Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Holmes and Watson Mysteries


Old Tyme Mysteries

Deciding what to do with the Sherlock Holmes footage was hard. A lot of the buddy style openings used to have a lot of action shots. And believe be, there was a definite lack of action shots in these movies. Most of it consisted of people standing around talking. Nope, this wasn't going to be an action opening. And there was nothing that could be used to do a sitcom. Well maybe there might be but it would be a stretch. That meant I was going to have to fall back and just do it as a mystery show.

Project Notes Under The Cut...

Search for the music.

That said, i knew it would be another long stretch on looking for an appropriate song. Initially I have no idea of the direction of these openings. That means I to spend a lot of time searching for music. But since I knew it would be mystery that would make it even harder. I was looking for a specific type of music this time. I did think that I wanted to find something with violins in it to keep with the Holmes theme.

It's difficult to peg down exactly what you want to search for on Audionetwork. They have some great search parameters but they don't always work the way I need them.

I found a few songs I liked and marked them. The next day or two I listened to them again. I then played them for Vaunda and she came to the same choice that I did. Though all of them had that syncopated beat that could be connected to Holmes's clockwork mind one stood out. It also had the best division of intro, middle, and ending. Also this one reminded me of the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries [HBND]. And that's a ystery show! That in itself tended to help in the decision for the opening pattern to use.

Pick An Opening

[HBND] used as a background book covers to their various stories. I was exploring that concept but found there was a definite lack of decent looking covers for the Holmes stories. And the ones I found were varied in the styles.

But most of all the stories were often combined into volumes with names like The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, and The Return of Sherlock Holmes. There was no way I would ever find 50 covers to use. So instead I went with a variety of shots of Holmes and Watson buddy shots. This actually turned out better as it created a cleaner background. But I decided to incorporate the few good covers I had found into the body of the vid.

I began placing the clips onto this background similar to the style in [HBND]. But I soon found that I wanted something different. Reviewing some other openings I remembered that the Parks and Recreation opening also contained clips in panels - and they moved around. I began animating the clips with those types of transitions within the [HBND] style opening.

The Most Tedious Chore

This had to be the most tedious key framing exercise I've ever done. Add to that every clip needed to be cropped precisely to line up with the background. The problem it's some of the older footage is the out scan lines are sometimes incomplete. I line it up to an edge and it looks good on one end. But the other end shows an uneven background. That meant I needed to crop every single edge.

You've Got To Kidding!

But then I discovered something bad. Really bad. Somehow I had set the project up incorrectly. Instead of a standard 4:3 at 640 x 480 with square pixels I had set the project to the the 3:2 at 720 x 480 with rectangle pixels. In general the look is very close. I thought something was wrong but I couldn't put my finger on it. I believe it came from accidentally picking the wrong preset.

That meant that every single clip I'd placed would be distorted. So I had to go back and change the distortion value on every clip, reposition it on the background, and redo every single cropping [ four for every clip ]. This took about half a day to correct. Not as bad as I thought it you'll be. To assist in the insanity I found that replacing the black lined overlay with a red lined overlay. Since the footage was in black & white it made it much easier to spot when things were lining up.

Paint It Black (And White)

There was the conflict between the black & white footage and the colour of the covers and text. I did some tests by desaturating the covers to see how that looked. In my opinion it dulled down the look too much. The sudden appearance of the colour covers caught the eye and brought you to see some of the story names which everyone would recognize. So I decided to keep the colour.

Elapsed Time For Project

This project was started 28 FEB 2012 with the search for the music.

Total work time [est.] : 40 hours

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed the finished video and I can see what you meant by the constant talking shots, but you did what you could and it worked out nicely. I appreciated the Violin music and the way Holmes is shown playing as it enters the song. I have part of the book collection with the cover that appears at 54 seconds. It's a great one. I believe there are 3 volumes and it has every story by Doyle.