Singing Trash Bins - Valentine's Day Love Song

It is almost Valentine's Day and, well, what is more romantic than a bunch of trash bins proclaiming their eternal love for the garbage man in a song?

Happy Valentine's Day!


There were two parts to creating this Valentine's Day music video:

  1. Composing the barber shop style love song
  2. Filming and syncing the trash bin lids to the voices

Composing the Valentine's Day love song

I have never tried to compose an a-capella piece, but once I had the melody line and the chords down it was actually not too difficult

I ended up having the bass and the baritone (leftmost 2 trash bins) sing over the base notes from the chords while only the tenor carried the melody notes.

To add a bit of variation and make it sound a little more interesting, the bass and baritone only follow the main vocals half the verse and then break out into longer, more background style vocals. This also helps make the chorus line stand out cleanly against them

During the chorus I added a choir group containing a bass, a tenor and one soprano voice (sung I head voice).

I have to admit that I ended up using a fair bit of auto tune as I'm not a terribly great singer and the tenor voice of Willis is pitch shifted up by 4 semitones because I could not sing high enough But I am pretty happy with the results and the feel of this Valentine's Day song.

Shooting and syncing the trash bins

Once I had the music for the Valentine's Day song, I had to combine it with the footage.

Singing Trash Bins - Behind The Scenes Special Effect

The right 4 bins in the video are all the same actual trash bin, duplicated with the basic cloning visual effect .

I attached a fishing line to each of the bins separately and filmed the lid moving up and down once. In post production I had to edit out some of the parts whe the fishing line, because it was sometimes clearly visible in the direct sunlight.

The stage of synchronizing the lid movements with the audio is probably where I spent the most time.

I placed the footage in After Effects, duplicated the trash bins with the cloning effect and enabled time remapping on them. With the music added, I then matched up the opening of the lids with the volume of the individual voices. For this, I used a little trick.

I used Motion Sketch to record my mouse movement on a Null object and linked the time positon of the trash bin to the x coordinate of the Null. When the Null was on the left side of the screen, the lid would be closed, if it was on the right side of the screen, the lid would be fully opened. I then played back the track and, with my mouse, recorded the lid movement to match up with the audio.

I repeated this for all trash bins

Finally, I added some colorisation and a little bit of story around the Valentine's Day love song to wrap it all a little better

Have a happy Valentine's Day


User avatar
5 Years Ago
March 21, 2015 @ 1:20 pm
I just got the joke about Bruce Willis. Very funny! Awesome special effects!
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Christopher Reichert
2 Years Ago
February 1, 2018 @ 0:43 pm
I'm making my first horror movie and looking for some help on adding special effects
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Surfaced Studio@ Christopher Reichert
2 Years Ago
May 18, 2018 @ 1:03 pm
Lots of tutorials on this site and on my YouTube channel. If you want to get into After Effects, check out my beginner series here:

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