Have you ever bitten off more than you can chew? When the first few pitches for the 2019 Jackson Chamber Annual Celebration video were left on the cutting room floor, one day remained. Being the genius I am, I suggested that we put the Chamber staff into old movies that revolved around the event’s nautical theme. Below I am going to do a breakdown of the process behind pulling this video off (this was a bit of a step up in difficulty over last year’s hit Carpool Karaoke).

1. Plan plan plan. We spent several hours planning out the video. This was key because we needed to find the right videos. It would not be as easy as selecting any scene from any nautical themed video, we needed certain scenes. What we discovered was that after a certain year of movies, the camera motion had gotten so loose, that it would be difficult to “green screen” people into movies. This limited our selection greatly and we were able to come up with just one scene more than was actually used in the project.

After we selected the scenes and received approval from the Jackson Chamber, we then went to work doing a scene breakdown. Each breakdown involved light placements, sound design, camera angles, costumes, props, dialogue, and scripting. Brittany Crockett on our team did a fantastic job of sourcing much of our costume work and props. She also worked with the Chamber staff on their dialogue.

2. Having the Right Equipment. To pull off this level of green screen project well, it took a lot of lighting and the appropriate green screens in addition to decent cameras and a space to work in. We even bought chroma green duct tape for the project!

3. Details, details, details. On the shoot days, we needed to be sure we got as close as we could to match the movement of the character in the scene, the camera angle, and the lighting. Though we had covered much of this in preproduction, it is another thing to make it work with actors on set. The Jackson Chamber staff were great sports during the entire process and we all had a good time. Particularly humorous was the Free Willy jump scene where Brittany got to spray me and Hannah with a hose while I moved an inflated whale with a broomstick taped to its back over Hannah’s head.

4. Time and After Effects. After the filming was done, the remainder of the work fell to team member Ricky Santos who spent a large amount of time in After Effects keying, scaling, content-aware filling the Chamber staff into these old movies.

During all of this process, we also managed to get some Behind the Scenes shots and with the help of Greg Hammond’s AV class at South Side High school, this BTS video was made:


We also helped the Chamber with some display graphics for the event to help take things to the next level:


Here is the full Annual Celebration Video:


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