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Ed Driscoll

I Rode a Tank, Held the General’s Rank

July 14th, 2010 - 1:48 pm

…And in my last video, still ended up looking infinitely more like Michael Dukakis than Michael Philip Jagger. It’s a humbling reminder that unless you actually are Norman Schwarzkopf, or have the machismo of George C. Scott playing Patton, it’s very easy to Dukakisize yourself in this situation:

In any case, this effect was surprisingly easy to do. It’s another model from the Digimation Model Bank, which I rendered out in Photoshop, and then placed onto a nested track in Adobe Premiere Pro. I chromakeyed myself into the shot, adjusted the size of that element to be proportional with the size of the tank. I then placed that track onto the background plate (with a couple of other tanks for the Model Bank behind it), and then used keyframe animation to move the combined shot of myself and the tank into the frame. Hopefully all of the stock footage of real soldiers, the binocular mask I created in Photoshop, and (especially) all of the sound effects help to further sell the shot.

And if not, fortunately, it’s followed by the Holodeck effect I created to further remind viewers that it’s all make-believe anyhow.

And on the flipside, here’s a video that’s sort of the reverse of what I did. It’s shot on location, in costume, but with cardboard guns, and even a cardboard tank. The result is a sort of Dadaesque look at how the typical war movie is created, reminding viewers how much of the verisimilitude of war films such as Full Metal Jacket and Saving Private Ryan comes from documentary-style handheld camera work, sound effects, and layered elements such as smoke and muzzle fire (which are now available to anyone for purchase as stock footage to be composited later):

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Swap out the cardboard guns for the real thing, and they’re almost ready for Pallywood.

(H/T: Viral Footage.)

Related: And speaking of Sympathy for the Devil

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