Writing is something that I enjoy personally, and so it makes me even happier that now we have this wonderful platform when it comes to writing not only about the gaming industry and the games we’re looking at in general, but also our experiences as pertains to creating the wonderful videos you see over on our channels.
With that being said, I’d like to just give you a brief behind the scenes look in to the making of the Bounce Off winners video. Some people think that making videos for Youtube is actually really easy, and they can be, depending on the quality that you’re trying to achieve with your video, you could simply cut the ends off, sync the audio and ship it out the door. We however don’t do things like that. The video we uploaded is a highlight video that runs for just under 15 minutes. The footage in total was just over 45 minutes and required being cut down to a size that made it more enjoyable to watch, as there were moments where we were all quiet or just working our way through less interesting areas of the levels.
The four of us were gathered in a Skype call, and along with one of the staff members of Nerf games who had asked if they could listen in to the call, we synced up our audio tracks and got ready in the game. It was all filmed live, and unscripted, the moment I said go in the video, was when we started. The entire thing took as I mentioned just over 45 minutes, with Surge finishing first at around the 20 minute mark, second place was grabbed up by myself a few minutes later, than then just after I finished Kel took third place. We then kept filming and waited for Fluke to finish which was about 15 minutes later than everyone else. The last 15 minutes of footage were scrapped instantly as it wouldn’t have been enjoyable to watch Fluke play catchup when everyone else was finished. If we had of been using music in the video, we could have had more Fluke moments, where we changed to a much slower pace music track, or even included written information about how long the video had been going when he finished, but we decided to take it a different route.
Normally a process like cleaning up a video like this, takes a while but not too long. This was actually my first experience of having to watch multiple tracks to find good moments from them all myself and then having to cut those out while keeping the audio tracks in tact. My previous experience with highlight videos were the Battlefield Bad Company 2 videos you might have seen floating around on channels on Youtube. Let me tell you, those are completely different from what we were trying to do with the Bounce Off video firstly because everyone watched their own footage back and then sent me the highlights, secondly because there was a lack of audio to worry about and it was all action. With Bounce I kept having to switch between 4 different views, depending on what was going on with the audio tracks (Something we’ve adjusted for the next video in this style) to then watch that persons view point and see if there was anything worth showing the public, then just cut the beginning and end of the scene, remove the filler and shrink the time line. It sounds fairly simple doesn’t it?
But Bounce Off was the hardest video to put together so far in my experience, for multiple reasons. The first, was this was actually the first time we were asking Surge to provide us with any footage longer than 30 seconds. Surge doesn’t have a fantastic upload speed, and so asking for his whole time line took 12 hours. He uploaded this overnight and I found out the next day that the video was infact corrupt after 25 minutes, and the header was unable to be read by Premiere at all, meaning that we needed him to reupload. This took another 12 hours. I was thinking to myself at this point, ok, no big deal, we’re delayed by half a day, we’re still ok.
The night we filmed the Bounce Off, Kel ended up having a flash flood in his area. His backyard essentially became a swimming pool, which the only way for the water to drain out of, was through his house and out the front door. Meaning he had to quickly move anything that could be damaged (including his electronics) out of the ground floor of the house. This added even more time to the delay, as we had to make sure that Kel’s house had survived the random act of malevolence. In the ensuing chaos that was trying to clean up the water, and also trying to keep the video release on time. Kel forgot to scale his footage, meaning that it would have to be reuploaded. Something that added even more time to the delays. Kel managed to salvage everything important in his house, while the carpets took some damage.
The next issue then came in the form of Premiere itself. Premiere decided to hardlock while in the middle of an autosave, corrupting not only the save itself, but freezing the entire PC. Upon reloading, it turned out I had lost about 2 hours worth of work. I changed the autosave settings in Premiere to make sure this couldn’t happen again, and then continued on with the editing. Premiere however didn’t take too kindly to me asking it to show multiple 1080p tracks at the same time, and on a few occasions while trying to quick skip between tracks, froze up, taking my graphics driver with it and showing me an error message I’ve never seen in all my years of using PC’s.
But floods, crashes. FTP errors and everything in between couldn’t stop us from getting this video out. 3 days later than planned, and destroying the entire schedule for the week in its wake, the video was published. And what have we learned from this experience? I’ve learnt that when it comes to things of this nature, giving a published time for the video going up is a bad idea, while normal scheduling works, there are too many random factors involved with a 4 person viewpoint video. Surge has learned that he needs to find a better internet connection. Fluke has learned that he needs to not give me his phone number. And Kel? Kel has learned that the divine does not take kindly to Surge winning.