Bringing his ‘Electro-Swag’ style to the masses, Chae Hawk’s “Heartlock” video exhibits the directing forté of our dear friend Jeremy E. Jackson of Bleed Awesome. With Jackson’s direction, the Coat of Arms team served up some of its own post-production swagger.
Jonathan Lacocque and Jeffrey McHale edited the piece in Final Cut Pro 7. Editing around the clock, the guys found creative solace in the song and in each other. Lacocque noted that he and McHale shared the files back and forth allowing for a faster but an inspired edit.
“Given the nature of the song, which is a really cool hip-hop track with some dubstep influences, we were inspired to use glitch and twitch effects in the edit.” Jackson listed Skrillex’s “First of the Year (Equinox)” video, among some others, as inspiration for the editing style.
For the glitch/twitch effects, Lacocque and McHale let the song dictate the movement. In one sequence, for example, one of the dancers spins on her head and then it is reversed.
To capture this effect, we took four frames of her forward movement, reversed it, and then copied and pasted those eight frames over approximately thirty-two frames.
The end result makes it seem as though the dancer is twitching. This method was used throughout the video, but the number of frames duplicated varied. Sometimes two or three duplications worked best, and in a few rare cases, we included up to six frames of duplication.
In addition to the glitch effect, this video exhibits a unique aspect ratio. Early on, Jackson mentioned shooting the video in a way that would allow for a 2.35 or even 2.55 “CinemaScope” ratio. This would essentially crop the image at the top and bottom, as the video was originally shot at 1080p 16×9. However, for some of the dancing, Jackson wanted to include as much of the dancer as possible. Instead of cropping the image, we zoomed out and added to the background.
In the timeline, you can see we colored corrected the image with a bit more contrast and matched the background color in the original clip to the color matte on the bottom layer. We also used a slight feather to ensure a smooth mix between the top and bottom layers.
Throughout the video, Lacocque and McHale included several push slides and played with mirroring and balance in the images.
We also included composite modes and overlays. You’ll see this technique in another post project we completed for Gemini Club’s music video, “Can’t Believe You Said That” (a blog soon-to-come). This effect can easily seem overdone, so there’s a fine line to discover the balanced and subtle ways to bring important moments out with this technique.
At the commencement of the video, we included a composite mode and overlay right away. This overlay sets the tone for the video.
To create the look, we duplicated the frames that we wanted to overlay (and in most cases we like to play with time too so it looks like frames are repeating themselves or slightly off in terms of timing).
Once we added the layers of video, we manipulated the composite modes. Typically, Lacocque uses modes “Add,” “Screen,” or “Hard Light.” But if you’re using the technique, it’s always fun and worthwhile to experiment with different composite modes.
A final example of composite modes and overlays occurs late in the video. There we used “difference” as the composite mode.
The result gives you a much more opposing or contrasted look.
For color correction, Robert J. Williams and Lacocque used Magic Bullet Looks. The video’s color gradually evolves from warm to cold. As you watch Heartlock, you’ll see the warmth of Chae’s home in the first scene stands in stark contrast to the final dance battle, which appears more blue and de-saturated.