The Super Art Fight Online Invitational!

Since we filmed in March I’ve been teasing about the Super Art Fight web show in all of it’s glory. You’ve seen the Black Cat Promos and put up with my Facebook and Instagram posts. And now, all four episodes have been released. 😀

I’d love to go through my process on these but to be totally fair to my fantastic SAF collaborators, this was one of the easiest projects I’ve done. Part of that came from the amazing atmosphere they helped create — we treated each other truly as collaborators, worked up a sweat and laughed until our sides hurt. Typically when I rush home from shooting to watch my footage, it’s out of fear that nothing worked out. With SAF, I couldn’t stop laughing.

Obviously no shoot is perfect and we ran into some issues. The Wheel of Death didn’t always cooperate. The first bout of the day was complete and utter crap as I got a handle on how to shoot such an event, and it took me a couple of hours to work up the courage to ask those two artists if they wouldn’t mind doing a new bout. For once “It’s not you, it’s me,” was 100% true. That’s when I learned how much time and preparation go in to each bout, how they sketch and plan and really think in a way that comes across to the audience as effortless.

Overall, this really was a simple shoot. We set up the canvas, lights, audio, and main camera once and never moved them. Everyone from SAF truly showed up and gave their all for every single take.

Hosts Marty & Ross filming the "What is Super Art Fight" intro.
Hosts Marty & Ross filming the “What is Super Art Fight” introduction.

During bouts I hand-held a second camera to get close-ups of the action from varying angles. Camtasia was set up on the Wheel of Death computer to capture the all-important spins. Once everything was synced on the timeline, I used the Wheel of Death screencaps when needed, Camera II whenever possible and Camera I everywhere else. Done and Done.

The narration you here in the final videos was recorded by Ross & Marty after the fact. They watched my rough cuts (on mute, obviously) and narrated what I showed in real time. It worked like a charm, from my perspective at least. I cut that audio in with the original Wheel of Death chants and placed music from their regular DJ The Megadrives like I knew what I was doing.

It may not have felt so simple were I not still laughing at our antics on subsequent drafts.

This is the timeline for El Russo Rojo's Promo. One camera, one mic. Keep it simple.
This is the timeline for El Russo Rojo’s Promo. One camera, one mic. Content is king.

Before I let you watch the final videos, there’s something you need to know. The killer graphics on these guys (and the previous promos) were done by El Russo Rojo. The man is magic. I can open up After Effects and click around until things happen, but this guy knows what’s up. Fake news ticker, explosions, WWE-style match-up graphics, it’s all amazing. This was the first time I had ever worked with a post-production graphics artist so I must admit it totally blew my mind. If I had known the videos were going straight to him I would have made some changes on export, given extra heads/tails frames, or offered up my Premiere files for better integration. But that is neither here nor there, just a little guilt picked up along the way, some thoughts for Web Show Round Two.

Please do enjoy. If you and SAF are ever in the same area, you should see them live. Seriously. Once two members of a tag-team handed out pizza. Once there was even a short-lived attempt at crowd-surfing. There is always hilarity. (I suppose this is where I plug their upcoming show at Baltimore’s Ottobar on September 20th.)

Vote on the results for the next month at!

The greatest compliment a collaborator can give is to collaborate again, and we’re filming round two of this thing come winter. Don’t know about you, but I’m excited.