HPPC + AELC Adoption Status Update

The Story

I recently had the privilege of working with Highland Park Presbyterian Church (HHPC). A couple years ago, the church, in partnership with Serve West Dallas, identified a need that HPPC was able to get involved with.

"Our vision is to see a spiritual, economic, social, and physical transformation of West Dallas neighborhoods in zip code 75212." -Serve West Dallas

HPPC adopted the Amelia Earhart Learning Center (AELC) and recruited volunteers from the church congregation to help out at the school. There has been a drastic improvement in the number of students studying at or above grade level since HPPC started helping.

This video served to update the congregation on the progress at AELC thus far.

The Process

Cut 1

When I was originally contacted about this project, I was under the impression that they were wanting the video to be more of a documentary piece. I was very pleased with the first cut of the video I sent them. They had a great first impression from the video, however, it wasn't the direction they had wanted to go.

After reading over the revisions and speaking with them on the phone, I was able to better understand that they were wanting a more informational video that was driven by statistics more than story.


VFX Test

I wanted to find a way to display the statistics in a way that was more than just text on a blank background. So I spent some time and put together a VFX test to see if they liked the direction I was thinking of going.

This didn't match with the look and feel of HPPC so we scrapped it.

Cut 2

I ended up coming up with some clean/simple animations to give a visual representation of the statistics. I added on titles, tightened up the audio, and made a few tweaks before sending over the second cut.

From this point, the only changes that were made were some minor tweaks to audio and animations and changing the color of the title boxes.

The Workflow

File Hierarchy

I always start post-production for every project by setting up a file hierarchy which helps me keep all my files organized. This comes in very handy when I'm trying to find a particular file or have addition files to add to existing files.

This may seem annoying at first or not worth the time but trust me, it is well worth taking the time to get in the habit of keeping files organized now than to have a lot of projects with seemingly random files in random places. This will save you so much headache from having to try to find files that have broken links when you open up your project. I will ALWAYS put a file in it's proper place within the project folder before it ever gets imported into Premiere/After Effects/etc.

Organization / AV Sync / Color Coding

From here, I will set up the same folder system within Premiere that I use in my project folders. Once I have all my files imported and organized in Premiere, I will create a sequence that is solely for the purpose of syncing up audio and video since, for this particular project, I recorded the audio and video separately.

Since, on this project, I only pulled audio separately for some of the clips, I color coded which clips had separate audio differently from those that didn't.


Once all the syncing was done, I began to cull through the interviews. I do this within the 'AV Sync" sequence. I will cut the sections I think I may use and separate it from what I know I won't use.

Once I finished the initial phase of culling, I pulled the clips I though I might use into a new sequence and began to listen through the clips while writing out a script.

Recording Voice Over

For this particular project, I found it beneficial to use voice over to help tie the story together better. I recorded the voice over into Audition. Did all my eq, compression, and reverb in Audition for the voice over. I then bounced the voice over and imported it into Premiere.

Once I had the voice over sounding good, I did eq/compression/noise reductions for the interviews.

At this point I began to search for music. I usually license my music from The Music Bed. Once I found track that I liked, I started lining up the voice over and interviews according to the script I had written out while making sure that pacing flowed well with the music.

Equalizing Interview Audio

Once all of this was laid out, I began to start layering the b-roll on top, doing color, and mixing the audio. I will then export the project and test it on different devices to make sure it sounds good everywhere.

VFX Test

VFX Test

I used Red Giant's plugin Form to create the blue sea of dots and then placed the objects in 3D space while moving the camera around them. I just recently bought the Trapcode Suite, really wanted to try using some of the plugins I got, and felt like this was the perfect time to start using them.

Gear Used

Canon 5D MkIII
Canon 24-70 L f/2.8 MkII
Manfrotto Tripod w/ Bridging Technology Head
Røde SmartLav
Røde Stereo VideoMic Pro
Lowell Pro

Lowell Tota
Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Audition
27" Apple iMac
Sure SM7B
Zoom H6