It wasn’t my intention originally to work on this project with the Fire Department. In December I purchased a Matterport camera to diversify my service options in the film production location scouting area of my business. The 3D Visualization works by using photogrammetry to seem images together with measurements collected with infrared lasers. This technology is typically used for Real Estate Tour marketing but I decided to use it in a different way for film location touring for production companies.
I met with Morris Letcher, Public Information Officer of the Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department, to discuss the project that would tie the two services into one fully-immersive digital-experience that would revolutionize the way that the KCK Fire Department was seen by the public and new applicants. Therefore, the reality of a 3D and Virtual Reality recruiting program was born, and we were on our way to taking the first steps.
Fast forward a few months and we began shooting in July, on the 10th. We started with the 3D scan, where we had all of the Fire Department staff hold a single position for several hours while we scanned foot by foot throughout the entire station. All of the Fire Department wouldn’t move or blink, including the Dog (Live-Find-K9). Afterward we moved on to the interviews. We performed 11 talking head interviews on Tuesday the 11th, 2 interviews on the 14th, and then one this week on the July 2nd. The team I had on the crew discounted their rates to help us achieve this goal because we all believed in this project since the beginning. I had a total of 7 crew members: my young brother and personal assistantAnthony Monson, my cousin and Audio Engineer Charles Lutz, my best friend and Director of Photography Wayne Gassmann, my favorite Hair & Makeup Stylist Kate Webb from 7th Row Productions, and my Assistant Director and favorite musician Jean-Jacques Corbier.
Monson spent hours editing the footage, and during this project and gained more and more inspiration to put extra time into the project because he felt the Firefighters (and really all EMS service men and women) deserved to be shown in the best possible light. The to my team and I we all agree that these men and women are modern day Superheros. Therefore, during this time we decided to go one step further by customizing every component of the project. I began by spending nearly 200 hours reviewing, editing, and re-editing the videos and the 3D tour to make it as close to perfect as possible. In addition, I customized all of the color for each of the interviews to make it as visually appealing as something you would see on National Television.
Charles Lutz took care of all of the audio for the production. He recorded the on-set-sound for each of the interviews at the department, edited the dialog, then composed, recorded and mixed the music heard during the final videos. The music score (custom sound track) highlights several of the instruments he plays including Cello, Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Bass and Piano, as well as many synthetic/electronic elements he found fitting for the tone of the interviews. Anthony Monson (my brother) can also be heard playing the Saxophone near the end of the tune. Charles also created the intro graphic using features in Adobe After Effects to bring the original KCKFD Logo to life. He used particle simulation, 3D camera movement and many other layered elements to create the graphics fiery look. Lastly, he created custom sound design to match the CG video. The timing of all this was tight, with all of these elements coming together in only about a week and a half, but they added greatly to the overall production value.
Here is the link to the tour:
Upon release this first article was written on the 2nd of July, but didn’t shine the right light on the topic.