We're trying to concept some transitions for a television commercial for a health-care client (a pain-management center), and I think my brain is stale.
The client wants three scenes of various activities (i.e. running, golf swing, picking up a child)... that freeze in a particular point in time (a moment of pain) and then transition from one to another in a cool way. Our client (an ad agency, they do great print stuff but are not television or film people) thought of having each shot freeze and slide/wipe to reveal the next scene. Very creative. In my meeting with them I kept having to stifle phrases like "80s" and "cheesy." I kept hearing Lisa Simpson's voice in my head, "Dad there are other transitions besides the 'star wipe'."
The problem is, I don't have too much better in my head at this point to suggest to them. Initial thoughts were things like, freezing the action, and then floating/moving foregrounds and backgrounds independently (3D out of 2D)... or doing some faux "bullet-timeish" dolly arcs around the frozen action (if I could figure out a way to do that well that's within their budget)... or freezing action to have the background plate blur or tear away... things that can be done with conventional editing tools on a modest budget. The problem is, these all seem a bit tired and done-to-death now.
I'd be wide open to any suggestions, if anyone has any extra brilliance floating around.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
I like to mask out principals and properties and use them to reveal the incoming shot.
Kind of the "Tool Time" wipe, I think Grin means, where for example you use the line of the golf club to lead a matching alpha wipe to the new stuff on the layer revealed underneath. Not too tough to roto or even make with the multipoint garbage matte and some keyframing, right off your timeline, if you dont want to play with compositing.
I'm not clear if the client means that the three or so "pain poses" are all supposed to match up to one thing, or to each other, or just that each one reaches a similar "posture" say, and then goes into the relevant segment?
As far as the photoshop thing, I am a HUGE fanboy of the "2 and a half-D" look of floating layered stills. I love it so much I have to be careful to not go to it too often or it becomes my Simpson's "Star Wipe".
Something tasteful could be done with "picture in picture", and while this too can look dated, by changing the way you crop them, maybe adding tints or filters to some of the boxes, you can make it feel more contemporary or more "retro".
Just one example there would be for the golf swing, show some PIP boxes with a side view and a front full-body shot, to freeze on the backswing and split that front shot with vertical bar PIP's of the same shot, covering the spine area of the guy, but running full from bottom of frame to the top... offset slightly to suggest mis-alignment, and with a negative video filter effect, tinted blue or red. Blue implies x-rays, (which you could transition to from there) and red of course denotes pain. Red gradient fading from a hot white flash implies EXTREME pain. The deliberate offset of the same image, overlaid on itself and cropped, implies a spinal disk out of alignment, or more generically "something not right". You sell it with appropriate harsh, buzzy sfx or music stings underneath.
Yeah, I completely follow what you and Grinner were suggesting. That's more or less exactly what I was suggesting in my original post... I probably didn't explain it clearly. I was hoping for something a little more special, the "background reveal" seems just a little tired to me.
I, too, am a big fan of the "two-and-a-half D" look... that might be what we end of going with. I would definitely favor that over PIP or multi-shot or multi-boxes... as clean and classy as possible is my goal, and 2.5D certainly is that. There are just so many national commercials now that do that (and do it very well) that I didn't want to jump into something that's becoming overused.
Or we could jump back to the 1970s and just super lighting bolts around people. Isn't the universal symbol of pain? haaa...
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
You'll find mixing a lil glow with any transition makes it a whole new vibe. It also hides masking imperfections ;)
I also like to create quick snap zooms ala MTVisms. All depends on the flavor and personality of the peice. I never go into it with a plan.. I follow the vibe.
Fake "bullet time" is easier to do if you shoot the golfer on greenscreen and just rotate the fake background while the actor does a little twist where they stand. Of course you can put them on a large green turntable and make it even more convincing.
Or... maybe this is as easy as doing something with speed ramping, i.e. at the "pain point" you ramp wildly into super-duper-slow motion, maybe with some crunching celery SFX and appropriate narration, then smash-cut to full-motion a beat later as the actor begins to react to the onset of the pain.
Don't know why - but my mind immediately saw a graphic version of a simple NEURON the nucleus of which overlays the pain point, then spreads out linking to other nerves the sum of which fractures the existing scene to reveal the new one.
Kinda medical - but isn't that the point?
Idea worth at least what you're paying for it anyway.
In the 2.5D thing, the runner is running past the golf course, freezes in pain, then the shot moves in to the previously out of focus golfer in the background, he swings, freezes in pain, then you follow the ball with a whip pan to bring the person lifting into frame where they freeze in pain. So all the elements are in the original frame. So the transition is really moving through the frame objects and the prior one really just pushes past camera.
Or the runner freezes as he passes an ad on a bus shelter - the ad happens to be the 2nd scene of the golfer; push past frozen runner and ad comes to life full screen. Golfer freezes in pain, cam pans to bus stop person picking up suitcase and guess what, freezes in pain. No real transitions just getting from one to the next.
To go one further, Freeze your action on the pain shot flash it to a 2 1/2D Image that has a Graphic Novel look, use those to do you "Tool Time: transition or just jump back to the 70 and page wipe it off like a comic book......I mean Grahic Novel. Ehhh just my 2 Cents.
A cut is a cut & a dissolve is a disolve, and not just anybody with a system is a pro.