I got this gig via my website! The seeds of this project originally started over a year ago when George Fan contacted me to help with the teaser trailer for his new game Octogeddon. If you don't know him by name, George is the creator of Plants vs Zombies O_O. The art in Octogeddon is by Rich Werner who was the artist for Plants vs Zombies.
Octogeddon started as a game jam game where you're an octopus who's on a rampage destroying cities. As you play you get new limbs and upgrades with different abilities which help you destroy buildings, military planes, tanks etc.
George sent me a rough version of the trailer that had the core idea of the changing channels on the TV, emergency broadcast, and live news segment. I felt like my primary job here was to improve the pace, and keep things interesting. I'm leery of going too long in a trailer without any gameplay, so I tried to keep every new clip very short so that by the time the audience might get bored, we're already in a new section.
For example, the emergency broadcast section was originally much longer, but since it had redundant information with the newscast, I cut out as much as possible. The emergency broadcast narration is pretty straight forward until they start talking about the octopus. My hope is that the cut at the end lands as soon as the absurdity of what's being said hits the audience.
The other task was to make the news footage shinier than what we already had in the temp cut. George wanted documentary style footage with zooms, lots of rack focusing etc. I simply turned the gameplay into a 3D layer and used the After Effects cameras' depth of field so that I could adjust the focus before and after every zoom. That coupled with the Bad TV filter made it okay to zoom in quite close on the gameplay.
The only significant gameplay note George had was to include capture where the octopus rolls back and forth. He didn't want it to look like you just press forward all the time. Even though the game controls with only two buttons, it's necessary to effectively wield the various octopus limbs by aiming them.
The TV footage we had originally was from sources we weren't sure were clearable, so George found a couple clips on royalty free stock footage sites, and we fabricated a fake car commercial, and footage from a wrestling show.
The core of the teaser was there from the beginning, it was simply a matter of refining the individual components. The idea of the Octopus watching its own news broadcast was added in after we had a few versions. Originally it ended on the emergency broadcast, but when talking to George we came up with the ending as it is.
Rich animated the ending, which I rendered out to a movie so that I could composite in the news footage. I used Premiere Pro's new "Essential Sound" panel quite a bit to affect the audio so that it sounded both like it was coming from a TV, and from outside the building. Those were the exact presets I used, which was super handy!
As of the writing of this post, the game is coming out in just a couple months!