Trouble at the Old Mill IV: IT – Behind the scenes

MacBook Pros have been disappearing all over Jigsaw24 HQ, and there are reports of a mysterious red balloon making its way around the office. Three intrepid team members headed down to the depths of the basement store room to take on the ghoulish clown causing all the trouble…

We had a blast filming the latest instalment of Trouble at the Old Mill, starring our very willing junior copywriter Joe as the titular clown. Aside from a rubber mask, some face paint and a bright yellow raincoat, our kit list for filming the video featured a range of great products from Canon to Adobe. Our director and in-house videographer Simon let us know what was used to create the Halloween magic…

The kit

CAMERA: Canon C100

“The C100 is nice and simple to use,” says Simon. “The controls are quite similar to Canon’s DSLRs, so setting white balance, aperture and ISO is all very quick and straightforward. It’s also pretty compact for carrying around and setting up – the camera, lens, multiple mics and power all fit in one backpack-style camera bag.

“The camcorder is known for its ability in low light, which was useful for some of those dark storeroom shots where I bumped the ISO up pretty high without the noise getting unbearable. I tried out a different picture profile for this video than I usually use for normal corporate videos. The ‘cinema’ profile is very flat in tone and desaturated in colour, which provides greater scope for grading later on.”

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“One thing that I wish this model had (which the C100 Mk II and other cameras in the range have) is higher frame rate shooting options. A couple of shots would have looked really good in slow motion, but at 25fps I couldn’t slow it down without the image visibly lagging.”

You can still pick up the Canon C100 Mk I at only £2039, or treat yourself to the C100 Mk II at only £2999, which now comes with a FREE Atomos Ninja Blade!

LENS: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Telephoto Lens

“This range of focal lengths provides great versatility without having to keep buying and swapping lots of lenses. I used the longer focal lengths (and positioned myself further from the subject) for getting shots with nice shallow depth of field, and shorter ones for fitting everything in the shot where space was restricted. At 2.8L it’s also pretty fast, which again helped in those low light situations.”

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MICROPHONE: Sennheiser MD 46 Handheld Cardioid Dynamic ENG Microphone

“I’d never used this mic before, but my usual lapel and shotgun mics were picking up too much background noise when we were trying to record dialogue in a noisy office. Its intended use is for reporters, so it’s very directional and cuts out a lot of peripheral sound. This meant we had to position it very carefully when trying to pick up multiple voices, hence some very precarious boom setups (that actually appear in the video once or twice if you look closely…).”

The Sennheiser MD 46 is just £190 right now!

MICROPHONE: Rode NTG-2 Shotgun Condenser Microphone

“For backup, and because I had a spare channel I thought I may as well use, I kept my usual shotgun mic attached to the top of the camera and pointed at the action the whole time. I didn’t end up mixing this into the edit very much, but at low levels it occasionally added a subtle ambience when combined with the Sennheiser.”

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LIGHTING: Photoflex Medium Starlite Kit

“We have two big softboxes and a smaller Dedolight. I don’t really have any clue on how you’re meant to use these, but spent a lot of time aimlessly moving them around so everyone else would think I knew what I was doing.”

If you know more about lights than Simon, we’ve got the Photoflex Medium Starlite Kit for £440

 

The editing software

INGEST: Adobe Premiere Pro and Media Encoder

“One feature in Premiere Pro which I’m a big fan of is Proxy Workflow. I set the project ingest settings to automatically create proxies, so whenever I imported from the browser window into the project in Premiere Pro, Media Encoder would open and do its thing in the background. This then meant I could edit with lower resolution previews, so there was none of the frustrating stopping and starting that can occur when working with full HD footage. There’s a simple toggle switch for going between the proxies and the full res files, which I used when working on finer detail grading and sharpening.”

EDITING: Adobe Premiere Pro

“I used Premiere Pro for sorting through the source files, adding markers at points in the shots that I thought I was going to use, and started dragging clips on to a timeline. Because the video has distinct scenes, with different looks and sound requirements, I edited each one separately in a nested sequence, then lined them all up and worked out the transitions between them on a master sequence. I used a lot more film dissolve and crossfades from the Effects pane than I would on a normal corporate video to try and get the edits flowing smoothly and to accentuate the atmosphere of the scenes.”

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COLOUR CORRECTION AND GRADING: Lumetri Color in Premiere Pro

“Lumetri Color is an incredibly powerful and versatile colour tool in Premiere Pro. My process with it was to use its ‘basic’ controls to hone the white balance and overall levels so that the shot looked neutral. Then it has a set of ‘creative’ controls for giving the footage more of a distinct look.

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“After trying out a LOT of third party LUTs, I ended up using the same one throughout (but increased and decreased in strength), which just seemed most natural with the footage we’d shot and added an extra level of consistency between shots. I did all of this on adjustment layers above the source footage on the timeline so that each clip was treated the same without having to go in and apply to each individually.”

SOUND MIXING: Premiere Pro

“All of the sound was mixed in Premiere Pro too. The source footage generally needed some gain control for consistency between clips and then a bit of EQ, compression and a tiny hint of reverb. I also used noise reduction for most of the dialogue because the ambient office sounds were distracting and inconsistent between shots. Because it then sounded unnaturally quiet between lines, I mixed in a stock effect of an office environment.”

SPECIAL EFFECTS: After Effects

“Titles and a few special effects were done in After Effects. The dynamic link between the apps allows me to see the graphics I’m working on in After Effects over the video footage in Premiere Pro instantly.

“Trying to make the cloud of bats was my first experience with the Particle World effect. I think it’s more designed for small, non-descript particles that look like rain drops or suchlike, but I applied it to a bat shape I made in Illustrator and it turned out pretty much how I wanted.”

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“The clown coming out of the computer was also my first go at filming against a green screen. I tried to get the lighting even and consistent with the shot I needed to composite it with while shooting, then used the Keylight effect in After Effects. Playing around with the Keylight controls managed to isolate the clown how I wanted, but I found I still had to animate a couple of masks frame by frame to get it looking right as it moved in and out of the laptop.”

Find out more about Adobe’s great video-editing apps here.

You’ll save too… check out our scarily good savings at www.Jigsaw24.com/offers, get in touch with the sales team on 03332 400 888 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, events and hauntings, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or like us on Facebook.

 

Becki
Becki
Call us: 03332 409 306

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