Can you see this?

Quite a find to share!

I was recently at a community rummage sale / bake sale at a nearby school.  They had lots of stuff-- seems like they were selling off the contents of an old storeroom: those kickstools that were in libraries; some metal file cabinets; and LOTS of binder clips.  And then a basket of random stuff.  I gravitated to the basket because I love a good grab bag. And there it was:  an old beat-up film reel with a label that said "The Halloween Spider - Educational Film, 1958."  Scrawled in red oil pencil next to that though was "Discontinued - 1978."  I had to snag it.  Paid the steep price of $1.25 for it too.  

I did a little research and it seems that it was an educational film run in classrooms until it was phased out when administrators realized it had no conclusive scientific data to justify continued screenings.  You'll see their concerns when you watch it.  Regardless, the great irony is that it cost me about 100x what I paid for it to get it converted to digital.  But the fruits of my labor are above for you to enjoy.*

Happy Halloween!

*None of the above is true.


If you want to watch the video and read the above and call it a day, I get you.  Keep the magic for you.

If you like Director commentaries and want to know how the sausage is made, read on.

Last chance.


Ok here we go...


The idea for this film originated with my appreciation of Halloween home decorations.  I love strolling down the street in October and checking out the stuff people put up.  One thing I've become a bit of connoisseur of is the application of spider webs.  Some people really spend the time and stretch them out, with multiple anchor points, separating the fibers, and really make them look like actual spider webs.  


And then there are others who just seem to open the bag and put them out assuming that because it said 'spider webs' on the bag, that they are instantly spooky.  But if they were to really step back and look at their setup, they might notice that they've inadvertently added fluffy clouds, or an application of frosting, or Santa Claus beards to their skeletons, pumpkins, and ghost displays.  


I always wanted to address it somehow, but never wanted to create something that shamed people or made fun of anyone.  So I eventually came up with the framework of an educational film.  I've always been a fan of Halloween safety films and vintage educational films.  I enjoy how they're a view into the past and sometimes a window into the science or belief systems of the day.  Try reading an old encyclopedia about space travel dated before the Apollo program existed and you'll know what I'm talking about.  


I also gave myself the challenge of filming and editing it using only an iPhone and an iPad.  I find restrictions breed creativity, and enjoyed trying to find workarounds for various effects and edits.  I'm a stickler for film looks so I tested multiple passes of the footage through various apps to achieve a recipe for the vintage film look you see in the final.  Many 'film look' apps run a cyclical pattern of dirt and scratches. Whether you have a a discerning eye or not, subconsciously you'll pick up the pattern and it won't look authentic.  So adding random patches of dirt, blowouts, frame jitters and the like really add to the experience even if you don't notice it.  

Editing was done on LumaFusion and I used a mix of apps 8mm, Vectornator, iMovie, Clips, Pixelmator, QuickVoice, Garage Band, and Generate for the various effects and other tools.  Stock images and music, and were licensed from AudioJungle, Adobe Stock.  Voice-over work was done by thatguysoundslike [at] gmail [dot] com.  He's quite the chameleon, and works within any budget. 

Lastly, there are few Easter eggs for film buffs such as myself.  In my film education over the years, I found out about 'leader ladies' and thought a Halloween-centric version, complete with color timing and focus charts would be something fun for 3 people to find and laugh about.  That and the film leader and "2-pop" sound gave me great delight in Halloween-izing.  If you enjoyed it, please let me know in the comments and send that YouTube link around because likes, subscriptions, views and all that have value.

Happy Halloween!


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