During our test shoot for "Witch Creek" in September 2009, we needed a clip from a "live" news broadcast of the San Diego Witch Creek fire of 2007. While there were extant clips available which we could have obtained from local news channels, we couldn't afford to pay for the very expensive licensing fees, and we also wanted to avoid having our hands tied by the complicated agreements that would have been necessary for using it in our production. As a result we decided to "roll our own", and shoot our own "live" broadcast.
We had initially had a perfect location picked out in which to shoot our scene, but in the 11th hour we had a series of technical issues arise which prevented us from using it, and as a result had to quickly improvise with a new location -- which on short notice had to be the back yard of the principal set. Using two smoke machines and colored lights, we we able to knock out the video we needed in about two hours, giving our director of photography a few hours over night to try and prep the video so that it could be shown on a television set during a scene being shot the next day in a location sixty miles away from the home base of the production.
Because of the time limitations and the screw up with regard to the originally planned location, the video that ultimately ended up being shown on television was a very simple affair with no color correction, no fire, and only a very quickly thrown together static lower thirds graphic that had been thrown together for the production by the lead actor, Scott Butler. While usable, it was a far cry from what had originally been intended, and subsequently there were problems even getting the video to play on the television for which it had been intended.
In January of 2013, we returned to this clip with a far greater understanding of compositing, color correction, and production in general, and went to work on trying to realize what we'd actually INTENDED for it to look like in the fall of 2009. Although the lack of a greenscreen certainly complicated the compositing process, we found we were still able to get results that were good enough for the purpose for which the video had originally been designed.
In this clip we show you the final clip, then take you layer by layer through the steps we took towards creating the "live" news feed from SCN.
PRODUCED and WRITTEN BY: Neal Hallford & Jana Hallford
DIRECTOR / DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY / EDITOR: Neal Hallford
STARRING: Pia Thrasher
Shot with a Panasonic HVX205A, Redrock M2, and vintage Nikkor Primes.
Loading more stuff…
Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?