Aetuts+ Weekend Workshop #1 - "Chasing The Monster"


We're going to start a new weekly community project where we'll be posting a video created by one of our wonderful readers, then ask you all to offer constructive feedback on the work. It’s a great way to learn more about video, express your viewpoint, and have your own content critiqued!

Quick Ground Rules

  1. Play nice! We’ve deliberately chosen videos that aren’t perfect, so please be constructive with any criticism.
  2. Feel free to offer any type of advice – movement, lighting, color, pacing, etc.
  3. You can also link to videos that you feel offer a great example of this type of content done exceptionally well.

Without further ado, here is this week’s candidate for critique!

"Chasing The Monster"

Story Behind the Project

Last summer I began working with brand manager Kevin Kaiser in developing various media concepts for one of his clients, NYT bestseller Ted Dekker. As it turned out, Ted was hosting an exclusive writer's conference in August called "The Ragged Edge", where he and four other authors would discuss the down and dirty details about writing full time.

It was a week before the conference, and their plans for some media content had fallen through. They needed something fast. Here's the brief I received:

This video is for a morning session of The Ragged Edge titled "Chasing the Monster: Finding the Story Within"...... Overall aesthetic: I would like the images to look like a grungy, scratched film reel that's playing on the screen. Key texts appear rhythmically on the hard beats of the soundtrack.

Kevin then listed out the words you see at the beginning "Pain, peace, hope, love, hate..."; he wanted a mix of emotive images as well as other words such as "bleeding, seeking, diving, deeper". He told me to use this as a basic outline, but to feel free and experiment as needed.

I got all this on a Friday... and it would be shown the Friday following. I would be leaving for a short trip that Wednesday morning, so I knew I had to get rough cut in on Monday night so that I'd have time for revisions on Tuesday. It would be close.

I had done the whole tutorial thing, and knew *how* to make a graphics video, but had never actually done it.

To make it even more interesting, I had never made a motion graphics piece before - I'm a film production student. I had done the whole tutorial thing, and knew *how* to make a graphics video, but had never actually done it. Trial by fire had been the motto of my artistic life so far, so I just put my head down and did the work over one crazy weekend.

Thankfully Kevin had sent along a perfect piece of music to accompany the visuals; I brought it into Premiere and placed markers at all the key beats. I saved it as a premiere project, then imported that into After Effects. This gave me a composition, audio track, and beat markers all in one - a very time saving maneuver, as I hate working with audio in AE.

Then I went through the whole project, figuring out which words would appear at which beats, and began matching images to said words (which was fun but difficult).... figuring out the how the whole thing would flow.

I sent my first version in on Monday night, and Kevin forwarded it to Dekker who responded with an enthusiastic "PERFECT!"

Please let us know what you think in the comments – how would you have approached this project or done things differently?

The most constructive and helpful comments will be featured on the site. Interested in submitting your own video? You can do so here!

Related Posts
  • Photography
    Shooting a Helicopter Search and Rescue Mission TeamPreview
    Behind the scenes look at how to work with a first responder team and their helicopter to create a promotion for a search and rescue team.Read More…
  • Photography
    How to Rock Your High-Energy Senior ShootsBenlucas energy 03 pre
    Do you remember high school? How did you act around adults? Were you confident in how you looked and dressed? If you can think back to that time in your life, you may begin realize why shooting senior portraits is a challenge.Read More…
  • Game Development
    Surviving GDC: Tips for Game Conference SuccessWp 20140317 004 400x277 b01
    My first GDC was a terrifying mess. Four years later, I've learned a few things about attending game conferences, and hopefully the following tips will help you on the journey to mastering the art of great game conferencing!Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    To the Point: An Interview With Lizzie Mary CullenLizziehubpreview
    In an attempt to shed some more light on what it means to be a successful artist these days, we thought we'd ask some of them! In this series, you'll be able to read some of the interviews great vector and drawing artists have honored us with.Read More…
  • Photography
    Photo Critique
    Photo Critique #227Pc silloutree 0205 prelg
    Friday Photo Critique is our weekly community project, where we publish a photograph submitted by one of our wonderful readers, then ask you all to offer constructive feedback on the image. It’s a great way to learn more about photography, express your viewpoint, and have your own image critiqued!Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Interview With Digital Artist Gabor Richter0903 gabor richter preview400
    Gabor Richter is a digital artist and retoucher from Germany. In this interview, Gabor discusses his humble beginnings as an apprentice furniture salesman, as well as what it takes to create a professionally retouched image.Read More…