An academy leader is a length of film attached to the beginning of a film that use visual and audio information to ensure that a projector is correctly calibrated. They traditionally feature a countdown of numbers accompanied by a beeping sound. With this video, I developed a unique approach to this narrative structure, through image capture and editing. It was necessary that I pay close attention to the temporal qualities of pacing and rhythm in this academy leader.

Video Editing
Video Production
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro

The theme of this academy leader was liquids. I experimented with different types of liquids and the forms and properties that they have to create a countdown with a unique clip for each number. I refined my clips from the video sketches by changing the vase I was shooting the submerged number shots in from round to one with flat sides, in order to get less distortion and glare. I played around with my lighting set up to also reduce glare. I also changed the colour of the background between white and black to better match what type of scene I was shooting, and I painted the numbers black and white and used the opposite colour than the background.
For the countdown sound, I was trying to think of something that would complement but still be different than the liquid theme, and initially thought of cracking ice, as ice is frozen liquid. However, it was difficult to find a sound clip of this, and when using repetitively it did not exactly sound like cracking ice. I ended up using a sound clip of a snapping branch (from Thoryn on freesound project, thanks!) that I thought sounded like a more distinct cracking, but still when repeating it ten times it became sort of ambiguous. I also decided to keep the sounds from filming each individual clip in the video. Most scenes are sped up, so the sounds create a quiet, electronic noise. They add an ambient white noise that I thought complemented the video well, and makes each individual clip distinct.
Overall, I’m very happy with how my Academy Leader turned out. I think there are a few individual clips that could have been made more interesting, but when combined together it creates an effective, fascinating countdown
Check out some process and storyboards below:
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