Happy Christmas everyone!
Ok, it was yesterday I know but I've only just got around to finishing off the tale of the video!
Well, I did it! I'm not sure how but I managed to put a disk containing my finished video into Jem's hand at The Peel! The amazing thing was how it coame together in the last 3 or 4 hours of the Saturday morning.
When I got in from work on the Friday night I was looking at having to do everything from the end of the piano part of the solo to the end of the track - something like 45 seconds of action. This was extremely unlikely given the previous rate of about 12 seconds a night. I started slowly too, seemingly taking forever to get the "crowd" characters (jumping people in black Frost* hoodies) to move correctly and not break each other. Then I had to do it all again viewed from the side.
In the end, I was amazed at how well these scenes worked. The impression of a gig-lit venue full of bodies bouncing ended up working very well, despite the very shallow scene depth.
Then I had to come up with the final chorus' "ride". I had planned this to be a rocket-powered thing, like a jet-pack but there was just no time to invent and tweak anything that complex.
I was also still stuck for how to get the character from the piano solo to somewhere "above" the gig. In the end I just used the Tardis again (meaning to re-film the piano bit showing our hero jumping into the Tardis at the end of his run but that never happened either) allowing the viewer to just assume the last bit of the Tardis flight had happened.
The ride ended up being a hot air balloon (the e-Go! ride was originally going to be an airship/blimp but that was not immediate enough so this spare idea was still hanging around waiting to be used). Inventing a Hot Air Balloon company call "Forum Air" I rigged it so the gondola would become detached shortly after take-off, providing the last "go down now, around now" bit and dumping our hero at the gig. This needed to be close to night time but making it dark enough for night made it too dark to see so I added red/green navigation lights to the gondola - to help the viewer see the motion.
Rigging the flight took far longer than I wanted and it was past 4am when I got this recorded. The transition between flight and landding outside the gig is a bit off but I was past caring.
I had planned for our hero to arrive on the stage just too late, just as the lights go out and the band have left the stage (squeal of feedback followed by silence, crying etc.). However, there was no way I would have time to set this up in time so I decided that our hero had had enough bad luck and that he would be seen happily on my original test stage with the balloon character band members.
Into the last hour of filming time I sorted the stage out and realised that it looked a bit boring, with the balloon band members just sitting there so I got our here to run around and "pull" the balloon strings of all 5 of them which made them sway side-to-side gently - at least this looked a bit more interesting.
So only the Christmas message scene to go - this was done in 20 minutes and turned out just good enough.
Back on the PC, I pushed the last few clips around and put in the closing caption. I also added the opening caption. Then I exported the whole movie for the first time - which took a what seemed like forever. All that was left was to upload it to YouTube (which took even longer and failed with "unknown" errors twice!).
At long last, the video was there on YouTube and looked....well, a bit rough really. Quite a bit of the small text was unreadable and some other details were motion-blurred beyond legibility but, despite that, it actually worked!
Mrs Pedro had here first proper look at the whole thing and her reaction was exactly what I was hoping for. So I burned some DVD copies and printed inlays to go with the discs - had a shower and got in the car to drive down to The Peel.
PS Reaction to the video has been fantastic, so many people saying really nice things about it - better than I could have hoped for really.