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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-01-2010, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Knife Show - The Production Genius of Mike Benson

Coming from a graphic design background I was more than curious about the secrets of his trade. My friends are bigger tech geeks than I and had a few guesses as to the programs/tools that he used. I compiled the following from their forum based on questions/terminology offered by my friends...and so, for you nerds out there, here's how they do it.

Also, it wouldn't be right not to put this here: KNIFE SHOW

He uses Panasonic HVX-200 with a .7x century optics lens. They shoot 720p at 24 frames a second. (But lately they have been shooting some stuff at 30p)

Then they use Final Cut Pro for basic editing and After Effects CS3 for anything complicated, plus some plugins here and there. For Magic Flashlights, they used Trapcode's Particular plugin. The font they use for the writers name is called Synchro LET.

Is it possible to color correct multiple clips at one time/the whole video at one time rather than each clip individually?

Colour correct one, and then select the corrected clip and hit command-C to copy. Then select a group of clips on the timeline, right-click on them and do "paste attributes." Then choose "filters' and go!

Do you ever use a green screen?

I haven't used it in any Knife Show video

So how did you do the giants of big bear with out a green screen?

We used the mask tool in After Effects and hand-cut stuff out.

Where the guy is spray painting and throws the can? what filter is that? fcp or ae?

That was AE. We masked out the spray paint can, did "levels effect" pre composed and added glow. And the rest of it used Andrew Kramer's day-for-night filters on

Glow Effect….how?

You're probably talking about "bloom" which is in the glow section of Final Cut Pro. There's also "light rays" which I keyframe to simulate the song beating in Volume 2.

So how do you synchronize it so perfectly?

I usually turn waveforms on, and audio scrubbing as well. So then I tap through, and when the music hits a distinct beat I hit M to make a marker in the sequence. Then I keyframe effects based off of those markers.

The Sequencing, how does that work?

All you do is create new layers and freeze-frame each one.

How do you do the Clone Edits?

Pen tool and Rotoscope it….frame by frame.. hard stuff

It just depends how complicated you decide to go with the effect. We chose to do shots where Casey was interacting with other versions of himself, playing beer pong, etc. If they don't cross in front of one another or interact then it's a really easy effect to do. But then, the wow factor is when they feel like they're together.


Did she say Strap-in or Strap-on?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-01-2010, 09:41 PM
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We used the mask tool in After Effects and hand-cut stuff out.

lol Thats dedication. Thats not fun or easy work flow.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-01-2010, 09:56 PM
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yeah tedious work for sure.
i've watched these guys vids and i am a believer!

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-01-2010, 09:57 PM
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I love the end of Gnarcade where it freezes up, and he has to blow the cartridge, kids these days are missing out.

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