All of the Songs We Learned in Grammar School Have Horrible Messages [video]

The post production took forever, but the video I’ve been teasing for the last few weeks is finally done!

This video came together quickly…  at first.  I wrote the script, contacted Greg Vorob from All Things Random, who agreed to appear and also did me the favor of roping in Dan Conrad.  Since I’d seen these guys work together many times before, I put the script aside and started working on the set.  I had to clear the room of furniture and bring in the table we used for a desk and then I started setting up the lights and decorating the walls.  I hung some lights inside the drop ceiling to serve as back lighting, but ultimately, it was a mistake.  They stick out like a sore thumb.

Anyway, Dan and Greg were so great that I hung way back as a director and gave them virtually no direction.  I’m usually a “That was great, but can you give me another take where you say it like this” sorta director, but this time, I decide I wouldn’t give any line reading and I don’t regret it one bit.  I did a ton of takes from different angles (I suppose there are 8 in all, and a few extreme close-ups I faked in editing), so I had a ton to work with.  The filming went smoothly, and the editing was fun, but the more technical stuff (audio clean up and color correcting) was a nightmare.


This was filmed using a Canon VIXIA HF M300 and edited in Adobe Premiere CS 5.5.   I used a 1000 LED light as my key light, a 500 LED light for fill  and an old ground row light for back light.  I also used some work lights for back light, but they weren’t especially effective.  We used the shotgun condenser mic to record the dialogue, but we still got a ton of noise, which I believe was due to a power issues – meaning if you run the camera off the battery rather than plugging it into the wall, you get significantly less noise.  I used Adobe Audition to remove the hiss, and it worked fairly well, but for some reason, the audio I washed doesn’t play on any YouTube mobile devices I’ve tested.  I’ve had this problem before and after a few days or so, it clears up.  I guess it’s a codec problem, but how that would be solved by me, I don’t know.

Color Correction
Ugh, color correcting this video was a nightmare.  I learned a ton, as it was my first serious go at color correcting, but I wouldn’t want to do it again – not on this level, anyway.
See, the problem was that the automatic white balance camera function was turned on, and I thought it was off.  It made things magenta, orange… all sorts of hues like that.  The two shot was especially difficult to correct and I was never able to get a result I was happy with, but at some point, I had to call it a day on the color correcting.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on March 11, 2013, in videos and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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