Leesa Dean: Adventures of a Web Series Newbie

Chapter 73 – Back in it in High Def
by Leesa Dean

hdI’m back from a much-needed mini-vacation. Yes, I really needed a real vacation, but I take it where I can.

Went upstate for a long weekend, hung out with friends, relaxed, played some tennis and (gasp!) might even have gotten one step closer to a less embarrassing serve! (My serve is, um, a work-in-progress.) Even though it was a few days, I felt like I was gone for year and was itching to get back into it.

I hit the ground running Monday morning. Meetings, production and more. Had a long conversation with my production partner and we’re booking some meetings (not heavy duty pitch ones, but some exploratory stuff with people who might be helpful to us with the projects we’re working on) in the next month or so. I work really well under pressure and respond well to deadlines so….it’s on!

To prep for these meetings, I decided to redo some of my shorts and sizzle reels, upgrading them to High Def.

When I started animating, while HD was prevalent, it wasn’t mandatory for reels. More notably, YouTube only accepted shorts that were in Standard Def.

Times have changed. Now, it’s the norm for Youtube and for reels. There are some ways to stretch preexisting footage to accommodate HD. But I decided to tweak some stuff (as if I don’t have enough work to do!) so I’m back doing 10-12 hours a day, translating from Standard to High Def, tweaking the writing, look and animation. It’s intense. But…it is SO worth it. I’m LOVING the way stuff is turning out.

I’m even redoing part of one Lele show and it really looks amazing with the update. When I start producing Season 2, it’s all going to be in High Def so I’m kinda of killing two birds with one stone. I’ll have a template ready.

If you have a reel that needs updating and don’t have the time to reshoot (or re-animate), you can always pop the footage into Adobe Premiere (or the Non-linear editor of your choice) and stretch it out. Here’s a link that shows you how. BTW, I use 1920 X 1080 for 29.97, in case you want specifics. It’s always easier to make it smaller and keep the same quality. If you start smaller (1080 x 720, say) and go to 1920 x 1080, you might get pixelated looks or worse. Last year, when I did the screening at the Atlantic Film Festival/AC3, I used this method and the footage looked great projected on a big screen.

Next week: Some interesting changes in the digital video world.

Author: ChilltownTV

I'm primarily a writer. Sold a few series to tv networks and production companies but never had anything get on the air. So I taught myself how to animate and completed 3 digital series, launching two. The first, Chilltown has been named one of "Five Web Series That Should Be on Your Radar" by ABCNews/Univision and a "Show to Watch" by Tubefilter. The second, Lele's Ratchet Advice Show, garnered a fanatic cult following. As a result, I now do Lele's 60 Second Wrap Up, a weekly comedic entertainment report (which I write & perform) that airs on urban radio stations Rhythm 105.9fm and the Just Wake Up Morning Show on WWRNfm.

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