Editing Challenge 1 – Visual Effects

We’re on week eight of quarantine, continuing to work from home and well… we miss that daily office vibe. We used to do editing challenges every so often within our office to help boost morale and keep everyone’s creative juices flowing. These challenges would involve a prompt and a specific allotted time to edit within (generally an hour). So we decided to bring them back, and bring back a little memory of normality and keep everyone hyped and pushing the envelope of creativity. These being slightly different times,  we have given the editors two hours to create a video based on the theme of the challenge, with complete creative freedom. 

Our first editing challenge we landed on the theme of “Visual Effects”, editors had to record a live video and add effects to the video. It’s been really interesting to provide the same prompt to a group of editors and see how everyone interprets it differently. This gives us such a range of different styles of videos. I sat down *virtually* to ask the editors a few questions about each of their videos.

First up we have Fraser’s VFX video:

Me: How did you come up with the creative concept for this video?

Fraser: I had seen this style of draw on animation done in different ads and music videos and wanted to give it a shot. The style is taken even further by Justin Bieber’s “Where Are Ü Now” music video

Me: How many faces are there in the video and how long did it take to draw all of them?

Fraser: There are around 60 faces in total and it took me about 2 hours to draw all of them

Me: Thanks Fraser! Excited to see what you create for next week’s editing challenge!

The next VFX video is made by our resident UK team member, Adam!

Me: How did you come up with this idea for the video?

Adam: The idea came from browsing Instagram. I came across a post using VFX to turn objects into candy and I thought it’d be a good challenge to try to make the effect practical.

Me: How did you cut together the fruit falling and turning into skittles?

Adam: The simplest way was to drop the fruit and freeze. Meanwhile, someone else would take the fruit away and drop a handful of Skittles in the exact same spot. I’d then un-freeze and drop another fruit. I then cut the pauses out in post and made a few quick masks to transition the fruit into the Skittles falling.  I discovered that these tricks are a lot harder than they look, so I’m pleased with what I achieved in one hour!


Me: Wow Adam, I’m still so impressed with how it turned out. I love it, good job, we’ll see what you do next week!

Our guy Matt took us to the future with this fun futuristic VFX video, check it out.

Me: What do you have against comic sans? Haha

Matt: I don’t actually have anything against Comic Sans, I just think it’s misunderstood. However, in the timeline that my video takes place in, it would make sense that Comic Sans would be the one to rise up above all others given some of the events that took place outside of the video which can be found in the typeface lore.

Me: What did you use as the machine in the video and how were you able to create the different effects?

Matt: The machine I used in the video is an old light-meter that was used with film cameras.The effects I created were mostly designed using shape layers that were tracked onto the light-meter in 3D space. From there I colour graded then footage and did some compositing with an effects pack from Red Giant. 

Me: Well Matt I agree now that comic sans is not the greatest professional font, it will always have a spot in my heart haha. We’ll see you next week to see what you come up with!

Next up is our Creative Director Jon, who always brings his personal “Flahr” to everything he creates.

Me: How did you come up with the idea for the video?

Jon: I was inspired by how fucked up 2020 has been so far. I thought, “literally anything could happen at this point and we’d just think: yup, seems about right.

Me: That is a very accurate representation of how the year has started, for sure. How were you able to wrap the guys hands around the building so perfectly

Jon: The wrap around hand was just down to knowing what I wanted the shot to look like before filming. I knew it would sell the giant boi best if I could have him interact with his environment, so I took advantage of the fact that it was a beautiful cloud free, blue sky day and used it as a giant blue screen to key out my friend Curtis. I found a blue recycle bin that could play the “building” for him to lean on. Then I just keyed out the blue and masked a little around his fingers and placed him in the scene.

Me: Well Jon we’re always in awe of all the work you do, and we know this wasn’t the only video you did this week, let’s see the final video of the group.

Last but definitely not least is our Production Manager Carrie! She partnered up with Jon to create this fun upbeat video that’ll make you want to get up and dance!

Me: Jon how were you able to create the illusion of multiple Carrie’s dancing?

Jon: I asked Carrie to send me 3 different shots of her dancing in different parts of her living room, all with as close to the same timing and camera movement as possible. Then I used manual keyframes to line them all up on top of each other and then went hard with the roto brush for 90 minutes of sweaty, panicked rotoscoping to get in done under the 2 hour time limit.

Me: Carrie where did you learn these amazing dances?

Carrie: Jon gave me a couple song options to consider which were all amazing but I really liked the latin vibe to this one, and thought I could come up with some fun moves for it! The key was to choreograph moves in three parts so that as the camera panned over each time the beat repeated, I could be completing a set of dance moves and starting the next one at the same time. I had a lot of fun choreographing the dance moves, trying to match up to the beats of the music, trying to get a consistent style so it looked like I could be dancing with myself and really just had fun with it!

Me: Did the final result of the video meet your expectations or exceed them?

Carrie: I was super pumped to see it all together when Jon was done editing it, he did such a good job of splicing the three takes together so it looked like there were three of me all dancing together… overall I was very impressed and had a blast “dancing with myself” 

Me: Carrie I love your dance movies and I’m so happy to see this video!

Well now that we’ve seen everyone’s videos, that concludes the first editing challenge videos, what did you guys think? Did you have any favourites? If you’re not following us on Instagram yet, toss us a follow because there’s where we share more content like this as well as behind the scenes content from our shoots and more!. Thanks so much for checking in with us and stay posted for our next editing challenge!


– Sarah 

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We started this company in 2012 with one objective; to tell stories of human ambition through immersive, cinematic video – with no bullshit. We’re humble as hell, honest, hardworking, and don’t take ourselves too seriously.
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