Hello fine Mubi fellows,
I wanted to show you all what I have been working on lately, a web series that tackles all of life’s biggest questions…as seen through the eyes of a wise 7-year old.
I would love some feedback if anyone has a chance to watch it! Thanks!
The Bazooka advice is good for everything in life….
That last one is brilliant.
I went to ryanestabrooks.com cynically thinking: what could I win there?
haha WELL, my friend, if you would have gone there a few weeks ago, you could have won a free blu-ray of The Hunger Games, your favorite movie! :D
…when you get the job done. haha. great stuff. Looking forward to seeing more.
For those interested on the actual filmmaking/production side of it, here is a write up of what went into it:
So the idea for this series came after meeting Wesley (the kid in the film). I thought it would be interesting to hear his ideas and thoughts on big philosophical life questions, but present it as an ultra-serious, Discovery channel type show.
I recently acquired a Panasonic AF-100 (an upgrade from my Panasonic HVX-200) which I have pretty much fallen in love with. I shot a few other webisodes with it but nothing on this sort of scale. This is also the first time I have used a green screen, which I knew was going to be a bit tricky since I live in a small 1-bedroom apartment. I purchased a fairly cheap 10 ft. × 12 ft. Green Screen + stand package from eBay, and although I can tell it is definitely not the best stand in the world, it got the job done and the green screen seems pretty solid.
Here is a basic diagram of how I laid out my lighting setup with the green screen:
For my two green screen lights, I used 800w halogen soft boxes from around 2-3 feet away I would estimate. For my subject lights, I used two 500w LED lights for most of the shoot, although I experimented with these lights and angles: in one shot, I dimmed them a bit and put the right one on the floor. For another shot, I believe I aimed one high and turned one off altogether. I did this to give it a bit more of a moodier look to make it seem more mysterious.
Although not pictured in the diagram, I used a 400w halogen softbox overhead light that was slightly behind the subject, about 3-4 ft. above him. This was essentially used as a hair light/backfill light. So in total, I had a 5 light setup, 3000 watts in all.
For the lenses, I must admit that I am still building up my lens collection (since I never had any for my HVX-200). For this project, I used the Panasonic 14mm-45mm f3.5-5.6:
It is definitely on the slower side but it will do for now until I purchase faster prime lenses.
One tip/hassle with using a green screen is getting that thing wrinkle free! I initially ironed out the green screen but it still had wrinkles. I used a steamer to try and steam most of them out but, even with wrinkles clearly visible, I was able to chroma out the green correctly in Final Cut (which is what I used to edit this).
Using Final Cut for this piece made chroma keying super easy. After importing the clips into Final Cut, I simply dragged the Chroma Keyer over to the clip, selected the range of green and luma to key out and it was pretty much as simple as that. One thing that was new to me for this piece was using the 3D Boris Text Generator (found under Video Generators on the Effects tab in Final Cut). Figuring out what each setting did definitely took some time to learn and rendering the text took a great deal of time as well. But I thought the results looked great and much more appealing than the standard text generators. The big advantage with using the 3D Boris Text Generator is the ability to adjust independent settings for every single character, which is what I loved.
And of course, coming from a background as a musician, I did 3 pieces of original music for this series. The music was definitely crucial for giving it that ultra-serious feel, especially the beginning symphony piece. I should also note that I used a Rode NT-2 shotgun mic for the subject.
Here is Episode 2: