Recently we completed the Holly 2.0 video. If you are reading this and haven’t seen it yet, you can click on the video (to the right) and check it out. The filming and editing of this video gave me the idea of starting a Postmortem blog series. Moving forward, I would like to use video demonstrations and such but for the first attempt at a postmortem, I will stick with text and photos.
Holly 2.0. What was the video about and why did you want to create it? The Holly 2.0 video was a sponsored video thanks to the wonderful people at Monster Fairings. We teamed up with them to create a custom set of aftermarket fairings for my 2009 Yamaha R6, named Holly, now Holly 2.0. The goal of the video was to display the bike, revealing all of the stunning, clean details Monster Fairings and I designed onto each piece of fairing.
The success of this video was dependent on producing an enjoyable experience for the audience to watch and show off the new plastics. With all sponsored videos, I feel it is extremely important to have a quality video first and sponsor appeal second. After all, a quality produced video is more likely to reach into the minds of viewers, versus a video that feels to views like a commercial. My objective is to evoke certain emotions within my viewers, bringing forth a reminder of their passion and excitement that reminds them of how they feel every time they crank their motorcycle.
One of the key components we had in this project that really set it apart from our other video projects was the location. Previous to the day we filmed, I had a very specific location in mind for the shoot. I knew exactly where I wanted the bike to be, the background would be stellar and there was plenty of space for drone work. Little did I know, two days before the filming day, that area got hit with a snow storm, something very rare for the state of Georgia. Upon arriving to the location, my team and I discovered our location was covered in about two feet of snow. Not only was the intended filming location filled with the fluffy white stuff, but the entire area, no matter where we went was full of snow and ice. Finding the location we did was sheer luck, but where would anyone be without a little luck here and there?
What went right with the shoot? Well, like I mentioned above lucking out and finding a secondary location really helped a lot and pretty much made the shoot what it was. To our surprise, despite all of the snow on the ground, the majority of the roads were well maintained and free of debris like dirt, ice, and gravel. The temps were also something that worried me a great deal, as cameras tend to automatically shut off in lower temperatures. Somehow we didn’t run into any of these problems, even with the temperature well past the freezing point and strong winds berating us the entire time. Another thing that I have got to be thankful for is that our IRIS+ drone didn’t go down. I know that must sound silly, but in the past we have had a touch of bad luck with the drone, having it crash once every major shoot. Needless to say, having it stay airborne was gratifying! It’s a little known fact, but before the shoot I attached electrical tape to the rims of the R6 in order to not have the orange bar around the outside show. Somehow the tape held during the shoot, while the next morning after returning home I found it peeled off the wheels draped over the front and rear calipers of the bike. I was so relieved that it held through the filming when I realized how close it was to falling off. One of the final things that went over rather well with the shoot was the beautiful landscape shots we happened to get. Driving by them on our way to another location we pulled over, set the camera up and captured a spectacular view of the mountains. In addition, the editing process went relatively smooth and that’s always something to be grateful for.
Of course it wouldn’t be a regular video shoot if we didn’t have some challenges to overcome. As for the happenings that went “not so right,” we luckily had nothing very crucial, but there were some things that my team and I want to change up before the next video shoot. One of the main things in this list was the need for ND filters. ND filters, or Neutral Density filters, act as a pair of sunglasses for your camera. These are especially needed on bright days to knock down the amount of light getting into the lens. If we would have these while out shooting we could have gotten a ton more detail out of the snow, but with so much light being reflected from the white ground it made everything extremely bright. Do not fear though, they will definitely be part of the arsenal of camera gear for the next shoot!
I was also really let down with how windy it was. For most of the shots wind didn’t matter at all besides freezing myself and my crew. The crucial role that wind did play was making it near impossible to get smooth drone shots. The majority of the drone shots I had done were useless because when the wind would blow hard the gimbal (motor that keeps the GoPro stable) would vibrate very badly. Much more than any amount of post process stabilization can handle. This is less of something to not do for next time, but more something that I need to stay aware of for future videos that we use the drone.
As embarrassing as it is I do have to include the whole “got the R6 stuck in about 3 feet of snow on the side of the road” situation. Long story short, while turning the round on a curvy road filled with 3 foot snow banks in the gutters on the side of the road I attempted to cut a turn close since I was only a couple inches away from making it. The second my wheel touched the thinnest sliver of gravel my front tire slid straight into the snow bank with me and the rear tire following. After about twenty minutes of pushing, pulling, revving and cursing, I somehow was able to get the bike out of the ditch. Oh, and did I mention, I didn’t have my phone on me so calling for my crew to help was out of the question. And the bike not only wouldn’t stand on it’s own in the snow, but the kickstand couldn’t come down. If I wanted to get off the bike, the only thing I could have done was lay the bike down. Thankfully I had just a little luck and got out on my own. Lesson learned though. Don’t try to squeak by when you are by yourself on a shady turn.
This little point was actually not in the shooting process nor in the post editing process, but rather in the planning phases. Often I get a basic idea for videos based on a specific song I here. After I’m sure I really like the song I make a couple sketches that I like or would like to see in the video and then I just assume during the shoot I’ll collect enough B-roll to basically fill in the gaps where I haven’t planned for something. Moving forward, if time allows, I want to try to plan out everything in a video, down to the seconds, of how long certain shots will be in frame. I found myself in the editing process of this video not really happy with the amount of shots I had and felt that if I had taken the time plan out more shots for certain parts of the song I could have come out with a far better product. I will say I felt like the video came out okay, but I know if I had spent a little more time I could have really upped the production value. This is something I plan on implementing in future shoots during the pre-production phase.
Did you like the track I picked for the video? I have realized that people on the internet vary quite a bit from person to person and you can never make everyone happy. Making everyone happy is by no means my goal with my videos, but I would like to appease as large of an audience as possible. This is why, moving forward, I plan to start using less genre specific tracks. The track used in the Holly 2.0 video was Noisestorm by Breakdown VIP and is a very “heavy” song with lots of bass and electronica sounds. I'm drawn to this type of music, personally, but moving forward, and as I'm working to become another step up in the professional space, I feel that toning down the audio tracks might be my best bet. That being said you can definitely look for the occasional “basstastic” track being used in a production video.
One small detail that I wish I would have done differently was to do photos of the bike with the larger cameras. During this shoot by the end of filming everyone was cold and tired and it was much easier to grab the little Sony A5100 and just snap some pics of the bike. I understand the want for this, but after getting home and looking at the pics I got from the shoot, I couldn’t help but find myself wanting more and better pictures. I will definitely not make this lazy choice during the next shoot. If I pull out the A5100 during the next production, it will be solely to do BTS videos for you guys here on the blog and on the C2W2 YouTube channel.
This brings me to the end of the Holly 2.0 production shoot Postmortem. Overall I think the video came out relatively well given all the ups and downs. I learned a ton as always and can’t wait to apply the things I mentioned above in the next video production we do. Be sure to leave your comment below and let me know what you think of this write up. Look forward for more to come as we create more production videos with C2W Media. I’m Chase, you guys are awesome and I’ll catch you next time.
What was in the gear bag?
Dolica 62-Inch Tripod (x2)
StudioFX 40" Slider
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