LEFT 4 DEAD: DEAD RECKONING TRAILER

You guys voted on wanting ‘Personal’ blog entries and I guess the best way to start is by talking about the thing that has sucked up the last two weeks of my life. First and foremost, I should point out that everything I did in Final Cut Pro and Adobe After Effects, I had to teach myself. I used my resource of the Internet and the vast amount of Youtube videos, so I apologize if it isn’t 100% spot on, I’m still learning here. However, this class was suppose to teach me how to use FCP and failed to do so. So, I had to teach myself, not that I’m complaining. /headdesk

Heads up, this could be awhile…

The project idea was actually going to be a Left 4 Dead spin-off, but I didn’t have enough people, so I had changed it to some stupid MW2 parody that I was going to film over Thanksgiving break. However, two days before Thanksgiving, Jeremy, a friend, approached me with the idea to do a Left 4 Dead video again. At this point, I sent out an email asking if anyone would like to help. I had roughly fifty people email me back saying that they’d be willing to help. With this in mind, I learned all that I could in three days, about Adobe After Effects, while Jeremy worked on the script.

Derno (Harrison) drove all the way from Michigan to help out and I really appreciate him doing so, he was the best Hunter a Left 4 Dead fanatic could even ask for. We also recruited Michael to be Ellis, since I knew he was still all set up from our trek to New York Comic Con.

mekinsleycc(New York Comic Con. I look so white in this photo. O.O)

We had two days to shoot the footage we needed to make a 3-8 minute trailer. What we didn’t count on was that no one had shown up that was suppose to, leaving us with just four. We also didn’t count on it being cold as hell, because the entire week it had been warm, but if you watch some of the night shots with Zoey and the Hunter and the Hunter in the dark, you can see snow falling… >.<”

Snow-1(I circled the snowflakes in blue. This photo is how Derno picks up chicks, fyi.)

We shot on Saturday as much as we could before it got too dark, and on Sunday we tried to shoot as much as we could before Derno had to head back home and Michael needed to get back to his house. It was a little warmer than on Saturday, but not by much and it proceeded to get colder as the sun went down. Needless to say, I might have complained a bit. o.o If it’s under 75 degrees, I’m freezing.

fail(Attempting to direct Kinsley on where to stand. Photo links to Outtakes video.)

By the time we got back to my house, I told Jeremy that I didn’t think we had enough shots for me to work with, in order for it to be 3 minutes worth, at least. Understanding my concern as well as expressing some of his own, we decided that we’d shoot a couple more clips, just so we had something else to work with. We watched the the trailer a couple more times and I noted that in one scene where the zombies are running towards the survivors, their shadows are displayed on the side of the building. I thought this was a cool idea that we could maybe attempt.

running(Yes, that’s me. Freezing my ass off in 30 degree weather.)

The best place we could do this would had to be my garage. For some reason we had yellow Fire Police lights, that was powered by the cigarette lighter of a car. So I pulled up my car next to the garage and stretched the yellow light as far is it could go and jerry-rigged it to a box lifter at an angle. The light, we used a spotlight that is suppose to stick in the ground. We duck taped it to a table in the doorway of the garage and stretched the extension cord to reach as far is it could. Then we proceeded to run like idiots in the cold, as you can tell, I’m in a tank top. We ran a couple different ways, with jackets on, with jackets off, my hair up and down. When I edited the entire thing together, I ended up layering the different runs on top of each other with black space in between to hopefully get a ‘flashing’ effect.

After we were done shooting a couple more scenes, Jeremy left, leaving me with the task of putting this all together in After Effects and Final Cut. I had from this point, one day to do so. Because on that coming Monday, I was suppose to show my ‘Final Rough’, which meant in my teachers terms…’It needs to be finished.’ So I did the best I could, I pushed two days of sleeping about 3 hours total to finally get the project in an ‘almost finished state’. There were a few things that still needed to be worked on, but I figured that I could remind her that this wasn’t the ‘Final’ version.

zoey guns(I’ve spent a lot of time looking at myself looking like an idiot.)

