Creating “Real or Fake” for Secret Egypt

To say you love your job because of the people is usually a cliché, but on one soggy, bleak Winter day I found myself well and truly confirming that cliché. We were filming for our latest team project “Real or Fake” the game which will feature in the forthcoming Secret Egypt exhibition.  A green screen is at the end of the day, just a sheet of green paper, but it turns our crew into excited big kids, me included.  The excited kids include film makers Jo Sampson, Simon Wellman and Jim Turner, our boss Rich Elms steering the script and me, taking photos. Our host for the game and former employee, Ben Goodwin arrives in a gold, lame jacket to complete the scene; I know I am in for an epic day.

The Legendary Lame JacketThe brief we were given was to produce an interactive game based on the Real, Fake or Copy section in the exhibition.  Our solution was to produce a “Blockbusters style game show”; Ben would be the host and introduce the objects, providing players with a few clues along the way.  I’ve never seen anyone camp it up so delightfully, adding a touch of the Dale Winton to our Bob Holness aspirations (now you can guess how old I am!).  Ben had found his lame jacket in a shop in Birmingham, the owner let him in with her key so being the only one there he was obliged to buy something, and luckily his choice was perfect.

Lighting a green screen is the key to achieving the best results.  Simon and I would be keying out the green using Photoshop and After Effects on our macbook pro.  For those familiar with Photoshop, I used Image – Adjustments – Levels to correct the brightness/contrast, followed by Select – Color Range, and used quite a high fuzziness value to select and finally delete the green.  I tested this half way through the filming day to make sure everything was lit correctly and within a few seconds I could place Ben on any backdrop I chose – something he might later regret!

I have worked with Herbert Media for eight years.  Herbert Media is unique within the UK in being a dedicated professional digital media facility situated within a regional gallery and museum. we undertake a broad spectrum of work for external clients such as film and TV production, audio recording, a variety of creative media training, room hire, equipment hire, events support and consultancy. Our clients are galleries and museums, schools, colleges and universities, businesses, local authorities, charities and the general public; and they include the BBC, NHS, Scholastic UK, Renaissance West Midlands and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Behind the gallery walls, Simon and Jim produce our films, Den is our gallery technician and comic genius, Richard Elms is our manager and Daz is our sound engineer.  Rach and I keep the side up for the girls; Rach is our admin assistant and I work on digital projects.  We all teach, we all produce multimedia content and we all like a good laugh, the latter being the main reason we all continue to work together.


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Posted on 26/01/2011, in Media, Secret Egypt and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. During my time in marketing I have worked producing a number of films with some great people – including the Bafta Award winner Natasha Carlish for one project. I can honestly say that during this time no team has been so tight, expertise so diverse and approach so personal and responsive.

    But don’t just take my word for it ….

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