Chris Parker | Emmy Winning Media Designer

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The Making of a Halloween YouTube Video

For those who haven’t seen it I made this short video for Halloween.

And now that the scares and treats are over I thought it was time to reveal a little of the special effects behind the gore.

First off I never go into a project without pre-planning every aspect, even with something as small as this video. I knew I wanted to create a Halloween video and I knew I had to make it short and sweet and on the cheap.  So I used the fact I didn’t have any money or time to my advantage by making a cheesy ‘homemade’ looking video only to surprise and hopefully shock the viewer with a realistic scare!

This is a very common technique employed by today’s filmmakers.  Adding high-end visual effects into poorly shot footage adds to the realism while really selling the effect.

I shot the master take as one continuous shot with no video lights.  It was very quick to set up and very quick to shoot and we used a hand made mask with no high-end audio.  The result was a very cheap looking amateur video with no production values whatsoever.  Add a gaudy open and corny music and voila, instant cheese.

Next we shot a well-lit, gloved hand surrounded by green cloth.  This was the money shot.  I made sure my camera was in the exact same spot as my master shot by locking it down and shooting the gloved hand with the exact same angle and distance from the camera.  This ensures I have the proper angle for the final composite.

I tracked my master footage using Mocha for After-Effects.  This plug-in allows you to track various surfaces onto your footage.  It did a pretty good job, despite the poor quality of the video.  Patience is the key to tracking video.

Next I composited the glove hand into the shot while adding the final touch with some blood splats.

There you have it, an instant Halloween video masterpiece, sort of.

One last thing, I always keep my videos, especially for You Tube or on the web under 2 minutes.  People seldom stay to watch videos longer than that on the internet.  And like Halloween candy video is always best when it’s short and sweet.

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One Comment

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