DEM was approached by Spectrum Labs in early 2012 (just after we got our hands on our RED scarlet) to create a unique product video. Spectrum Labs had the idea for a scientist / superhero character that was responsible for the development of the company's products. outside of that basic idea and the name of the character, we basically had a blank slate to work with.
we shot an initial 'teaser' with nothing but two light panels, a few bits of chemistry gear, and a white backdrop. "Dr. Chameleon" was born. here is the initial piece - one of the first things we ever shot on our RED.
after screening the initial demo video, DEM got the funding to create a far more elaborate video featuring the spectacular scientist (played by DEM's own martin cremer.) we were given a garage space to work with (the very same space the initial demo was shot in) and a reasonable budget for set construction, as well as various and sundry scientific equipment to use throughout the lab set (which was vastly helpful.)
we headed off to home depot to purchase lumber, lights, paint, wire conduit, random metal grilles, and whatever else struck our fancy. then the five of us began the roughly two-month process of turning a garage into a slick, futuristic chemistry lab.
with the set completed, the scripting and shooting of the piece began. the full-length "Dr. Chameleon" episode one actually clocks in at about 7 minutes and includes a quirky villain who runs a competing biotech company, armed thugs, fight scenes, and people who can smell lasers. but in the end it was decided to focus only on the abbreviated VFX sequence where our hero creates the "MPES" filter.
shooting of the final sequence took place over about 3 days on the set we'd created.
postproduction on the piece took about 200 hours, largely due to issues with camera matchmoving generated by our (then still home-made) dolly. the process consisted of matchmoving the shots we could with SynthEyes, generating the 3D elements in after effects, and compositing everything. the visual effects were all generated to match martin's movements (which he had rehearsed to the point of impeccable consistency.) the entire process resulted in quite an expensive-looking final product that quite literally has our blood and sweat poured into it. nobody actually cried, so there may not have been tears. we'll have to check on that.
DIRECTOR/CAMERA: chris morgan
WRITERS: ryan ederer, matt bone
1st AC: taylor smith
AUDIO: ryan ederer, matt bone
SET BUILD/EDIT/VFX/POST: darkenergymedia
CAMERA: RED Scarlet