A client walked in and asked what I could do in a couple of days with minimal materials. To be specific, they had a DVD from a few years back with a couple of minutes of B-roll. The remainder of their arsenal consisted of a Power Point Presentation, and a few still photos. They wanted to walk with a five to six minute video to display for their client trade show in the upcoming week.
The first step was to take stock of our existing materials and create a look and feel that was appropriate for the client. The first apparent roadblock was the video, which was old and standard definition. It would have to be repurposed for high-definition, without revealing the compression and artifacts of the video. We toyed around with a few filters and different treatments, but when the client said they wanted text over the video, that’s when it clicked. I matted the video in a white letterbox with a simple motion background, softened it a bit to hide some of the artifacts and then desaturated it completely. When we added bold white text on top of the video, we knew we were headed in the right direction. We now had a very clean look that masked the compression of the video and made the text pop over the black and white video.
Now we had a look that the client was very happy with, but we still had to compliment that look with the still photos that needed to be incorporated into the piece. The answer was simple having already established a look. I matted out all the backgrounds of the photos and added them on top of our motion background that gave a little depth but still maintained our clean look.
In the end the client was very happy, and I was reminded of something one of my film school professors used to say regarding editing – don’t over complicate things. Sometimes adding bells and whistles isn’t always the best approach. For this project creating a clean look and adding just a few subtle elements helped to emphasize what was really important.