Director Dialogues: Phurion
Rembember that crazy Halo 3 montage that you saw on YouTube? It was probably created by Phurion. He's been creating montages for about five years now and he is definitely one of the most professional montage makers around. His dualtage with Fluxy has over one million views and counting. I sat down with Phurion to ask him a bit about his montages and even give you guys some tips on how to start creating some stunning videos of your own.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Well, I'm 18 years old, and I am currently going to college for an ATA degree in Visual Communications. I live in Washington state, and I like it here. I am pursuing a career in the field of Visual Communications/Video Production, and hope to one day be successful in the industry. I love music, and movies, and many TV shows. I also enjoy playing video games (mostly Halo 3, Halo 2, and more recently, Call of Duty 4). My only gamertag that relates to Phurion, is "PhuRioN". All others, are posers.
Cool, so what inspired you to start creating montages?
I used to watch montages back in 2004; back then I was just watching all the old pros, like Rippon, Ogres, Nakamura, shook on3, etc. That's where my love for it started I guess, but back then I was still a noob (lol). I used to play matchmaking all the time, and I was pretty bad. Head to Head was probably my favorite playlist. I remember once I set up a VCR to record my 1v1s, but only ended up recording a few games. I have no idea what happened to those tapes, but it would be one hell of a nostalgic trip if I ever come across them. Soon enough, I was introduced to Halo3Forum.com. There I learned that montages could be made by...well anyone, and they could get their videos out there without being pro. To make a long story short, after numerous attempts at getting a capture card compatible with my PC, I finally got one and started making montages. (This was late 2005)
Which one of your montages are you most proud of?
Well...I like all the videos I make, but I guess there are some that I am more proud of, which would be the ones I have spent more time on. It's a pretty difficult thing to answer actually (It's like picking your favorite child) but I'm gonna have to go with "Progression", my Halo 2 montage. I am also pretty proud of some trailers I have created. Although they are short, I think I do a good job picking out a song, mixing it into a trailer length, and then identifying and maintaining a theme for the video, while creating excitement for the final product.
Some of my favorite trailers:
tD Trailer My favorite part of this trailer is the idea near the end, crashing through the glass via freecam.
Rezilient's Trailer This trailer has a funky/unique style, and I think I picked the song, and theme excellently.
Tunnel Vision Trailer I tried some new theater ideas with this video, and I think, while extremely fast paced, its appropriate, and creates excitement for the full video.
What gametype do you think is best for gathering montage clips?
Ugh, Snowbound. So, what software/hardware do you use?
To capture I use an ATI Wonder Pro 550, and I used to use an ATI Wonder Pro 650. I would recommend an ATI product to capture SD (Standard Definition). They have the best quality for SD cap cards, but most of them, like mine, are internal, so you may need help installing it into your PC if you are not very tech savvy. The first capture card I owned was a Dazzle 80, and while being pretty low quality capture, it was very easy to use. So, if you are fairly new to the scene and you aren't a computer person, I'd reccomend a Dazzle product.
To capture, I use Pinnacle Studio 9. It came free with my Dazzle 80, so I have been using it since, and it gets great quality with my ATI. If you cant afford, or don't have Studio 9, I would recommend a free capture software that most people use, VirtualDub. Although I dont use "vDub" to capture, I do use it for a few other things like deinterlacing, and compressing my files. It is a useful application if you plan to get involved with videos.
For editing, I primarily use Sony Vegas 8.0 Pro. Its a great program, and I've been using a version of it for the past four years. Occasionally, for more complex editing, or motion graphics, I use Adobe After Effects CS3. Its a complicated program, and I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of the possibilities, so I'd only recommend this to those who are really interested. When I get to my video production classes in my degree, I will be working with Mac programs, such as Final Cut Pro, so I look forward to learning them more closely.
How long does it take to gather the clips, capture, and edit one of your montages?
Oh wow, well it really varies, and to this day I still don't have an average number of weeks/months, so I'm just gonna explain it as good as I can. I guess I have two different categories that I lump my videos into. Those that I make on a whim, and those that are planned.
The ones I make on a whim, gameplay can be from..the past few months, to the past few days, it all depends on my mood, and how I've been playing. These videos I'd say I spend about 6-15 hours capturing, and editing.
The videos that are planned out, I'd say the gameplay is usually captured for 4 months - a year+. Then the editing...anywhere from 12-30 hours. I'm not really sure because I have never logged my hours on a project. I usually just edit when I feel like it. I only edit when I have deep inspiration to do so. I could go months without editing, and then randomly one day, just really FEEL it, and edit for eight hours straight. Sometimes that's how I work, but sometimes I edit for 1-3 hours every day for a week. I really just never know.
Any tips for aspiring montage makers?
Don't go for what the community wants, make your video for YOU. This of course could have ramifications as far as how popular your video is, but if you are happy with the end result, that's all that really matters.
Care to give a hint at some of your future projects?
I dont like to announce my projects, I'd rather surprise the community with them. But I will say I have been working one of those "planned out projects" for a while now. I wouldn't expect it soon, but...ya never know :P
We're patiently waiting. Anything you'd like to add?
Thanks for choosing me to kick off your interviewing process. If anyone wants to contact me, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on AIM (a Phurion Film). Just please don't ask me to edit your montage. I'm extremely busy right now between school and my hobbies.
Well that's it. Be sure to check out the rest of Phurions videos at his YouTube channel. I hope that any montage hopefuls took some of these tips to heart. See you next week!
If you have any suggestions for future guests, message RandomSauce on Bungie.net!