Undercover Assignment – After Effects

For fast turn projects like these, I create the graphic design animations in After Effects, using nat SOTpardon the media slang: Natural Sound-On-Tape, and for timing, voice over talent Scott Chapinaka Mr. Dark and Ominous. I then send these animations to an editor.

One of the best investigative reporters in the business, and all around nice guy, Eric Rasmussen, uncovered what would develop into a 5+ month long investigation of Port Authorities paying for girls to seduce clients. Way to go Oakland. Unfortunately the visuals are presented to me as, “ummmm…. well, we’ve got Eric going through stacks of documents” which believe me, looks almost as exciting as it sounded. With a little pressing, I discover we have some hidden surveillance footage, taken while they were staking out a shady storefront. Working in a News room is just like working for drug cartels, no one trusts anyone. Errr. Scratch that let me clarify its how I imagine working for drug cartels is… The News department wants to hold on to the video, thinking a guy like me will leak it to the competition. See what I mean? Cartel.

Anyway the video is was really shakeyNotice any shake? I've got a great technique for stabilizing footage, taken with a handheld from inside a blacked out car.

But for me, the mind salivates, the vision I get is of Rustin Cohle’s one mattress apartment, a criminal detective working board, surveillance photos, hand written notes, maps and yes perhaps even a document or two. I grab my canon 5d mark ii, rush out to the shipping docks because that golden hour of sunset is quickly at hand. We need visuals, the piece is to go to edit tomorrow. Gritty textures, barbed wire, a port crane silhouetted against a gray fog sky dance infront of my lens for me like gangbusters. Sprinkle in a few thumbtacks and a camera move in after effects.

I love this stuff.

Check out my other news related pieces:
KTVU Legacy Spot – Intense Motion Tracking
How to Promote a Website


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