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How we filmed an Awakening.

Every year we get excited for the challenge of creating a new video for TEDxPittsburgh. It is our opportunity to really let the creative juices run free. The video also sets the tone for the event as it is the first thing people will see that is directly related to the theme and speakers. This years theme was Awakening and we knew it required a very different approach than the previous TEDxPittsburgh films.

A day at TEDxPittsburgh is a day filled with intelligent and inspiring voices that speak of ideas and projects that will change our city. Knowing that video/film is at its best when telling a story with as little words as possible and our desire to let the speakers words speak for themselves, we elected to create a video that would not rely on voice over.

Our concept became “Awaken in Motion.” A visual and auditory melody of the quiet before one awakens and the burst of energy, motion, and inspiration that overtakes when one does.

The challenge for this concept was the amount and variety of footage that would need to be shot. There were 60 total scene/shot inspirations that we compiled after fleshing out the concept. We were not going to capture everyone of these, but we were going to film most. The scenes varied from cityscapes to everyday objects and even going out into the wilderness. We also wanted to do a variety of extreme wides and extreme close ups. In the end, hours upon hours of footage was captured from Pittsburgh to the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York.

Editing and Post-Production is the greatest tool any visual storyteller can have, it can elevate or destroy a project. This piece would be nothing without sound design. After combing through all the footage, cutting and then re-cutting the piece with no sound, our sound designer Kirk Pearson went to work. He did a wonderful job creating what was already inside our heads. He even surprised us with sounds we didn’t even imagine, but were happy to have.

After tweaking and color it was also left to Kirk to write the score. As usual with all TEDxPittsburgh projects we were up against the deadline (24 hours before showtime). We got it done and couldn’t be happier with the piece that came out of the process. We hope you enjoy it as much as we loved making it.

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