Over the course of three days for about an hour a day, Naked City Brewing let us record some their process of making Loaded Pictures 2012 Winter Ale. Just about everyone in the studio were able to record some footage either with a Canon 5D or a Sony FS100. Don Webb and Isaac Hatter were great to record and very generous with their knowledge about what was going on in the process and the process overall. Many thanks to Naked City Brewing for a) letting us film in their space and b) brewing such a great beer. If you find yourself up in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle, swing by Naked City Brewing and have some Bindlestiff on tap, while supplies last. You might want to limit yourself to one; it packs a whollup.
Reference for the title cards:
I found some great wood cut block prints by the artist Felix Vallotton and just loved the mixture of graphic and illustrative qualities that their had.
If you are going to speed up the footage to mimic the silent era footage, you need to make all the edits a little longer to compensate for this adjustment. I had the edits hitting on certain beats in the music. Some of the shots paired perfectly with the lyrics being sung. In other words I had massaged that beast to as close it smoothness as I could. Well all of that was shot to hell when I sped up the footage by 115%, idiot! Need less to say I sped up the audio but things just didn't line up, and in hindsight I think that has actually added to its corkiness and charm. Thankfully it was not for a paying client or I would be screwed.
Getting the Look
To get the look of the footage I started in Speed Grade CS6, which is a very cool app but HELLAH buggy. I think Adobe just acquired it, so it hasn't been Adobe-ized yet but I eagerly wait for the next release of it. After that I took the treated footage into After Effects and add Sapphire's Film Damage & Sapphire's FilmEffect to it on two different adjustment layers with slightly different options checked and different transfer modes to help give it a more "organic" feel. Following that desire to make it looks as organic as I could, I decide to take the edit into Photoshop and hand pick sections to paint damage on top. Then to help get all the elements to feel a little more integrated I lifted the Black Input and dropped the Output White to make the footage a little flat. It was feeling too heavy and spooky. Plus if you think about silent films they always seems to be slightly overexposed and flat.
Beyond that, a little bit of double adjustment layer of FilmDamage & FilmEffect plug-ins, this was a very straight forward piece. Oh yeah and one more thing. The telephone poles going by at the end was cell animated, along with the traveling shadow being cast into the boxcar. That was fun and really simple, since it was only about 5 frame animation that loops.
I did hear that Don Webb loved it and couldn't wait to share it, so mission accomplished.