Mayor Walsh Permit Announcement Video

My Role – Sound / Co-Editor / Co-Director Camera used — Sony Handycam Edited with — Adobe Premiere Pro Filmed — April – July – 2019 Team — Bridget McAllister, Will Streissguth, Edward Deaver, IV

Technologies used

  • Adobe Premiere
  • Adobe Audition
  • Tascam DR-70D field recorder
The Mayor’s Innovation Team new priority area announcement video was created by Bridget McAllister, Will Streissguth, and me (Edward C. Deaver, IV). We were storytelling interns for the Office of Accountability Performance and Innovation(Innovation team). This post will give a behind the scenes look at the creative and functional process that took place. This is the process that happened when the Storytelling interns (Bridget McAllister, Will Streissguth, and Edward C. Deaver, IV) created the video detailing the Innovation Teams announcement of their new priority area permitting. More information about that priority area can be found here:
Tuesday June 4, 2019 – 9:30AM: The brief he creative brief was given to us by Adria Finch Chief Innovation Officer [our boss]. It boiled down to making a permit announcement “sexy or splashy”.  This meeting did not provide us with a script yet, so we ideated on what could make a dry topic like permits interesting to the general public.* *Note from June 25, 2019: After completing the video I wish we had gone a little more out of the box, maybe taking a more money centric approach.

Wednesday June 5, 2019: Ideation and editing

  On Wednesday  we continued to list out our ideas. We also were editing another video in the queue to get it to review stage.

Thursday June 6, 2019: We got the script

Thursday we received the script, though this script had not been finalized by the Mayor’s office the shoot date was coming up fast and we needed a plan. First, we started creating a timeline on the whiteboard. The first addition was questions placed in order. Then, we started to draw out where we wanted each question to take place, the placement of Mayor Walsh and Jake Dishaw (Director of the Central Permit Office for the City of Syracuse), and what camera would be filming it. Next, we started to plan out B-Roll and what camera B would be capturing. Also, answering questions like ‘would this be a sit-down 60 Minutes setup, a walking setup, or an Office spoof’. We also rented equipment from Le Moyne College: A TASCAM DR-70D field recorder and 2 Sennheiser wireless microphones (thank you to Le Moyne college, go ‘Phins).

Tuesday June 11, 2019: Shoot day

Tuesday was the shoot day (scheduled time 4:30PM). At this point we didn’t have a cleared script so we assumed it was ok and started building it into proper script format, putting our whiteboard timeline drawing into a documented shot list.

Tuesday 4:30PM: The shoot

Will ran Camera A, Bridget Camera B and I took the Audio (TASCAM). The Mayor was hooked up to Mic 1, and Jake was on Mic 2. A major issue I ran into using the TASCAM was static noise coming through Jake’s microphone. I’m relatively new to using wireless microphones but I think this can be attributed to interference from the other microphone or other electrical interference.  The shoot wrapped at 5:30PM and we were packed away by 6:00PM.

Wednesday June 12, 2019: Assembly 

The next day, Wednesday, we first picked our choice audio clips then started syncing Camera A and B’s footage. At that point we noticed the harsh static at times in Jake’s audio, so we cut around it; for the most part. Initially we started the video with the Mayor walking up to the door of City Hall Commons but cut it. Scene 1 was set  outside the Permits office. Camera A kept a straight-on medium shot of the Mayor while Camera B held a 45 degree angle medium shot. The Mayor was placed 3 feet from the entrance door. Scene 2 was set inside the Permits Office. Camera A kept a medium 2 shot of the Mayor and Jake, while Camera B kept a 45 degree 2 shot to direct viewer focus if Jake was the main point of information.

Scene 1:

Sketchup-3D web embed: Scene 1. Click to explore in 3D! Location: Exterior Permit office 201 E. Washington Street, Syracuse, NY. Note: Not made to scale.
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh Scene 1 Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh Scene 1

Scene 2:

Scene 2. Click to explore in 3D! Location: Interior Permit office 201 E. Washington Street, Syracuse, NY. Note: Not made to scale. scene 2. Click to explore in 3D! Location: Interior Permit office 201 E. Washington Street, Syracuse, NY. Note: Not made to scale.
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Jake Dishaw Scene 2 Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Jake Dishaw Scene 2

Thursday June 13, 2019: Editing day

Whenever we needed to cover a cut in audio we switched to Camera B. Also, when Jake was the main source of information or if the Mayor and Jake were having a back and forth dialogue camera B was used.

