Video Production Tips: How We Created Our Halloween Video

Video Production Tips: How We Created Our Halloween Video

Copy As a marketer who loves to utilize video – I thought I’d sit down with our video team after the shoot to find out just how they accomplished some of the cooler aspects of this video. Mat King, Video Production Manager at Vidyard, explained that it was important in this scene to make it look like Lurch was actually dragging Wednesday and Pugsley and not just walking along with them. It’s really important that you communicate your vision well so you don’t have people just acting out their own interpretation of your vision.” Mat says that if you give people sequential instructions, they can figure it out. That was an effect in After Effects called “electricity”. The other thing that makes this scene is the props. Blake and Mat did all of this in After Effects although Mat explained that it could also be done in Premier – it would just be a little more time-consuming! To view this video please consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 Video “Shooting in black and white comes down to adding the appropriate level of contrast and planning ahead of time”, says Mat. “It’s not enough to film in color, desaturate your footage, and move on with it.” Mat explains that producing a black and white video involves tweaking your black tones, mid, and highlights. This helped him to determine if there was too much black, too much highlighting, or not enough contrast. The most important tip Mat had for those looking to create a video in black and white is to “re-approach” – or in layman’s terms, walk away from your video editing and coming back later.

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For Halloween, we launched our first ever TV show/theme song/90’s revival parody with the Vidyard Family version of the Addams Family. Holiday videos are kind of a tradition at Vidyard, but this video outperformed any of our previous videos by leaps and bounds.

If you weren’t lucky enough to see it when it was first released, here it is again.

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As a marketer who loves to utilize video – I thought I’d sit down with our video team after the shoot to find out just how they accomplished some of the cooler aspects of this video. Here’s what I learned about video production, and some insider tricks you might find interesting, too!

Video Production: Creating Illusions on Film

Making of Vidyard Halloween Video - Dragging

A lot of thought went into this shot. Mat King, Video Production Manager at Vidyard, explained that it was important in this scene to make it look like Lurch was actually dragging Wednesday and Pugsley and not just walking along with them. Mat was initially planning to have Wednesday and Pugsley crouch down and walk slowly with long steps beside Lurch, but after a few minutes of planning this out on set with Blake, our Creative Director, and Mat thought of another, resourceful idea.

“I just looked over at our skateboard wall and was like, oh hey – we’ve got longboards right here. Why don’t we just use these?” said Blake Smith, Creative Director at Vidyard.

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So Blake got in there right away and used skateboards to help. Blake pulled and Tyler pushed the two on skateboards with his forearms. Mat coached our staff on how to crouch down and slump their shoulders in order to create the appearance of their body weight being lifted from the back of their neck. As Mat says, giving proper direction is absolutely critical to the success of live-action videos:

“The ability to give direction is really important. You’re the one with the vision in mind. It’s really important that you communicate your vision well so you don’t have people just acting out their own interpretation of your vision.” Mat says that if you give people sequential instructions, they can figure it out. From his experience, “if you just give your actors one action to do, they’ll do it and then look at the camera, which pretty much always renders that shot useless, unless you’re making really tight cuts. If you give them multiple steps and let them know how to finish at the end, you’ll be golden.”

Making of Vidyard Halloween Video - Electrocute
Making of Vidyard Halloween Video - Electrocute

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Watch this shot closely. What is it that makes it look realistic? It’s not actually the “lightning bolt” effect, but the lights strobing in the background. But of course, in his usual style, Mat did take a few shots without the strobing lights just in case the effect didn’t work out well once they got down to editing. He’s always making sure there are options to play with! The electrical currents are definitely necessary here, though. That was an effect in After Effects called “electricity”. All you have to do is show where you want to the current to start and end and it essentially does the rest for you!

The other thing that makes this scene is the props. Mat and Blake recreated their own electric chair with a mic stand, a metal salad bowl, and some extra wire taped on to the…

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