Friday, March 14, 2014

Morning exercises

Okay. So. In keeping with what I just posted, here's what I've come up with most recently. This is a collage of stuff I've done in Premiere, including some material that's come in from After Effects (in this case, the LED billboard effect and the smoke and text reveal effect at the very end). Most of it is just re-editing work to take mundane things and try to make them funny.

Let me break it down. First of all, "HLAF". As far as I know, no call letters in North America start with "H". That's a reference to Hamilton. My buddy Dig and I met there when we were kids and we were [ah, phone call from headhunter as I write this; interview for contract position next Monday... hi ho, hi ho, it's off again we go...] big into Battlezone, the Atari tank game. He was tank commander "Logan" (after Logan's Run, I think) and I was "Fox", a call sign I thought was cool. Anyway, we were Logan and Fox, and we both signed LAF in the high scores. Didn't matter whose score. We were kind of Lennon and McCartney about it. So, this is an homage to my friendship with him and our long traditions. In fact, most of the humour in these things pretty much springs from it. Dig makes a cameo at the start of the video as the station tech director, Ernie "Tiny Tubes" Bokstek. ("Bokstek" is another in-joke. Leave it at that.)

The second segment is my trying out an LED billboard effect in AE that I learned on YouTube. The sentiment, while somewhat crude, is simply meant to be ironic in its context. I actually saw it some years ago on a bumper sticker on a truck and I laughed so long I nearly had to pull over. It really swept me away. It's kind of stayed with me ever since. :)

The third bit is pure Premiere. It needs a little backgrounding. The audio comes from a bunch of my friends fooling around at the radio station one of them worked at back in high school (yes, we're talking nearly 30 years ago now). They were visiting him at work and he talked them into reading the script of a commercial for one of their clients. This is the first take... and it shows. I thought it would be funny to use it as the "whoops, wrong take" audio of a simple commercial for a small local business.

The next bit is also pure Premiere. I've had a disk of crappy little photo object since the 90s... photographic clip art, essentially... and I thought it might be funny to just throw a bunch of them up there and do a cheap "animated" commercial that made no sense, and really make the point by having someone jabber rapidly in Spanish. Anyone who understands Spanish will just be confused, but if (like me) you don't, then it comes across as the missing link... you'd "get" the message implied by the visual elements if only you could understand the man. Well, anyway, it's the kind of Pythonesque stuff Dig and Larry and I find funny.

Next is one of those station identification bumpers that often appears just before the start of a program. It's deliberately 80s style. "Here's a scene from one of our shows; here's who we are..." kind of thing. In this case, it's a scene from the animated Geronimo Stilton series. I put words of my own in the nephew character's mouth to lampshade the double entendre in the actual dialog, and then cut to the station intro. This, too, was mostly done in Premiere, although adding a heavily reworked bit of dialog in my own voice was done in Audition.

Finally is the title sequence for a fake BBC documentary... one of that unceasing string of documentary series they make about anything. Name a topic, they'll do a documentary series about it. In this case, I took video footage associated mostly with famous disasters (the exception is the merely comic effort at early flight at the beginning)... the Titanic, the Hindenburg, the embarrassing post-Sputnik launch failure of Vanguard 1... and wedded them to a smoke and text reveal effect created in After Effects. I think it's faintly convincing as the kind of thing they'd actually do.

So now that you know what to expect, here it is. :)

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