months in post. There was about a month of heavy pre production work and months of slow pre pre production before we really nailed down production dates. There was a lot of 'low budget R&D' while doing this, hurt my brain but it was a fun challenge. I had to double up a bit of the butcher paper but i really cranked up the white levels to blow out the seems, plus there was as good amount of roto work done to really isolate the musicians.

I can post some stills to show the 'before - after' of the footage which will probably make my post skills look impressive or my shooting skills look bad. I 'grew up' as an animator/post person but, I'm trying to change that though so i'm not such a "uh....we'll fix it in post' kind of guy.
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Old March 19th, 2007, 06:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Sheldon View Post
Appreciate the comments. Insightful and honest, just how i like em.

This video took a rather unusual route getting made on a lot of levels, very 'indie' considering it was for a 'major label' band. The great thing about it was that me and the band really got to do the video as we pleased (just not a whopping budget..ya know). I was really trying to make a video that embodied the 'identity' of the band, a video that really connected with them as opposed to just being a 'hip' video they so happen to be in. The band is very young/new but has a very strong nature infused, earthy quality to it as well. Imagine a family living in the woods reading fairy tales writing songs around a fire all while sipping starbucks and typing away on their matching mac books. So the attempted feel of the video was one that was modern and progressive while still retaining a earthy, 'antiqued' quality. More a video for the fans than a general populous. I understand all the comments of the 'old footage look' getting over used, I'm sure its true (actually, i notice it more now that i've finished) but it didn't factor in here, hah, we were really trying to completely avoid any 'trendy' maneuver and just do what was true to the band (sadly, not always easy).

I worked on the video for 2 months in post. There was about a month of heavy pre production work and months of slow pre pre production before we really nailed down production dates. There was a lot of 'low budget R&D' while doing this, hurt my brain but it was a fun challenge. I had to double up a bit of the butcher paper but i really cranked up the white levels to blow out the seems, plus there was as good amount of roto work done to really isolate the musicians.

I can post some stills to show the 'before - after' of the footage which will probably make my post skills look impressive or my shooting skills look bad. I 'grew up' as an animator/post person but, I'm trying to change that though so i'm not such a "uh....we'll fix it in post' kind of guy.
I would love to see some before and after stuff.
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Old March 19th, 2007, 09:35 PM   #7
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Here are 3 'steps' in the process. This is probably the worst footage of the day. As you can see the footage was dark, vignetting was a problem throughout blah blah all around not ideal. So from A-B was a lot of level adjustment, cranking up whites to get rid of the little creases and what not, a lot of rough/garbage rotoing to isolate people.

Any specific questions, feel free to ask.

http://homepage.mac.com/crpcory/images/eis_3up.jpg
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Old March 20th, 2007, 01:07 AM   #8
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Wow you did a hell of a job cleaning that up. I have trouble just getting my CC right and I can't imagine the work that went into this.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 06:55 AM   #9
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Cory, thanks for sharing your work progress. Again, very nice work. I hope you share your future projects on here.

-burk
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Old March 20th, 2007, 12:15 PM   #10
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Thanks,
Yeah it was a bit of work. To be honest I was a bit worried when i first looked at the footage (I wanted a WHITE background and it looked more like %50 gray). Most of the other shots weren't nearly that bad though. I knew i could get away with the noise of 'over correcting' knowing what the finished look was going to be. The one girl was pretty pale, it got tricky at times making her not disappear (my only wardrobe rule was don't wear white). That was mostly done in Combustion, really great tool. I got it back when they dropped the price from 5k to 1k. I have a feeling it may die off though sadly for the mac, but hopefully whatever new Apple/Shake product comes out will be at least as good if not better.

I may be doing another video for them at some point over the next year as they have a new album coming out, it'd be nice, they're such good people. I might give in and finally do a feature soon since I'm not allowed to die until I do one :)
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Old March 20th, 2007, 07:29 PM   #11
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I have actually worked with the girls before and this is a great example of a music video inspired by the artist. This is obviously inspired by Sherri's artwork, very Tim Burton-esque. I love these kids and I hope Warner gets their act together because they have limitless potential. They could have sold 500,000 already but the stupid label has been putting it off forever. Grow a pair Warner!



ash =o)
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 01:52 AM   #12
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Really nice work.

Usually I'm a little put off by a lot of the imagery found in the video as it tends to be a little overused in design nowadays (butterflies, vines, trees, flowers, etc). However, you've rendered some really unique versions of these things and it gives them a fresh feel. It's apparent you're executing your own vision and I think that's fantastic.

Thanks for sharing with us.

-Sean-
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 08:26 AM   #13
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I was wondering what techniques you used to create your motion effects. What frame rate you shot at? What kind of post manipulation?
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 09:41 AM   #14
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This video was really a 'post project', the physical shoot was rushed (8hrs, zero chance of getting more time) and very 'guerilla'for technically being a studio shoot. I won't get into what my camera settings were, becuase honestly I don't remember half of what it was and in hind-sight I would have changed some of it anyways (I feel dirty for how much 'auto settings' I ended up using). My goal was just getting the bare minimum of acceptable footage and fix it all later due to the time crunch.

The trickiest part of the actual shoot was probably matching up multiple audio playback speeds in a 'single' shot. The band actually made a comment early on about how they thought that whole speed-up-playback-for-'slomotion' effect was kind of cliche and annoying, to which i replied, 'well, there's going to be a ton of it in this video'. We laughed, they loved how it turned out. The Really tricky part was mixing multiple speeds into a single tracking shot, it was just mediocre math and some cheating while compositing it all together (oh how i lusted after some motion control equipment). Using a true 'pixel analysis/morphing' time-remapping tool really helped out too (i used twixtor).

The other tricky part was matching 3D with the footage, no tracking software, all done by hand. On top of the all the Vue material (anything with leaves) had to be 'frankensteined' into Lightwave. Vue xStream (not out for the mac...grrrrrr) would have made life a lot easier but, cest la vie. Every shot was composited in Combustion. Most CC was done there too. Just a lot of hand tracking, roto work, kind of a 'real elbow grease' approach to compositing. I really enjoyed the 'mix' of effects going on, the advantage of working so independently I guess if you like doing all aspects of the film making process, keeps things fresh for me.

If you have any specific questions about how I did any particular shot just let me know. I did cut a little 'making of' featurette, if they ever do a dvd it might make it into that.

Thanks for the feedback everyone.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 10:55 AM   #15
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Did Devin like it? (I know he did :-) )
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