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

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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!

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