Our Stranger Things themed New Year Video of 2018!
I’ll probably add more details here later, adding to the story below, but for now a special thanks to online inspiration and sources that totally played into this idea of two Stranger Things fans with kids 😉
Stranger Things, SethWorley aka @Awakeland3D of Red Giant Software, @iPhonedoTR, Abba, and Black Piano.
So we’re Stranger Things fans; I know we’re not alone. It’s a lot of my childhood, sure — and that dates me — but it has a lot more going for it than nostalgia. It’s a show we’ll be looking forward to every year.
You’ll just have to watch the show to get the references. Without that context our video is really frickin’ weird — as though it isn’t to begin with.
Anyways, each year, at the end or the start I try to make a video, be it for the Christmas or New Year. This year I actually managed to make one for both. It also means I wasn’t very sociable this year around, but there’s a saying:
Goals without deadline are but dreams
And these dates are pretty deadliney, so I guess setting deadlines works. How’s that for a New Years resolution?
I often get the kids involved in these holiday season well wishers. I enjoy it. It’s a snapshot of life to look back on. Some personal touches — if not simply their age — always shines through. For example, Tom spend a lot of last year upside down. You know, standing on his head. He even took breakdance lessons, and this year he became a huge Michael Jackson fan. He also took to A-HA immediately. In a sense, it’s been a very 80s year.
And Zoe, well, Zoe’s always fond of dress ups. So wearing an eleven-type dress was no issue whatsoever.
More of their videos are here. Who knows, they might hate me for it later.
The thing about filming with kids is to keep it as simple and quickly as possible. Just a few takes, only as long as they think it’s fun. This basically means: fix it in post! And yeah, it’s a trap: I’m my own worst enemy because I’m the one at the end of that workflow. I do cut corners on these things because, you know, social life; as long as the story gets across and makes people smile, hardly anyone will point out the flaws in the VFX.
Doing things quick entails using any means necessary to cut corners. This starts in the concept. Most notably, I remembered Seth Worley’s video on creating the upside down look (and that he had the project file for the title sequence) as well as a video of a guy recreating the Stranger Things theme song in Garageband (also with a download of the project file). So I knew I had a few good starting points.
I’ve been a fan of Seth’s work for a while now. His shorts for Red Giant Software are golden, but also his Three Little Pigs with his little boy. I wish he’d do another series like The Time Closet. Any chance of that, Seth?
I’m currently enjoying the heck out of his Writing 101 and 201 courses from the Triune store.
Here’s the tutorial Seth Worley did for Red Giant on creating the “upside down” look. This came with an accompanying project template file for the title sequence.
… to turn it into something akin to Abba’s Happy New Year. This was actually harder than I thought; no cutting corners here. The whole music part actually took me longer than the rest of the video.
For one, getting Garageband up and running took me a while. I managed to install Mainstage 3 for more instruments, but in the end I didn’t need those, at least not for this project. It wasn’t a total waste because Garageband’s up and running now, so who knows what’s next.
What mainly stumped me was figuring out how to turn the show’s theme into Abba: which tracks to trade, which notes would work best or which strum.
With hard headed perseverance and a patient girlfriend, several music transcripts got me where I needed to be. It was a pick and choose kind of deal because not one of them worked all by itself. Some of the tablature for Abba’s Happy New Year I got from Black Piano’s Youtube channel:
I had fun making this. Learned a lot. I hope the kids will enjoy it years from now when they too are Stranger Things fans.
And I hope it put a smile on your face.