Monday rolls around and I show my professor the clip and she says she really loves it and to keep up with the good work. She also says that I’m farther in anyone else in the class (none of them turned in a rough, let alone a storyboard, which was due a week ago) and that I don’t have to show up the rest of the week. But to meet with her next Monday during her office hours so she can just check in with me before I show my Final project that Thursday. Pumped, I text Jeremy the good news, happy with how it all went down, but knew I still had a lot of work to do until I was at my standards.  This mean that Jeremy’s project was due that coming Tuesday and mine was due Thursday.

This then opened into the most hellish week I’ve ever experienced sleep wise. That entire week I had maybe gotten about 2 days worth of sleep total. I was so frantic about this project, (For me it’s my entire final grade, and I needed to keep my 4.0) that I only slept for a period of about two hours a night total. I have seen the sun rise more this entire week, then I have probably seen my entire life. I even ate breakfast before I would go to my other classes, then come home, sleep two hours and work on the project some more, in between all of this doing homework for other classes as well.

bridge(I was so tired, I didn’t realize that this wasn’t a good Day to Night shot.)

While working on the video, I realized that I was short of the 3 minute mark and I needed extra clips. Thus began my strategy to con my mother to let me mess up her hand so I could use it as a zombie hand that maybe wrapped around a door. My plan worked easier than I thought it would and she was full force into it, she actually got upset that I only needed to take one clip of then hand and tried to think of other things we could use it in.

mom(She doesn’t know I uploaded this, so for her sake, I hid her face)

Monday then proceeded to quickly roll around faster than I had hoped and I walked in with what I would have called my ‘Final’ project. Since Jeremy needed it the next day, it had to be done. I walked in, DVD in hand ready to hear a few good comments and a few comments on what I would need to fix. I explained to her what Left 4 Dead was and why there wasn’t many zombies as well as the quality of the crappy camera. The only response I got? ‘Oh that’s nice….but I don’t think it’s any good. I hope you bring something else in for Thursday.’

WAIT WHAT. I was almost reduced to tears, I had sacrificed doing well in a tournament, I missed another tournament, I was falling asleep in classes, and barely functioning, let alone I hadn’t picked up a controller in almost two weeks. FOR THIS SHIT?? It was a complete 180 from last week. Granted, if you had seen some of her footage (Youtube: JudyBethMorris), you’ll understand that she shouldn’t have had any reason to comment on anything about it. She commented on the video’s storyline and things like that, when she should have been commenting on the VIDEO EDITING. Which was what I was supposed to do for class. Needless to say I lost it. If you walk around SU’s campus, there might be an overturned garbage can that decided to stray in my foot’s path as I walked back to my car. I texted Jeremy the news and that I would try to fix it as much as I could that night before I sent it over his way.

run(Michael runs funny.)

That night I sat at my computer fuming, I was proud as fuck at my video – it was a lot of work and I had to do it all by myself. At this point, I said, “Fuck it.” I was going to let the Internet decide of what they thought of my video, if they thought it was terrible, I’d figure out something else for my final project (due in 3 days). I fixed the video as much as I could and sent it to Jeremy, apologizing profusely if he didn’t do well on it.

Long story short, it appear that you, the Anon’s/Friends/Family on the Internet actually really like the video. So here is to all of you! Thank you for all of your support and all of your amazing comments! If it wasn’t for you I’d still be /headdesk ‘ing.

heart(I can’t pull this off, because I’m not Taylor Swift.)

Sorry for the long blog entry, I guess you didn’t realize that once you get me talking, I won’t ever shut up. >.<”. Anyways, if you made it this far, I really appreciate you reading (or skipping to the end). <3′s to you.

Question For You: What was your favorite part about the L4D trailer?

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