Saturday, August 21, 2010

Y to the O to the G - Creating [for] the Youth Olympic Games

Finally delivered a big project for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, held in Singapore from 14 to 26 August. We were responsible for all the audio-visuals in the Youth Olympic Village at NTU as well as the 'Blazing the Trail' Olympic Gallery at Suntec International Convention Centre [which is also a competition venue].

All in all, we completed... 3 single-screen AVs [of 4 videos - because one of the screens had 2 stories] and 2 x panoramic AV.

KAPOW! The Phantom high-speed piece we have over at Suntec Convention Centre - a centerpiece that greets visitors to the exhibition and competitions.

Pretty happy with all the AVs, especially the panoramic AV for Suntec - because it was a fairly epic project: 8m-wide screen consisting of purely Phantom high-speed footage which was composited into a custom canvas and also required masking and grading. We also worked with a sound designer to create an original 5.1 soundscape to further enhance the panoramic action. First time working with all these elements [Phantom, custom superwide canvas, DataOn Watchout system, 5.1 audio] - but happy to have worked out some kind of workflow that, well, worked!

Spent many nights transcoding the Phantom footage from .CINE to .MOV [Cinepak] and finally to .MOV [ProRes(HQ)] - but the footage [which I believe went from 12-bit to 10-bit] was really good for grading. So much latitude to work with! Worked especially well for the first Phantom sequence we shot - which we were still figuring out some of the settings - since I was able to correct some of the lighting/hue issues in post.

Here's an excerpt:

Quite bummed about the lack of publicity for the Suntec Olympic Gallery and any mention of this panorama - because I believe it's not something you get to see a lot. Was down at the site to finally take a look at the piece and was happy to see a pair of parents and their young child being mesmerized. After staring at each shot for more than a 100 times while editing, the 'WHOA' factor does wear off fairly fast. So it's really nice to see fresh pairs of eyes being lit up by the piece.

As for the other AVs, had quite a fun time with a pure editing piece: cutting footage of various Olympic Opening Ceremonies and the lighting of the flame. We had access to footage dating back to 1960 [Rome, I believe], right up to Beijing 2008. The footage from Tokyo 1964 was surreal, though... intercutting shots of the released birds with faces of freaked out athletes and having an ominous soundtrack underneath the shot of a wailing baby...

The Flame video, flanked by actual Olympic Torches from the past Games.
[having bright display panels shining onto the glossy HD TV isn't really a good idea...]

We also had 2 pieces profiling local YOG athletes: one which followed a day in the life of a Triathlete and another focused on the sport of Male Artistic Gymnastics and Equestrian. Nice little vignettes that give audiences a little peek into the lives of these young Olympians. Also the first time I worked with DSLR footage and it mixed pretty well when cut with our HDV footage. My director had [too much!] fun overcranking with the DSLR - but it did give a very nice mood to the two pieces.

The 2 AVs are enclosed in their own 'booths' which are shaped like the Olympic rings.

Didn't have the chance to see our works in the Youth Olympic Village though - somehow our accreditation passes weren't processed and so, we can't enter the restricted lands. Ah, bummer - I was looking forward to having some sort of special YOG souvenir.

Moving on, I'm currently working on a series of 20 x 1-min vignettes shot on the 5D for an upcoming tourist spot. Working with really nice visuals coming out from the 5D. We've also just finished a stopmotion piece... with the 5D. As I'm blogging here on a Saturday afternoon, I'm also monitoring the transcoding of 5D footage back on the work Mac Pro - through LogMeIn. This part, I like - since I don't miss inputting timecodes and popping in tapes!