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October 01, 2016
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Music video post

It took us about five cuts to get the video to a place where I felt we had tried everything that we could and it was finished. This is called “locking picture.”

The next step is working on the color. You do this at the end so that you only have to spend time color-correcting the pieces of the shots that are actually used in the video.

It just so happened that the best colorist in the city, Sam Daley at Technicolor, was available and David and I went in for half a day. I was going for a ’90s vibe and Sam took that to the next level. He pumped the greens and crushed the blacks. (Honestly, that’s so much of an understatement it’s impossible to express just how much control he has over each individual color. It’s more like painting than anything else.)

He gave us back a ProRes file, which we took back into Final Cut Pro. We had a few effects (a binocular matte and some overlays on a TV screen) to put back on.

The band member who had recorded and mastered the album helped me fix a part in the song where I had looped the bridge to make more time for story. He pulled all the instruments out and added them back, one at a time, so that the whole thing built in a more natural way.

This video was made for YouTube, so we did some tests of sizes and qualities that would look the best. We opted for a simple 1280x720 H264 file. (H264 is a small compression that is excellent for viewing things but not good for editing.)

I sent it off to the band a few hours ago and it’s going live this week. It’s really very amazing that this little thing that started as an idea in my head has now grown up to be something new and exciting. It’s about to go off and have a new life of its own.

Good luck, little video. Don’t take any guff from anyone.