Storming the castle–my first foray into Adobe After Effects

First off, watch this:

This little “movie preview” had a two-fold purpose to it.  The first, was to do something cool for my very good friend, Tim, who is a Marine, and his little boy, Chace.

Second, I needed a rationale–a reason to experiment with my new Gopro camera and the subsequent editing issues.  So I hauled my gritty, DIY equipment out to the neighboring-and-previously-lived-in-by-me Bella Vista, Ca., and shot the footage for this.

Basically the idea was to have them”run around with guns” in various ways.  I had no idea what I was going to do with the footage.  The only thing I thought I might do is the part with the suspended muzzle-shot and shell, which of course was hashed out by me in this clip here first:

As an aside, no Clara is not pointing anything other than a Red Rider bb gun at the camera.  I wanted her to use my .410 shotgun, butI figured, living in a residential neighborhood, along with the fact that I have my own nefarious Gladys Kravitz living across the street, I better just dispense with that temptation.

So, as a note, the movie trailer thing only hit me when I realized I didn’t have enough footage to make anything cohesive as a story arc–so instead, I created a synoptic cut-across – to story that does not exist.

It’s obvious, if you’ve seen my fly-fishing film, that the helicopter is an .obj composite (technical term–just think”fake”)–it isn’t real.  But I did my dead-level best to make it real.  The mine blast is horribly done by me, but hey, I can only try to channel Andrew Kramer so far before I start running with a wheel in the sand.

My favorite part of the clip is this:

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 9.48.43 AMMy reason for this is … well, because before this scene came to fruition, the raw footage looked like this:

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 9.52.13 AM

That’s right.  EVERYTHING in film is a lie. I decided–since my friend Tim likes to say “have fun storming the castle!” to put Preston Castle in the film.  And believe me, getting it masked into the tree line was no mean feat.  It took me hours to key out that sky and put another one in.

The helicopter was a piece of cake, after all that.

Anyway. I just thought someone might find this interesting.  I now notice everything in film, in fact I’m actually distracted by the things I know were altered, since my brain is now thinking artistically, instead of at he consumer level.  At least with video, which is okay with me, because I feel no great loss from “not having seen” movies anyway.

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2 Responses to Storming the castle–my first foray into Adobe After Effects

  1. Tim Taylor says:

    Now you’ve got me wanting that editing program! Oh, and great job on the trailer, even the little explosion 🙂

  2. Ron Giesecke says:

    Yeah, that explosion took me hours to compile. I knew I wanted to it,and the requisite line that set off that bit of composited, slapstick humor was already written in my head.


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