The assignment was Alternate Ending worth 5 stars. This was the hardest part of my final project for two reasons: I was shooting with inanimate objects by myself and it was hot as heck outside when filming. The original scene I picked was from Terminator 2 and it can be seen below. Watch up to 2:20 or so for the reference.
I first set up my set. I pulled a few things from my backyard to be the trees in the scene. Yes that is a Sesame Street house and a Ninja Turtle van.
I then filmed everything with my Sony camera. I used Windows Movie Maker for the entire project except for near the end when the Terminator is shooting out electricity. I used PowerDirector for that effect.
I imported my video and used the Firework effect under the “effect room” button. I clicked modify and used the offsets to move the effect around until it was in a nice spot. I saved the video as a WMV and then did my business in Windows Movie Maker.
I added each scene by clicking the add video button. I then added titles by clicking the title button. Music was added by clicking the add music button. The narrations are the actual Terminator 2 theme but I wanted them to sound off so I would not get flagged for copyright issues on YouTube. I hit record narration and then played the theme song from a YouTube video and it is recognizable but different. I saved the entire video with the YouTube option and uploaded the finished product.
Now some may argue my scene ends the same way as Terminator 2 and I say no way! The cyborg Terminator shot the liquid metal Terminator in the original, in my vision an Ewok shot the cyborg Terminator and that is different in my book! There is also another movie reference in my video, did you catch it?
I then went random and said whatever came to mind. This little Ewok has been in quite a few movies and I needed his dialogue to be all over the place to stay in character. I had a general idea of topics to hit but wanted things to be very loose. I imported all my video into PowerDirector. I added pictures to the background and used the Chroma key to remove all the green. PowerDirector was free so while not the best, it is serviceable.
I saved each scene as a WMV file and then imported them into Windows Movie Maker, also free!
I added some sound effects with the add music button. I also added the beginning and ending title boards by clicking on the credits button. Both sound and credits are under the home page. When done I clicked save as and used the YouTube option and uploaded my file to YouTube.
The Cereal Killer was created and debuted in 2006 with the film “Cereal Killer.” He wears a Scary Movie mask and wields a knife and a mace & chain. He lives only to make bad jokes and kill anyone in his way. Probably anyone not in his way too. Since 2006 he has been in three movies and will soon be in his forth and last film, Cereal Killer 4: The Final Chapter. He has also hosted nineteen episodes of my web series “Tales from the Whackbag.” This has been a very fun character for me to play over the last decade and many of his lines are ad-libbed. Before he is finished off for good I wanted to squeeze in one last project with him. I present to you, “Cereal Killer Chewbacca?”
The assignment was to spoof a viral video. I was inspired to do this because I wanted to do one last thing with the Cereal Killer AND I think the Chewbacca Mom video is annoying as hell. So I figured I would do this and make fun of it. A masked killer wearing the mask of a killer? There has to be some kind of irony there! I did not add any visual effects and kept the sound FX to a minimum as the video I spoofed has no effects. If you have not seen the original video this is what I spoofed:
I shot the film with my Sony HD camcorder in 1080p. The camera was sitting on the dashboard of my Mustang. I just hit record and went. I had an idea of what I generally wanted to say but I felt ad-libbing was the way to go so it was unscripted like the original Chewbacca video. I edited everything in Windows Movie Maker. The very first shot is just a solid black picture for two seconds. I then clicked title to add my two title screens. I clicked add videos to bring in the video I shot. The start and end point can be edited under video tools. The sound FX were added by clicking the music button dropdown arrow and then clicking add music at current point.
The Freddy Krueger sound FX were taken from http://www.realmofdarkness.net/pc/sb/horror/freddy/3. It is a soundboard so I just used the record narration button to record the sound I played. Hit record, play the sound, stop button, trim the sound and adjust the volume if needed. The intro song and end credits song are covers both played by me. I played every instrument and recorded it in CoolEdit96 as usual. I did not record these for this project exclusively, both songs were recorded in 2014. I hope you get a laugh or two (or more) out of this video!
In 2013 I found a different calling and started to go to a Christian church in downtown Fredericksburg. In February of 2014 I was baptized and became a Christian. Prior to this lifestyle change I had been a death metal musician for over 15 years. I would soon become a member of the worship band at my church. I was a death metal musician Monday-Saturday and a worship leader on Sundays. I fused the two elements together in 2014 and made a Christian death metal album. For anyone that is curious here is a song (with cheesy video) from it:
First yes, my death metal band is called Telephone Pole Cancer. I shared this song so you can get an idea of my “normal” singing voice and playing style. Obviously the vocal style I used is not for everyone! I wrote a few worship songs last year and I finally recorded the song called “Praise the Lord.” Praise was the first recorded song I tried to sing on since 2002. This is the song and video. Hope you enjoy it!
This was by far the most time consuming assignment I have done for DS106. I used CoolEdit96 to record the song. I recorded the guitar first, then the bass, the drums and the keyboards last. The very last thing I did was the vocals which are sometimes layered over multiple times. I avoid vocal effects but there are parts where there are five or six of me singing! This is an original song I wrote created from the Psalms in the bible.
The video was shot at my house and I also went down to Old Mill Park to shoot some video. The scene with the water would be the Rappahannock River. It was difficult deciding what to shoot for this video. I did not want to take any copyrighted pictures from the internet. I tried to go for symbolism with shots representing things that remind me of God. Things like water (baptism), trees (life) and the sky (heaven). I also tried out a few low camera angles that I mentioned in my blogs from earlier in the week. I used PowerDirector to do the opening title and imbed the cross in the sky via green screen. First the title:
Now the green screen effect. The shot of the cross in front of the green screen is on the left and the cross with the green removed is to the right. I also added a visual star effect after the green screen was finished.
Fellow Ds106er’s, green screen (AKA Chroma Key) is a blast to work with but can also be VERY frustrating. You cannot have any shadows behind the subject you are shooting. You need one simple consistent green color behind your subject. This was fairly simple to do but it can get much more difficult when the object you are shooting is moving. If you would like to try out green screen first you’ll need software that supports it. PowerDirector and iMovie can be used, last I checked Windows Movie Maker cannot. There are also numerous tutorials on YouTube. Windows Movie Maker is great for simple editing and that’s what I used to piece this together. A screen shot of the whole video:
I used a few effects in Movie Maker which can be found under the top via “Visual Effects.” The words were added by clicking on the caption button. I cannot stress enough to just play around and have fun. I am a self taught musician and learned everything I have done in video by trial and error. I know if I can do it you will all succeed as well.