Wistia Cribs: LessFilms

We've talked a good bit about our own office studio here in Somerville, but because the world doesn't revolve entirely around us, we wanted to give you an up-close-and-personal peek into some different studios of different sizes and types. That's why we started Wistia Cribs!

While we won't be showing you any massive glitter-filled hot tubs or custom Ferraris, we do have an awesome video contribution from our friends at LessFilms, giving you a look at where they make video magic happen. Based in Florida, LessFilms (@lessfilms) makes commercials, music videos, and documentaries. Check out their Crib below and read on for director Eric Darnell's breakdown of how the video was made.

Hey everybody, Eric from LessFilms here! I wanted to tell you a bit about the making of our Wistia Cribs video and prove to you that unicorns are real.

Equipment List:

1: Talking to a laptop.

Since we were working remotely at the time, we came up with the idea to pre-record Corey's parts and mimic a Skype call. I cut his lines up into individual clips and played them back on my laptop using a Quicktime player to loop the video in full screen mode. This process worked great for all of the indoor shots, but when I took the laptop outside the display was rendered useless by the Florida sun.

2: The sun is really bright!

To make the laptop video work in the outdoor shots, I had to bring the footage into After Effects, motion track the four corners of the display, and apply that tracking data to Corey's video clips. After that, I color-graded Corey's clips to match up with the other indoor shots. I also had to use every light that I had to somewhat even out the exposure between the covered patio area and the marina in the background.

3: One man film crew.

Being in front of the camera meant that half the time I was guessing if the shot was in focus or if I was even in frame. I would set the shot up, hit record, go stand on my mark, then come back to the camera to review the footage. After doing that a few times, I hit record and hoped for the best. I got lucky when some of my co-workers were available to monitor the camera and audio recorder.

4: Feed your friends.

For the final scene of the video, I needed some extras. One way to ensure that warm bodies will show up to your shoot is to offer them food. I wrote an outdoor grilling scene into the script to ensure that the extras had to be in the video to get the food. I gave the extras some instruction as to what they should be doing in the shot and then, once again, hoped for the best.

5: Camera shy.

Trying to direct from in front of the camera while delivering the performance of my life was a challenge. I was uncomfortable during most of the shoot and unsure of how the video would turn out. Now that the video is a wrap, I can honestly say that I am happy with the final cut and grateful for the opportunity to share it with you.

If you're someone who is always behind the lens, I encourage you to turn that camera around and let the awkwardness flow through you like the force through George Lucas. Episodes 4, 5, and 6 only, of course.

Want more Cribs?

You can check out our first installment featuring Zendesk, Skyscope Creative, and Beyond Pix Studios. Got a sweet Crib of your own? Tell us all about it at submissions[at]wistia.com!

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