Probably the first thing to mention is I can't draw... yet. So it took a little bit of trickery to make it look like I could - I'll show how later!
To make the video I used Adobe Premiere Pro. I don't have much experience with this software or any video editing software in fact, but I work with images a lot for my PhD so have plenty of experience with Premiere Pro's compatriots: Photoshop and Illustrator. I mainly use them for my final scientific figures, in terms of style and making images look good I have found that nothing really compares to Adobe's software, both in ease of use, and versatility. Hence probably why it is so widely used! I found Premiere Pro just as easy and intuitive to use (with the help of a few youtube videos).
Since there are tons of youtube guides on using Prem Pro, and really my trailer is just a series of 25-30 images total in a 1min video - I shall focus on how I seemingly made artistic images with the most meagre of drawing ability.
It starts with an image of Canterbury cathedral I took from the University of Kent Campus when I was a student. I thought it suited the opening of the trailer quite well, when I talk about my first year at university.
I took this image on the path from the campus Rutherford building (where I lived in first year) to central campus. The style in my head for the entirety of the talk was rough sketch type images. So very rough at the edges, not super realistic - but realistic enough to get the detail. It is the imagery I had in my head from the beginning. I guess it was because Counselling takes the humanity down to it's simplest, most authentic. All the surface detail is gotten rid of. But to be honest I am still not entirely sure why I wanted this style. I just felt it strongly in my mind.
So the first problem was that the rough sketch style was all greyscale in my head. But I wanted to start the trailer with a colour image. To grab the viewers attention and it is also how I felt going into undergrad at the time, full of colour and excitement at inventing a new Alex. This then quickly faded, hence the fade to greyscale. So we shall start there.
To create my pieces of art from photos I was going to use the freeware from a github repo by jcjohnson. However I only had access to a laptop with 4Gb RAM, which was nowhere near enough memory to build my own models and get nice images. My work computer did have enough memory - however I didn't really want to use work equipment for a personal project. The software from jcjohnson works best with a GPU anyhow. So I decided to use Prisma instead. It is the app/commercial version using what I believe is similar code to apply artistic style to images. However I was limited by predefined models (I could only modify my images with artwork selected by the Prisma team).
Nevertheless after a bit of trial and error I ended up on the model 'Curly hair'. It gave the basic sketched effect I wanted to go for. I am still not sure to this day why the sketched style popped into my head as the effect I wanted, it was a feeling I suppose. I guess it reflects on the greyish nature of counselling, nothing is clear cut. But it is not a mess. In counselling there is always a shape, but fuzzy around the edges. After turning the Canterbury image into greyscale I applied the filter to get the following:
Then using the Mosaic filter to get a colour version I could (you are probably wondering why I didn't just use a colour filter and greyscale that - well I did think about that - after I made the final images! Note: a greyscale style will turn the content image greyscale too.)
Using a simple film dissolve transition, I have the first 20 seconds of the trailer. I then used to dip to white transition to get from the greyscale image to the two chair scene. The two chair scene required a bit more work. And the introduction of Photoshop.
Firstly I took this picture of the chairs on their own:
Using the magic brush/quick selection tool I removed the background, replaced it with white and then made it greyscale:
I then applied the Curly hair style using Prisma, but in two stages. I applied it to the above image and then used the resulting image to be fed back into Prisma with the Curly style again (essentially I made a feedback loop). This was to transfer more of the style to the above image than usual.
To make the rest of the images I set up my camera to take constant photos (not video but automatic sequential photos to obtain higher resolution) and edited each in the same way - remove background, replace background, greyscale and then Prisma. This produced the following images (it took an entire weekend to edit!)
It is around 3 frames per second to give the stop motion effect. The final frames are a dip to white and then a colour version of the sitting chair scene.
The final challenge was recording echo free audio without a recording studio and only using a mobile phone mic. To illustrate the problem here is an audio clip of audio recorded in my living room
Compared with a clip used for the trailer
The solution to removing the echos? Record the audio sat on my bed underneath my duvet. As ridiculous as this sounds, the duvet doesn't reflect the sound waves back unlike the flat hard walls. It was by far the stupidest I have felt in a long time!
And with the audio added in Premiere pro I had my trailer!