A large portion of the work on any video project is never
seen on-screen. This section features some of the actual
footage we used to test techniques and demonstrate proof
of concept. Technical details are found at the bottom of
the page. Note: videos require a fast connection.
this clip Michael provides a working example of the "scene
replace" technique. Notice the extension of Michael's
kitchen to include a medieval hallway. In post production
a certain area of the video was selected and replaced with
a still frame. As long as the camera remained steady, such
a replacement provided a convincing background. As shown
by the animation below Boris's dining room door was transformed
into an extension of the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
General Zaroff's house was a collection of five
different locations. Quite often, as characters moved from
room to room they would in reality be jumping between states.
In an effort to mend the differences between these locations
the filmmakers relied on several video editing techniques.
The animation to the right demonstrates the transition between
pre-production and post-production still-frames in the "dinner
The "blue-screen" effect
was a much sought-after maneuver. However in the absence
of a blue or green screen, the directors had to improvise.
In this clip Boris shows an early blue-screen adaptation
using his blue shades to mimic a mono-color screen. In the
final production a "luminance key" was used
to distinguish behind the foreground footage, and the replaced
background footage. Darker areas of the shot remained, while
lighter areas were replaced with an entirely different video
layer. The final result was quite fluid, and virtually seamless.
See if you can spot the shot using the luminance key in
Transparency is fun :)
Michael presents: Hand-Boiled
Boris presents: his eye
In the planning days of the project
the directors used video to communicate and to demo concepts.
Michael sent the following two videos to Boris. Both are
filmed in his bedroom where the film was edited. The first
video showcases Michael's costume selection for his character.
The second demos using a lens flare to mimic muzzle flare.
Although the technique was not used in the final production,
it is a viable and easy method.
Video Format: Digital8 (DV) Widescreen 16:9 720x480
Video Cameras: Sony
DCR TRV 120, 320, 520
Editing Platform: Windows
Adobe Premiere 6.0
Computer Hardware: Celeron 633@800mhz, 384mb ram, 60gb,
DLink DFW-500 Firewire, ATi Radeon VE, Dual 19" monitors
Teleprompter: Netpliance IOpener 200mhz :)
Post Production Formats: DivX 720x405 6000kbit, WMV 512x288
A couple of notes here. We were very
pleased with the Sony TRV line of cameras, and with the
Digital8 format on the whole. The cameras had some finicky
features, but nothing that you can't get used to. Digital8
is the cheapest version of DV available and provides quality
which equals its MiniDV competitor. The video is recorded
on standard hi8 tapes and thus tapes for Digital8 are considerably
cheaper. We used the Sony TRV 120, 320, and 520 models depending
on which one was available. Luckily for us all these cameras
have virtually the same internals. The 320 is the 120 with
still-picture recording, and the 520 is the 320 with a larger
LCD screen. We would advocate the use of the 120 for its
agility, cheaper price, and longer battery life. We did
not test the still-picture recording, however it is relatively
useless at the low resolution provided.
Windows 2000 is a good video editing
platform. The NTFS file system allowed for file sizes greater
than 2gb. However Adobe Premiere was really a disappointment.
We are still unconvinced that anyone has ever tried using
Premiere for a serious project. The program buckled under
the weight of a large project file. It was buggy, slow,
crash-prone, and generally presented problems whenever possible.
We really hope that Adobe can get its act together. At this
point there are no viable alternatives on the pc platform.
It makes these editors interested in trying out what the
mac has to offer.