For this project, I am the director, the cameraman and the video editor, who take charges of everything related to the video itself.
So our video project is a story about a day of a girl going through her day to her rooftop date, and the user would be able to choose several times, which will influence the development of the story. So we drew out the storyboard, which is described in this documentation post, and we split the shots into a two-day shooting schedule.
We finished the shooting on a weekend as scheduled. During the shooting, I was continuously switching through 1080p 60fps and 720p 120fps. The reason for 720p 120fps is that I need several certain slow-motion clips to help me build up the story, and 1080p 60fps is for all the normal speed shots that I transferred to 24 fps in the post-production, which is a personal preference that I think 60 fps footage could always give me more to work with. At the same time, I was using a 24mm-105mm f4 lens for all the normal shots, and a standard 50mm f1.2 lens for all the close-ups to create that dreamy look that you can see in the finale.
During the post-production, I edited all the storyline part clips in Final Cut Pro, as shown in the following screenshot, which is simply because I am more familiar with the workflow in Final Cut Pro and so much faster with it when no complicated transition or color grading is needed.
- Flume – Helix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HKVvcNOQb0
- Coasts – Oceans (Young Bombs Remix) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7C-8d0OMM8
- Stephen Hawking – “If you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is rare, and don’t throw it away.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOQtSmdl_HE
- The music I used in the storyline is Mall Grab – Happiness.
- I got rid of all the sounds in the main storyline. My partner Stephanie did record the audio through the shooting and all the sound files are shown in the screenshot below. I tried to add the audio back, but it just did not feel right. I think for the project, the images are powerful enough to tell the story.
- I got rid of the sign “NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO” and “NO MATTER WHAT YOU WEAR” in the final edit of the finale because I feel like they were being too distractive and the Stephen Hawking vocal basically delivered the same message in a deeper way, which is better.
- One important lesson I learned during the project is to check CAREFULLY about EVERYTHING before the shooting day. We planned to shoot the rooftop scenes on the second shooting day, and I borrowed a DJI drone from a friend on that day. I double checked the batteries, formatted the SD card and thought everything was fine. Then when we got to the location and trying to power up the drone, I realized that the controller battery died, which was rare but it happened. So we had to use plan B, which was using a phone to control the drone. And the result was so bad that it just would not work. So make sure to check the battery situation of literally everything beforehand.
- Another important lesson I learned is to prepare more footage for different possible styles in the edit. Originally I just had a blurry idea of what style the finale music gonna be, but when I finished the track I realized that I need more fast movement footage to fit the music, which I did not have. I tried to plan a re-shoot but failed because of time reasons so I had to work with what I got. Anyway, I will try to get more genres of footages fitting different feelings of the videos in future projects.