hey friends,

this week I have another behind-the-scenes installment of “The Real Luke: Pursuance of Justice.” I’m not sure who that joker handsome devil was that did the last one, but he sure spells poorly. heh, anyhoo.

I want to give y’all a look into my creative process.

often when I start a project I”ll create an Animatic. basically this is a rough visual outline of the proposed piece with a scratch audio tracktrack so I can see how what I’ve conceptualized plays in “real time.” the visuals will be a mix of storyboards, found images, test footage, or even just plain text. the audio will often be me reading the script OR if it’s a music video – the final track.

this is technique is especially helpful for music videos, since there is a fixed amount of time that needs to be filled with picture. I first came upon this idea when editing a music video for another director. at the end of the video there was going to be a CGI shot of two bananas on a grill. the thing that he didn’t realize until we’d cut the video was there was 40 SECONDS of song after that point. did he really want to show one shot of animated fruit for almost a minute???

probably not.

but he didn’t conceptualize the video accurately in preproduction – so now he was hosed.

ever since then I’ve made sure that all my story/performance beats are shown against against the song BEFORE I shoot. that way, if one section is too slow, or lacking in content – I can revise my plan.

so what does this have to do with the “TRL: Pursuance of Justice” trailer? well, even though there wasn’t a fixed music track, I was trying to recreate something with a specific run time – the “30 Second Teaser.” I wanted to make sure my “script” was long enough, so I recorded myself using FCP’s voice over tool, then created text cards that said things like “TRL Traveling in Nature.”

when the pacing felt right, I grabbed a pencil and started to draw the storyboards. then my intern Kevin scanned them, cut them apart, and edited them to the timing of my “text” animatic. that gave myself, the producers, and the DP a clearer idea of the vision and pacing for the film. then from that I created my shot list.

I wouldn’t use this exact process on something like “Certified” but for this project it worked quite nicely.

here’s a side by side comparison of the Animatic and the Final Video. enjoy!

in the next couple weeks I’ll have behind the scenes on “Certified,” “Updating Paige,” and an interview with my friend and filmmaker Lex Halaby!

-Luke