Along with the crazy couple weeks I've had at work, I've also had a few fun, but quick projects I did for Clear Creek Community Theatre that I thought I'd talk about a little bit:
First of all, there's the early publicity stills I shot for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] last week, which is the next show on the CCCT stage. The director, Steve Sarp, had an idea for publicity to put the Groucho Marx glasses prop on Shakespeare, I then suggested actually photographing the image on the Shakespeare bust that sits on the piano in the lobby at CCCT.
The pictures turned out better than I had hoped:
Of course it helped that I didn't have to tape the glasses on or anything (something I was worried I would have to do). And while there's a little bit of photoshop work here, it was mostly just tweaking the camera raw file to get the exposure I wanted. I shot these all with my Canon 7D, using their F1.4 50mm prime lens. the photos that show the background in the theatre are just shot
I'm really happy with the way the lightbox, and its included lights gave me a nice smooth light to wrap around the statue. And shooting with the 7D gave me the resolution needed to use this for print graphics without a lot of hassle.
But that's not the only fun thing I did at the theatre the past couple weeks - check this out:
Brian and I shot this live to facebook to promote the final weekend of Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor. We actually did this all in real time through Wirecast. We shot it at the theatre with my A7s hooked up to my laptop. And of course I made the graphics in photoshop in advance and had them loaded in and ready. I'm really amazed by how well it turned out.
This was all done live with only a laptop and a small camera. That's just crazy. And I know if I really pushed it, Wirecast (the software I used to do this video) would have taken it further. You can bring up live comments, scoreboards, multiple sources from different places. Its an amazing tool.
Really, the biggest issue was there was an audio glitch as I faded out the music, and as I swapped graphics the crossfade wasn't perfect. And then looking back I wish I'd pushed the contrast a little bit after desaturating it. And I'm not completely convinced that those issues weren't caused by the computer not running at 100% because I did this from battery only.
Of course, those of you who know me, know that I wouldn't leave that audio glitch alone - I took the the raw video from the A7s (Side note: you should ALWAYS record locally when doing live as a backup. Doesn't matter if you're streaming from your iPhone or running a multicamera show with a sat truck. Always record a backup locally. Always.)
Anyway, I took the footage from the A7s, dropped it and my graphics into Premiere Pro and really quickly rebuild what we'd done live, minus the audio and graphics glitches, and with a slightly better touch to the color correction. Exported that and uploaded it to YouTube - if you watch the two back to back you can see the minor differences and where Wirecast had some issues:
Pretty fun stuff right? It almost makes me want to write something that takes place in the 50's just so I can play with some more of that "classic" graphic design and music.
Music is, as usual, from the Killer Tracks Library. I love the stuff they've got available.
Anyway, that's it for this week's post I think. Next week I hope I will have had time to dig through the footage I shot on the Sony Fs5 when we had it rented last week.
As always, thank you for reading - if you have any ideas for something you'd like to see me address in the blog, such as some more insight into one of my past projects, or a my thoughts on a piece of gear you see me commenting on with my social media accounts, please let me know in the comments below.
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Until next time.
Thomas Meek is an independent filmmaker living and working in Houston, TX