Promo: Oak Grove School’s “PRIMOS Program”

A short promo/sizzle reel commissioned by Oak Grove School (Graton, CA) to visually describe their “PRIMOS” student mentorship program. Produced by VOM Productions. Full discussion after the jump.

Original photography and video from Nancy Saylor. Additional photography, motion graphics, color grade by Randy Hall. Children shots were captured on a Flip HD camcorder. School campus shots captured using Canon 60D with Canon EF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens. Music was licensed from

Oak Grove won the Sonoma State University Jack London Award for Education Innovation in 2012 for this program, and the promo film was commissioned in order to be screened at the award ceremony in spring 2012.

This was a very quick project. I had literally four days to work on it until it was needed by Sonoma State for the award ceremony. Nancy Saylor was generous to provide some stills, which were scanned and sliced and diced to make the “2 1/2 D” motion scenes, as well as more basic Ken Burns-ian photo montages. The HD footage was straightforward, but needed to be set apart from each other in different segments, which led to creating the sequence titles for each sequence. Then Red Giant’s Magic Bullet was once again called into service, and after a quick mixdown, the video is what you see in the viewer.

My only regret is that, while shooting footage with the Canon 60D, I don’t yet automatically sense that a shot will yield a significant amount of the moiré/aliasing to which DSLRs are particularly susceptible. So the wooden sign for the school ends up with the characteristic “sizzle” for the slight amount of movement in the shot. Much of it can be dealt with by channel mangling, but I didn’t have time for it, so I used a DSLR Moiré filter for Final Cut Pro which, while it didn’t remove the problem, it did minimize it. The real solution to aliasing is to avoid shots that are prone to it!Randy Hall