Thursday, 27 October 2011

Short Film, The Editing

During the editing of the short film, I had to learn fast how to use Adobe Premiere, as I had never used this software before.
The cutting and arranging of the clips was easy enough, the process being the same as most video editing software, however the tool arrangement was new, and there were a great many tools I had never come into contact with before, such as the rolling edit and advanced audio and visual effects. Learning how to create proper titles and edits was also new, as was co-ordinating the timeline along with the clip list.

A problem I found during editing was that at one point in the interview, the inspector speaks over the witness; this made editing the cuts here very difficult. I did my best to disguise the jumpy audio, but unfortunately there was no way to fix this without cutting the section out completely. This could be avoided in future by doing a retake of any overlapping voices and asking the actors not to speak over each other. The part in question occurs in the video at 03.18, the end of the scene where Edgar is calling for the dog.
Another problem I found while editing was that the sound in the interview room was far quieter than the outdoor sounds, the monster sound or the security camera sound. I attempted to rectify this in the edit by making the sound levels higher at these points, and lowering the levels at the other parts, but there’s only so much you can do in an edit and I realise that the problem was that the microphone was not close enough to the interview table and so did not pick up enough sound. Again, the best way to fix this would have to be a retake.
We also made the mistake of filming in 1080p widescreen, when we had to edit in 720p 4:3, because of this, some of the shots which originally looked brilliant, lost a lot of their quality and were far too big for the frame and as a result, sections from either side of the shot were cut out. Next time I should check the settings of the camera to ensure we film in the right ratio.
For the CCTV shots, we researched how the shot should be positioned by watching CCTV footage from real police stations, we also used this footage along with inspiration from the film ‘The Fourth Kind’ and clips of supposed alien sightings to determine the amount of grain to use and the positioning and font of the information display on the screen. This also inspired the colour correction, with the washed out, greenish tint.

Something I learnt that I think would be useful to me was the ability to manipulate a layer over an image using Photoshop, and import this on top of your video. This really helped me with some of the effects, such as the dark ring around the edge of the frame in ‘Monster Vision’.
Trying to get the sound and especially the music and sound effects to match well with the visual element was the hardest part of editing, as it is harder to tell what point to start or stop the music compared to how you can clearly see when to cut visual footage. Because of this I don’t think the music and sound effects are as good as they could have been for my final edit. This is something I need to work on.
When I stared editing the first thing I did was to get all the clips cut to the right length and put in the right order, then my plan was to start adding effects, however what I found was that the amount of footage we had far surpassed the required length for the brief. So, as a compromise I created two edits, the full length version, which is the story from start to finish with the entire story. And a second edit, cut to just under five minutes. The short version is the story cut down to just the main plot elements with fewer atmospheric shots and shortened interviews. Both versions are uploaded to Vimeo, but only the short version is on this blog.

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