Saturday, August 1, 2009

Don't Bother -- We'll Fix It In Post

It's been another great month for "Big Bother." Fans got to see several new episodes this July, including "Big Bother: Family Edition," edited for all ages. We also recently switched from YouTube as our main webcasting site to, so let us know what you think of the new site. I have a small apology to make for the month of August. I'll be visiting family in England for the first two weeks, so "Big Bother" will be on a brief hiatus. Look for a the next new episode on August 20th.

Last month, I finished discussing the principal shooting of the web series. The next step in the process was (& continues to be) post-production. This turned out to be the longest phase of the (ongoing) project.

After we finished shooting, I thought I'd go to Shawn, our editor, with the footage and we'd start slapping together some scenes. Turns out there's a great big step that I wasn't aware of which needs to come first -- capturing. This is the process of transferring the recorded footage into digital files as well as labeling and filing them efficiently. As a first-time capturer working in programs and using methods I was unfamiliar with, this took me months.

Alas, between Thanksgiving '08 and Easter '09, I captured the entire project. Shawn and I were finally ready to cut a teaser -- a 30-second promo of the show. It took us eight hours. But we released it on April Fool's Day to rave reviews.

Next step was the trailer -- a 3-minute promo of the show. Composer Ben was hard at work coming up with some great stuff for the show, but it wasn't ready yet. So we added some of my favorite music by The Killers. We released the trailer in May, but got some immediate static from YouTube.

It seemed Universal Music Group caught wind of The Killers music and was not happy. I got an e-mail telling me they were deciding what to do about the situation. In the end, it was decided that the trailer could remain online, but it would have a link to The Killers music available for purchase on I-Tunes. Fantastic! It now looked, to the untrained eye, like we had some kind of cross-promotional deal set up with Universal Music Group. Works for me.

In June, we were finally ready to edit the web series itself. Though we shot a lot of great footage, we frequently found that we were missing a shot, an angle, a cut-away, whatever. This is where Shawn worked his magic and unceasingly found ways to execute the creative ideas we came up with to fill the gaps.

There were many video elements that ended up looking better than I could have imagined -- like the shrinking fairy, the gorilla filmmakers, and other visual effects in nearly every episode. What surprised me most about post-production (And it shouldn't have) is how long it takes. Each 3-minute episode amounted to over 20 hours of editing for Shawn and I.

Another major part of post-production were the voiceovers. Actors Nick, Perry, Mike T., Lavonne, Jen L., Mike H. (of web series "The Crew") David (of web series "Ghost Town") and Tony (of web series "The Legend of Neil") all lent their voices to bring the "fuzzy" characters to life.

As of this Bblog, we've edited and released the first six episodes. Just 24 more to go. :-)