Id-Dawl tal-Hajja- Making-Of

The short film ‘The Light of Life’ (Id-Dawl tal-Hajja) was one of the most time exhausting projects that I have ever worked on. At first we thought that it is going to be very simple to conduct but during the process we had to fix various problems. These are the main problems that we encountered.

 

Problem 1 – Sound Recording

Shirley Spiteri Mintoff and Stanley Aguis were generously enough to lend us their microphone which makes use of XLR pin connection. My DSLR Canon 600D does not accept such connection so I decided to buy a converter from EBAY.  Well guess what? 2 hours before the filming we realized that the converter was broken and we didn’t have any equipment to record the sound on. Stanley warned me of this possibility and he was right. Me and my brother phoned our friends and tried to find a solution. Josef Cauchi saved the day by lending us his microphone. But guess what? The smoke machine that we used was making noise even after it was turned off. So we decided to do dubbing and record all the audio in my brother’s room.

I decided to search the internet and try to find solutions how to do dubbing .I came up with this solution which is very easy to do in Adobe After Effects. The bottom ruler acts as a timeline and the red line determines the current actual time. The width of every phrase determines how long the actor has to say the word. Peter Borg managed to understand and comprehend the system in a beneficial way. Later my brother synchronized the dubbed audio with actual footage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Problem 2 – Compression Problems

In my Master’s degree I conducted a unit which evaluated image compression techniques. The quality of the video is not only determined by the resolution but also by the bit rate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To conduct colour correction, I used Andrew Kramer’s optical flares plugin.  It gave the image a blue gradient look from the left hand side. So far, so good… But what happens when the image is uploaded to YouTube? Well compression takes place and unfortunately colour banding occurs. YouTube makes use of low bit rate to have faster playbacks on the internet.  The H.264 compressor starts ‘eliminating’ colours to reduce the amount of data that every frame has and thus making it smaller in size. We contacted creative cow and corridor digital about this problem. Niko and Sam (Corridor Digital) replied us and suggested to add noise to the picture and hide the banding. We applied their suggestion and mitigated the problem but we were just hiding the problem and not fixing it. The problem cannot be fixed unless YouTube decides to increase the bit rate of every frame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally we decided to upload our video on Vimeo because it supports higher bitrate than YouTube. 

You can watch the comparison to deduce the final result yourself.