Last December, Dark White Media produced the video for Ashley Jordan’s single, Fading Away.
In June, it won Video of the Year at the New England Country Music Awards, and as of this post (August 2013), has over 48,000 views on her Official YouTube channel. Not too shabby for an un-signed artist from MA – and it’s only the beginning.
Needless to say, after the success of Fading Away, we have been talking ever since about producing her follow up music video. Ashley wanted to have us create a video for one of her newest singles, If I Had You. We of course loved the track and began working on a script right away. We knew that Fading Away was going to be a tough act to follow, so we all worked really hard on making every scene the best it could be.
Watch If I Had You
By the time the script was ready, we a few special effect shots to work out. One of them was a head on collision which we had to try to capture without actually putting anyone in danger or destroying any vehicles. here’s how we did it:
The filming process for this shot was really quite simple. We locked down the camera and filmed 3 shots from the exact same angle. First, Garrett drove through the frame, entering on the left and exiting on the right. Then our assistant director / stuntman extraordinaire John Love did the exact opposite, driving through the frame right to left. We then filmed about 10 seconds of just the empty street. That’s it folks. It took us about 15 minutes. Now for the post production, which took hours.
We froze both shots of the cars driving “towards” each other once they got to the center of the frame (the point of impact). We then used a basic compositing technique called masking to ‘cut out’ each car and place them in the same frame together, on top of the empty street. Now we had three separate elements to play with; the background, and each of the two cars. The frame to the left is from the resulting shot (again, those cars were not in the same shot together in the original footage).
Next we wanted to simulate the effect of having both of the front ends ‘scrunch’ together upon impact, so we cut out the front ends from the rest of the vehicles. Now we have 5 elements in the shot (the background, car 1, car 2, front end 1, and front end 2). We then advanced the footage frame by frame. In each frame, the front end elements would overlap. We pushed them back so that they still met without overlapping and distorted the front ends, blending them with the rest of the vehicles.
Once we sped up the footage (the cars were actually going about 15 mph) it looked good, but there was still something missing. We wanted to really put the viewer in the car with Garrett for this sequence and had some work left to do.
We added some artificial camera shake into the shot to accentuate the impact and help sell the effect, then added some strobe, blurring, and a zooming effect to add an unsettling feeling to the shot.
This is a perfect example on what can be done now-a-days without a big Hollywood budget. Sure, it would have been cooler if the cars slammed into each other, flipped in mid air, and exploded upon crashing back down to the street, but it doesn’t take much to get the imagination of the viewer working on creating something much more powerful.