Von Mocca is still young, far too young to run out of Moccona: A Hint of Caramel, his favorite coffee! And when he does, he finds he cannot even SLEEP without his daily source of optimism. As his world fades, all seems lost. Is there any hope for Von Mocca?
So that is what the final product looks like, But what actually do we do to get it there?
Well it all comes down to steps.
Step 1: Planning & Script writing
I had wanted to do a Moccona Ad for quite some time, and since we hadn’t done a film in forever ages, I started writing a script together with Lachlan and it ended up something like this:
- Scene 1 – The Shock (Includes Titles)
- Scene 2 – Grey Today
- Scene 3 – Return of The Coffee
- Scene 4 – How It’s Made
- Scene 5 – Advertising Logo (Includes Lagg and Glitch Logo)
So if you watch the film, you should be able to decipher where those scene changes happen. And while every film has it’s changes to the script, ours was pretty consistent, with only a few alterations.
Step 2: Filming Day(s)
So the real action happens on filming day, when your older brother kicks you off your computer, telling you that if you don’t do it now it will never get done. Filming is REALLY fun while you are filming, not before! So the best thing to do is simply to get started without planning ahead, just go ahead and do it (Or in my case, get Lachlan to pull you into action).
So I had already planned some of the scenes mentally, and I had to convey them to Lachlan, the cameraman, who lacks inspiration in getting creative angles. You will have to redo your shoots until you find yourself either saying ‘Perfect!’ or worse ‘It will do’. Many take quite a few takes just to get the focus right, eg: When I reach for the coffee jar inside the cupboard at 0.11.
One thing we have learned from our previous films, is that it is worth retaking your shots again and again, to get the perfect focus. There is nothing worse than editing your footage only to discover that your subject is blurry and out of focus.
Another thing to note, is that we filmed this all on two days. If you find you are too exhausted, busy, or just need a break, go for it! We filmed scenes 1, 3, 4, and 5, on day one, leaving scene 2 (0:40) for day 2. Just remember that (usually) you want to replicate the same lighting, costumes, and feel as the previous day.
Step 3: Post Processing (Many sub steps under this)
So you have your footage, nice and focused, and all planned out. What now?
Well to efficiently edit your footage, you will need to do things in steps.
Step 1: Convert your footage.
We film all our films at 1080p resolution, with many clips and retakes. this takes up a lot of space, and slows down the editing process. We convert our video files into .mxf format, this not only provides us with more space, but it enables you to preview your footage faster in your editing program.
Step 2: Import, Organize and Cut
So now you import ALL your files into your editing program (In our case, we use all the Adobe Creative Cloud for all our editing, and we are using Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014 for our cutting and layout) . It helps immensely if you organize your files, into sub folders.
From there you can chose which retake of each shot is the best, sort out the bad ones, and decide which ones you are going to use.
After that, you will want to create a new sequence, and drop and arrange all your footage, cutting it and arranging it to your desire. At this point, don’t worry about your audio, unless you simply want to mute it.Step 3: Music
I am the main music and SFX person, and I find it amazing when it all comes together and brings your film to life. Where do I get my music? Well, previously I had bought packs of it from neuman films, but this was limiting my choices to those that weren’t exactly what I wanted. But all was not lost, because I came across a filmmaker’s goldmine: free, royalty free music, and LOTS OF IT! Interested? Go to incompetech.com, they are amazing.
So now, you might be thinking that I did the music and sound in Adobe Audition CC 2014, but I what I find is that audition is a music editing tool, not layout tool, so I did the music in Adobe Premiere as well.
You want to create a new sequence in Premiere, and drag your ‘footage’ sequence into in so you can mold the music around what is happening in the film. Then you simply chose your music tracks, trying to attend the mood of the scene, and arrange it and cut it until you are satisfied.
From the start, we had a few scenes planned that would require special attention and editing. These include the logo at the start, fading to black and white, returning to colour, and the scene change from scene 3 to scene 4. For this ‘special’ editing we use Adobe After Effects CC 2014.
There is very little I can tell you about this special editing, because firstly I don’t do these edits, but rather Lachlan. Secondly, we learn as we go, so we had to research, tweak, and experiment to get the effects we so desired, and each effect would require a whole tutorial on just that one effect.
To do these effects, Premiere posses a very useful linking tool that can update live what you edit in After Effects. This means we can simply right click on the cut we need to edit, and click ‘replace with after effects composition’.
Then we proceed to the long process of the custom editing. It is really just a long ‘work it out as you go’ process. Here is shown the transition form scene 3 to scene 4.
Step 5: Sound Effects
The reason this is done separately from the music is because these must be far more precise. The sound effects used in our film include the glass-jar breaking sound, the dramatic wave sounds near the start, and the ‘Moccona, never settle for less than special’ quote at the end. These are laid out very similar to the music, but in a new track-mix,
Step 6: Colour Correction /Grading
One thing that brings your film to life is colour correction. Colour correction is where you take your footage into a program (In this case Adobe SpeedGrade CC 2014) and you change the tone, contrast, and exposure of your film to match the mood you are trying to set. One again, Adobe Premiere comes with a neat ‘linking’ feature where you can import your footage into Speedgrade, with one click of a button.
Once in speedgrade, you then proceed to change your footage to give the correct feel. Many scenes will have different colour so you will have to keyframe your coloring so it changes as the scenes do.
What is a letterbox? It is a cinematic look that is produced by two black bars, on the top and bottom of the footage. They are really easy to make and instantly bring out the wow in your movie.
The final touches include random fixes, volume changes, and the Lagg and Glitch outro. Oh and watching it over and over again to try and pick up mistakes. Step 8: Youtube!
Step 3: Youtube: Publishing & Sharing
Step 3 is where you render out your film from Adobe Premiere, with all its cutting, music, sfx, vfx, colour grading, and final tweaks, and upload it to youtube, with a fanciful description, and a good thumbnail.
After that? Share it. Everywhere. Again. Send it to moccona? Maybe! Post it in Short-Film communities, homeschooling communities. Whatever you like to get yourselves out there!