Capturing the essence of a cool symphonic orchestra through video3 min read

One of the things I do as part of my varied service offering at idéemarque is filmmaking, sound and video editing—as some of you must have realized by now, I have this undying passion for storytelling and the making of motion picture.
So when a symphonic orchestra requests my help to make a promotional video for them, and gives me carte blanche when it comes to creative freedom, you can imagine I’m pretty thrilled!
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When thinking of a symphonic orchestra, one typically imagines a bunch of musicians on a stage in a symphonic house or in a pit during an opera performance. In this case however, that’s only part of their activities. As you will see in the video, this particular orchestra puts a lot of effort into creating social events for people to attend—cocktails, circus shows, dinners, art exhibitions, etc. Pretty cool.
For the video’s soundtrack, they initially suggested the “galop” of Igor Stravinsky’s Suite n° 2 for chamber orchestra. After my first two draft edits however, I came to the conclusion that it was not a good fit: the tempo was very fast and nearly constant throughout the piece, with no place for respite, leading to a frenetic chain of cuts all over the place that left you bewildered at the end. The folks at the FOSDL thought it was pretty good already, but I was not satisfied with myself.

— “How about I dig around for a more dance-like tune we can use?”, said I.
— “Sure. Surprise me!”, they replied.

And so I went looking for something roughly between 80 and 120 beats per minute with enough “range” to be able to instill variance and a proper mood to the video. Gave them a pre-selection of 10-20 choices and they gave me back their two preferences, with which I edited the final version (went through roughly five versions for this project).
Besides the motion ramping, lip synching and compositing effects in use everywhere, I had to make some pretty extensive changes to the sound track (remixed it to three minutes, then down to roughly two minutes instead of its original length of six minutes). I was careful to match beats and measures, and to keep the music flow smooth with lyrics. I bet 99% of watchers won’t even notice.
This is the result:

Their reaction was (paraphrasing & translating 2-3 emails),

In one word: WOW. Everyone at the office loves it! […] Thanks so much for your help on this, […] I forwarded the link to the Events Committee so they can use it to boost sales, and I’ve had excellent feedback on the quality of your edit so far.

It was a real pleasure to work with the Fondation de l’Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil, and it definitely looks like the feeling is mutual.
Need a great video editor/filmmaker for your project? I can help 😉

If you liked the video above, feel free to give it a thumbs up, share it with those around you (on G+, Twitter, Le Twitteur, and even with that face book), or leave a nice comment!



2 responses to “Capturing the essence of a cool symphonic orchestra through video”

  1. I agree. It’s really cool what you did.

    1. Thanks, much appreciated 🙂