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Film from still images - workflow

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Dima Venkov
Film from still images - workflow
on Mar 7, 2011 at 10:01:43 pm

We are going to make a 4-5 min narrative sequence out of still images. The scene is mainly dialogues in 6 different environments (in a museum). The sound will be recorded later. All the still image films I've seen (notably La Jetee or the Colloques de chiens) are mainly action based. I wonder if anyone had any experience making still image scenes with dialogues and would have tips for that. Also, if anyone could advise on the workflow, that'd be very helpful. We're shooting with canon mkII.
Thank you!


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john sharaf
Re: Film from still images - workflow
on Mar 7, 2011 at 10:06:37 pm

If I understand correctly, you'll have narrative dialogue to cover the sequence of still photographs (?). If this is correct, I highly advise you to not defer the sound to later, but record and edit it first and then use it as a template on which to construct the visuals. You will have a much happier experience. This is how all animation is produced, and what you are doing is very similar.

JS



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Dima Venkov
Re: Film from still images - workflow
on Mar 7, 2011 at 10:36:25 pm

Thanks for the tip! It does makes a lot of sense to record sound ahead of time and use it as a template. We are definitely going to do that.


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john sharaf
Re: Film from still images - workflow
on Mar 7, 2011 at 10:47:17 pm

OK. Now that we're past that, the irony is that this type of film, which used to be best shot on an animation stand (think camera mounted on a vertical arm with flat copy lighting and combination up and down movement with coordinated follow focus) is now best accomplished with a scanner and computer software.

Not being completely post-production literate in this genre, I'm only guessing that something like After Effects would be the best software; perhaps others with more direct experience will chime in with recommendations.

The scanning of course should be done in as high a resolution as possible to .jpeg or .tiff type files and then the movements, fades and dissolves, etc. done with the software.


Good luck!

JS



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Dima Venkov
Re: Film from still images - workflow
on Mar 7, 2011 at 11:05:04 pm

Thanks John, but we are not trying to do a stop motion type of film. It will be more in the style of la Jetee with still images used not to simulate motion but rather as pictures with dialogue recorded over them. The pictures will be succeding one another at a rate from 1-2 fps to 3-5 seconds on a single picture. I imagine that our challenge here is to make the dialogue look natural and not boring to death because not much action is happening apart from talking.


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john sharaf
Re: Film from still images - workflow
on Mar 7, 2011 at 11:15:46 pm

Yes, I assumed that was the case. Modern computer technology however can accomplish the moves and effects better than you could with camera movement (eith live action or animated), unless the scale of the art was very large.

The alternative of using .jpeg or similar files in the computer (assuming you can get high quality reproductions of the art in question) will yield a much better effect. With museum art there is usually very nice catalogs published in color with high quality images, or you can take still photos at 4K type resolution to input into AE.

If that's the photographic method you choose, don't be afraid to shoot horizontally on vertical pictures (and visa-versa) as you can twist and resize in post. The objective is to make the art fill the frame, making as many pixels as possible.

JS




JS



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Dima Venkov
Re: Film from still images - workflow
on Mar 7, 2011 at 11:39:35 pm

I thought of not using any moves on pictures, it's hard to avoid the Ken Burns documentary feel when you do that, and it's not what we're going for. Unless you can think of examples of more interesting and complex moves.


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john sharaf
Re: Film from still images - workflow
on Mar 7, 2011 at 11:53:01 pm

Check out the Doc on producer Robert Evens, called "The Kid Stays In The Picture", here's imb link:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0303353/

I recall some really nice three dimensional still work in it.

JS



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Dima Venkov
Re: Film from still images - workflow
on Mar 8, 2011 at 12:03:18 am

Cool! Thanks!


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