Cover Letter

Concept and Planning

I wanted to create a Cover Letter video that was quick, fun, and flashy. A video that could hold attention and be entertaining, rather than a simple and boring speak-to-camera piece. The video is modular, with each ‘scene’ filmed separately in different locations. This makes it easy if, in the future, I need to remove things, add things, change the order of things, ect. It also keeps the video moving, with different and constant scene transitions, keeping the video from feeling overly long or stagnant.

I began by writing a basic outline of the things I wanted to say, then coming up with ideas to make them more entertaining to watch. When talking about After Effects, showing some of my favourite visuals during the scene. When talking about filming, have the drone swoop into frame behind me as I mention it, then cut to its aerial footage. When talking about lighting, have myself and the background in black and white, but have the example scenes appear in colour. These kinds of ideas were conceived and planned first.

Filming

The first scene would have me in front of my website. To do this, I filmed against a green screen for the first time. As it transpired, some of the other scenes I initially shot were not ideal. My scripting was too wordy and my delivery too slow. It just didn’t quite meet the quick and flashy concept brief. As some of the locations I filmed at were not easily accessed again, I decided to keep the backgrounds and rerecord those scenes against the green screen. The silver lining was gaining more experience in post production, keying out the green while preserving the image – while not perfect, it did come out pretty well.

I filmed multiple scenes, many of which did not make the final cut. The rough edit that included every scene was over five minutes long, which was much longer than necessary. I cut this down significantly in the final edit.

I did some screen capture for my scrolling website background, and for the sped-up version of me drawing my logo in Illustrator.

After Effects

In After Effects I first made the word animations for the intro and the closing scene, and for when I talk about my website. Next was the Adobe icons popping onto screen. Lastly was the scene about After Effects with the night vision, VHS look, and magic wand. I made these effects from scratch rather than copying them from past projects I’ve done. This way I could make slight alterations to what I’d done in the past, and the effects look a little different.

Audio

I equalised, compressed, and mastered my voice over in Audition. I also adjusted my voice clip when in the VHS effect moment to sound more authentic to that medium.

I recorded a simple beat in Music Maker Jam. I wanted something upbeat and catchy, but also plain so it would blend unobtrusively into the background and not distract from what I was saying.

Finally I added some sound effects I had from prior projects, like the night vision being turned on.

Premiere Pro

I put everything together in Premiere. I colour corrected each scene to try and match my skin tone, and make me look the same in each shot. In reality, I had filmed on multiple days in varying light.

I added my ‘boxed’ scenes into a frame made in Illustrator, adjusted them and keyframed them to appear when and where needed. I synced my After Effects clips to where they needed to be, and synced up my voice audio and sound effects. 

I adjusted the background music levels to fade in/out where needed. I knew I didn’t want any music when the night vision came on as I was using cricket sounds, and I wanted very quiet music when I was showing the audio difference before and after Audition, for example.