Herman Wang: Writer/Director "The Spell Tutor"


(Bri Castellini) #41

That’s our hour, but you all know Herman and I’m sure he’ll be around :slight_smile: HUGE big thanks to him for taking the time to let us pester him all at once today, and be sure to check out The Spell Tutor for Canadian magical goodness!


(Herman Wang) #42

I use it as a combo term, basically because I’m doing almost everything :slight_smile: Although being a creator/writer qualifies you for a Slashie Award. <------- ZOOLANDER JOKE


(Meg Carroway) #43

Thanks, Herman!!


(sam lockie-waring) #44

thanks, dude! look forward to more vfx articles in the future!


(Hailey Harper) #45

Gotcha :slight_smile: Thank you for being here today (and always I guess hahaha)!!


(Anna Bateman) #46

Thank you!


(Herman Wang) #47

I have a separate monitor that I use to see exactly what the DP is doing without having to look over his shoulder at the viewer - that’s a huge help, especially when using our shoulder mount.

I once bought a book called “Setting Up Your Shots” that was one of the first resources that influenced how I think about framing and motion. The VFX stuff I mostly picked up through trial and error or online demos. These days I can’t watch anything without deconstructing how they did it in the back of my mind :slight_smile:


(Herman Wang) #48

Generally we have to submit, we’re not that big yet. I usually find it’s worth it because we’re directly meeting literally hundreds to thousands of fans at any given con. The Potter-specific cons are even better.


(Herman Wang) #49

Music videos are very different from narrative shorts. You can get away with a lot of abstraction and non-linear storytelling that doesn’t work in narratives. That being said, that experience pays off when we specifically want to portray an out-of-the-ordinary state of mind. Our episode 3.4 was the closest The Spell Tutor gets to a non-linear style.

These days we write the entire season’s script (6 episodes) and then block shoot over a few months; it’s much more economical. Hooking up with the public is mostly through cons and then crossing our fingers.


(Rodrigo Diaz Ricci) #50

Awesome! Thanks for the answer, Herman!


(Herman Wang) #51

I think the VFX helps our show stand out from the crowd a bit. It’s something eye-catching that we can put in a trailer to generate immediate interest. And in general my preferred storytelling genre is science-fiction/fantasy anyway.


(Herman Wang) #52

White balancing is telling the camera “this is white”. So if it’s a white lie (no pun intended) because the paper is actually yellow because of the lighting, the camera will compensate anyway and basically give itself an anti-yellow setting, that will have the effect of canceling out the yellow lighting.


(Herman Wang) #53

Yikes. I don’t think you can fix that easily, except to turn off all their lights and use your own white lights.


(Herman Wang) #54

Pasted from earlier answer to Bri:
White balancing is telling the camera “this is white”. So if it’s a white lie (no pun intended) because the paper is actually yellow because of the lighting, the camera will compensate anyway and basically give itself an anti-yellow setting, that will have the effect of canceling out the yellow lighting.


(Herman Wang) #55

Honestly, not a lot. I concentrate more on wardrobe, and with the close/medium shots that has more visual influence than the backdrop.

Our “school” location is a historic building near where I live, so just the old-fashioned look of the place does the trick for us. There’s a pair of giant wooden doors that I try to incorporate into a lot of the shots. I love those doors.


(Herman Wang) #56

I’m kind of running low on things you can do by yourself, without having to get a plugin. And articles about using plugins aren’t much use, it’s just “buy the thing and follow their instructions”. The next column I’m planning once I get some time is going to be about how to prep for a motion-track shoot.


(Anna Bateman) #57

Do you have a next thing you’re working on? Or are you pretty focused on season 4 of Spell Tutor?


(Herman Wang) #58

This summer will be filled with shooting Season 4. After that, I’m developing an idea for an absurdist sci-fi web series that I’ll probably start production in 2019.


(Herman Wang) #59

I’m off to do a thing for an hour or so, but will be back to answer any straggler questions!


(Herman Wang) #60

Whoops, the episode link didn’t paste properly, apparently