TALKING WITH MYSELF: Commercial Extra

♪ Oh oh, Talking with a-myself,
Oh, oh, talking with myself
Well, there’s nothing to lose
And there’s nothing to prove, well,
Talking a-with myself ♪

Billy “Melody” Idol

I don’t normally talk to myself unless you count the constant inner monologue I have à la J.D. from Scrubs, but for the assignment Have A Conversation With Yourself! I did just that! The task for this assignment is as follows:

“Film yourself talking, then change clothes, hair styles, etc and then film the other half of the convo. Edit this in any movie editor program (I used Pinnacle movie maker) To overlap the two scenes so that you are talking to yourself! Play around, to figure out the most efficient way! Also, timing is everything in this! Make sure when talking to leave breaks for your other self to respond!”

This assignment was so hard! It wasn’t hard because I didn’t know how to go about it (I had a general idea of how to accomplish this task); it was hard because the actual filming and editing allows for very little room for error, and the astute viewer will notice plenty of jumps and weird color patches in the video.

I filmed this video at the same time as I was filming my commercial, and I forgot that I couldn’t move the camera when I switched characters, so I had to film the first part all over again. That was obstacle #1. The second challenge was in moving as little as possible while sitting on the couch so that I could cut out dead air. I couldn’t get the timing right, so no matter what there were going to be jumps in my footage. The third obstacle was in editing the whole thing to make it appear seamless. This was much harder than my commercial because I couldn’t cut to another shot. It all had to look like the same shot.

I didn’t know how to make this happen, but I tried my best anyway and first created a mask on the layers that had one half of my conversation. I also placed a freeze frame of the couch underneath all the layers. I scrubbed through the video and moved the mask path accordingly (i.e. whenever future me or past me moved, the mask moved with the layer to accommodate the other me). Since the mask was on top of past me, that allowed future me to show through on the right side, (Sorry if this is confusing, it’s hard to explain this particular process).

I had the most trouble making the two halves appear the same throughout the video- the lighting and color is somehow different in both recordings. I tried to correct for this by adjusting levels and selective color, but the color difference is still noticeable. I also feathered the mask line so that it isn’t quite so obvious where I edited, but you can see where the mask moves based on the color shift.

I think that if I had hours and hours and hours to re-film and re-edit, I might be able to get a more believable take, but honestly, this was so difficult and tedious, that I wouldn’t want to! I still hope you enjoy my commercial end credit scene where I talk to myself!

A conversation with 12-minutes-into-the-future me:

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