Back Tuesday 15th September 1998 Next

by Henry Burrows

Starting On The Trailer
Location: Farnham, Surrey

WARNING: the following diary entry contains details of a technical nature which some readers may find distressing.

Post-production has now begun.  I'm starting with the trailer for the movie before I start on the movie itself.  This gives me a chance to practise using my new editing system (Adobe Premiere on a PII 266MHz PC) and it's something I can put up on the Internet to give visitors an idea of what Foiled will have to offer.

First step in the production of the trailer was to watch lots of "professional" movie trailers.  Fortunately Empire magazine has given out a few free tapes of movie trailers in the last couple of years, so I had plenty of source material.  After that, I worked through the original script, picking out shots and sound-bites that might work well in the trailer.  I came up with the following few concepts:

The last of the above concepts was the first to fall into place.  Mark Flitter has the ability to put on a really deep voice, so he recorded a few standard lines which were sampled into a digital format for use in the editing.

The next step was to digitise the relevant video clips from the source S-VHS-C videotapes onto my PC.  For the technically minded among you, I'm capturing with a DC30+ board which stores the clips in M-JPEG format.  Now let's get really technical... I'm capturing at 6:1 compression, 25 frames per second, 4:3 frame ratio, full PAL resolution (768x576) at a data rate of 3600Kb/sec, giving me an average file size of about a gigabyte for between four and five minutes of video.  I may tweak these parameters, but so far my experiments have provided good quality images.

Having gathered the necessary clips (1.38Gb worth) I decided that some key sound effects from the movie would be required for the trailer.  This was a bit of a problem, as none of them had even been considered yet.  Foil Man's voice would be needed for the brief action shots where he is roaring in anger, and a strange alien "foily" sound would be required for any shots of the small aliens.  These are what I've been working on for the last few days.

Sound Effects Ideas So Far

I've been experimenting with a great (and free) vocoder - the Zerius Vocoder - for the processing of Foil Man's voice.  I sampled some foil noises and used them to process the voice - the result is something more robotic than foil-like but it certainly adds that alien touch to him!  I may experiment further with this...

For the sounds of the small aliens I'm considering sampling noises of insects, slowing them down, and adding foil effects.  Hopefully that should give them a living yet alien feeling... (of course I might come up with something even better, time will tell...)

So, work on the trailer will continue for a while yet, meaning that Foiled itself is still some time off... (1999?)

Back Index Next