A short promotional trailer I created for The Vampire 5k, an ingeniously-themed fun-run wherein participants register as humans (“citizens”, as the race calls them), or vampires.
The two different “species” begin the race at separate locations on the course, and eventually the two different routes converge, at which point, opposing teams can score points by stealing flags from their respective human, or undead competition. Great idea, right?
To be honest, it didn’t take much more than the word “vampire” to get me on-board with this project, but when I heard the entire concept behind the race, I was sold.
I’m incredibly excited to be involved with this — my clients are AWESOME . It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with the race’s organizers, from start to finish. I sincerely hope this is just the beginning of a long and productive relationship!
I wanted the action in the film to have a highly-stylized, frenetic look, with lots of energy, and very little motion-blur. To achieve this hyper-kinetic, frantic look, I shot with an unusually fast shutter-speed, which meant I would need a lot of light to expose the images correctly, which again pointed towards shooting in daylight.
For this video, I was tasked with providing creative direction, videography, visual effects, compositing, sound design, motion-graphics, video editing, and logo design.
As a matter of practicality and necessity, all of the footage was filmed over two afternoons at the race’s Denver location, just outside the city, at the Chatfield Botanical Gardens. The decision to shoot a vampire film in daylight stemmed from a few reasons–
- We needed to accommodate the location’s holiday schedule, as well as the the race organizer, a handful of volunteer actors, and the professional hired to portray the vampire.
- The overall budget for the production was fairly modest, and the elaborate lighting set-up that would have been required to light such a large location would have far exceeded the project’s spending limit, and
- I wanted the action in the film to have a highly-stylized, frenetic look, with lots of energy, and very little motion-blur. To achieve this hyper-kinetic, frantic look, I shot with an unusually fast shutter-speed, which meant I would need a lot of light to expose the images correctly, which again pointed towards shooting in daylight.
With those factors in play, post-production on the piece presented a whole new host of challenges. In addition to color-correcting all the daylight footage to appear as though it were shot at night, I needed to remove all the bright, daylit skies from the shots. Seeing a nice sunny sky would have been a dead giveaway, so I employed a great deal of color-key effects, 3D camera-tracking, and roto-scope masking to replace the daylit skies with starry ones.
Squibs, blood-packs and other practical effects simply weren’t in the budget, so I was called on to add those elements digitally as well. There’s a requisite amount of gore expected in a vampire film, so I had a lot of fun adding disgusting blood spurts and accompanying sound effects in post. At one point, I had a microphone set up in my kitchen, recording myself stabbing a chicken breast with a carving knife. I also employed my sister and a few friends to record the various screams and “radio transmissions” heard in the audio track. To get the grungy, lo-fi tone I wanted, a lot of the recording was done through either an iPhone, or with a cheap walkie-talkie I bought on eBay for six dollars.
There was also the matter of getting the main vampire to look appropriately spooky. Actor Ryan Wilkes did a fantastic job portraying a soulless, blood-sucking villain, and Kristin Dalleske provided some great monster make-up, but our bad-guy still needed a little something to sell the effect. In the breakdown video, you can see some of the digital prosthetics I added, as well as the overall process of converting a shot from day to night.
Direction | Cinematography | Post-Production | Motion-Design | Visual Effects | Editing | Brand + Identity