The Key

Amazing Studios Original
After production came to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic, we set our minds to figuring out the best way to continue production while still adhering to COVID guidelines.

To state the obvious, 2020 proved to be a tumultuous year for many, on a global scale. After the world came to a screeching halt, quarantine had us itching to fire up the camera and get production rolling again. 

We know so many who were eager to get going again too, but there were so many questions running through everyone’s mind about how exactly to do this:

  • Can we still film videos safely?
  • How are we going to do this with little to no human interaction?
  • Will our storyline or message lack impact if our talent has to stay 6 feet apart? 

These are HUGE (and valid) pain points that we heard from both our clients and our peers. 

While animation is an excellent option to get around these hurdles, we knew we wanted to incorporate these staples of filming in a live-action setting. We began brainstorming how this could be accomplished while taking the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe.

Could we really have both?

Could it be done? 

Challenge Accepted. 

This led us to embark on a little passion project. We set out to prove that it was possible to create projects with close human interaction, while still adhering to social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. 

To prove this, we created a mysterious narrative short, relying on our ingenuity and some movie magic to get it done. 

After the narrative portion of the video, we begin to reveal how the two main characters were able to appear so close together without breaking any social distancing guidelines. 

The still frame above created the illusion that the camera was looking over the shoulder of one character and on to the face of the other. Our team achieved this by using masking as an editing technique where we essentially ‘mask’ one shot with part of another shot and blend the two together.

Notice the umbrella pole in the second still frame above. This ended up being a great, yet tricky, spot to use masking because of the placement of the characters hand. As she moved her hand back and forth behind the umbrella pole, it needed to reappear on the other side and show up seamlessly in the frame with her out-of-focus opposite.

The final still frame above, shows one of the most obviously key shots to sell the illusion, where it appears both actors are sitting across from each other. This used the same masking technique as well.

For a more detailed visual explanation of how we filmed this piece – and some mysterious entertainment- watch the full video!

The one time ‘fixing it in post’ actually worked?

During a global pandemic.

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