Tuesday June 18, 2019: Editing Day 2

Tuesday we started to dive deep on the music selection we wanted something that was “driving” and just corporate enough(sourced from BenSound). Before we did that the Mayor and Jake stopped by the office to view the video rough cut and give feedback. The Mayor said it needed to be tighter and a little more succinct, and Jake was happy with it. We shaved 40 seconds off it. The next problem to tackle was why was every time we used Warp Stabilizer( effect in Adobe Premiere to stabilize shaky footage) it gave us errors saying we needed to create nested sequences? Warp Stabilizer requires that footage it’s being applied to has the same resolution as the sequence(a container for video render settings (like resolution, framerate) that footage is in). Check out this article by Adobe on the Warp Stabilizer effect. To fix this issue I copied our sequence files to a new custom setting sequence(1920×1080 23.94fps) because all of our presets that said HD in the title were set at variations of 1440p x 1080p or 1280p x 1080p. With that footage pushed to the new sequence the process of reversing the nested sequences began. Unfortunately there is no way to easily do this so I manually dragged the footage from their nested sequence onto the new sequence where they fit without adjustments. By 4:00PM – Tuesday – Rough Cut 2 was done, ready for review.**  

Wednesday June  19, 2019: Multitask

Wednesday, I was out of the office judging environmental science films at Genius Olympiad held at SUNY Oswego. While out of the office we were planning new videos and communicating dates for those. Bridget and Will worked on a video that is currently in the queue, and got construction footage B-Roll from around downtown Syracuse. Note from June 25, 2019: Either today or the day before Adria reviewed the video and gave us points to address.

Thursday June 20, 2019: Review

On Thursday the video was reviewed by Ruthnie Angrand(Director of Communications and Marketing for the City of Syracuse) and we received feedback on the edits for that (this is a summation):
  • Extend B-Roll to minimum 4 seconds.
  • Reorder some construction footage.
  • Match the Broll to the music.
  • Get footage of the inside of the API Office.
Will and Bridget were able to get a lot of the points completed on Thursday. We planned to record new footage on Tuesday for a Tuesday release.  

Monday June 24, 2019: Loose ends

I’m the only Storytelling intern in on Mondays so I used some older footage we had of the API Office to replace a static door shot, and lengthed a binder B Roll shot. Also, I wrote up the subtitles into a subtitle file, a .srt file. This file is a normal text file except for the formatting. Similar to how a csv is just a text file with very specific formatting. First you set your time range with a starting timestamp and ending timestamp. >HOUR: MINUTE: SECOND.MILLISECOND(COMMA)HOUR: MINUTE: SECOND.MILLISECOND 00:00:01.000,00:00:02.000 Hello my name is block of text1 (New Line) 00:00:03.00,00:00:04.00 Hello my name is block of text2 A lot of blogs(example) say the format is this, but YouTube gives errors with this format: 1 00:00:01.000 → 00:00:02.000 TEXT (NEW LINE) 2 00:00:03.000 → 00:00:04.00 TEXT2 Protip: Write your copy in Microsoft Word or any other tool with a spellcheck mechanism then copy it into your text editor. The first version I created had a spelling error, which was thankfully caught by Adria when she reviewed it. I also used a semicolon; I think right.



Tuesday June 25, 2019: Due Day

We replaced the API office footage with a staged meeting. We set up a mock meeting by having Jesse(Data Analyst for the office) and Jessica(Innovation Program Coordinator for the office) give a presentation. Bridget, and I sat in as extras. Then we sent finished the video and sent it to Adria to be reviewed. A grammar mistake was found in the closed captioning and we fixed it. The video was done. So we uploaded it and set the caption.

6:00PM – Not so fast.

Thankfully Adria found an issue with Jake’s audio on mobile*. This issue stems from our audio being in stereo and a majority of phones having internal mono speakers. *A rising percentage of media is consumed on mobile devices so this is an issue with a high level of importance. I fixed it:  I started searching for the issue and it came up that Youtube tries to convert audio tracks from stereo to mono but it can’t always do this well. In our case it was decreasing the volume and distorting Jake’s audio track. The first thing I tried to fix this was to take the audio into Adobe Audition, and export a Left Mono audio file and a Right Mono audio file then import those into Premiere and replace our original audio. These files contained the same data. To test if it worked I had to export it and upload it unlisted to our Youtube page then email myself the link to try it on my phone, this process would occur 3 times. The next try was to re-export that version with the audio export setting set to Mono output. This didn’t work. The final fix would not have been possible without user SAFEHARBOR11 on the Adobe forums. Safe explained to fix the audio issue you need to apply with Audio effect “Fill Left or Right” to copy the audio from the right or left channel to the opposite channel. After doing this I exported the video with mono audio set. Uploaded and tested it: Success. All parties were alerted of the new version.

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