Friday, July 31, 2009

I Left My Heart in the Edit Bay

Not really sure what the title of this post means, I was just trying to think of something creative instead of just writing "Update." And now I realize that this explanation basically does the same thing as writing "Update."

Moving on...

Clearly, from the lack of posting, I've been busy. And I've been busy because I'm basically working two jobs. I edit from 9-6, I have dinner with my wife, and then I hop on my motorcycle and head downtown to work on the new script with Travis, till about midnight or 1 AM, after which I head home and go to sleep.

White & Crazy Kids Editing:

This week has had it's peaks and valleys. Whenever I start editing a project I've directed there is usually a full day of noticing every little mistake in the raw footage and feeling like everything I shot was shit. It ALWAYS happens to me, on EVERY project. So much so, that my wife is even familiar with it. It's that moment when you realize that what you shot may be slightly different from your vision and that can be very depressing. But once you power through it, remember that one of the points of editing is to eliminate all the mistakes, you realize that now your job as an editor is to adapt the material that's been shot, into the final project. And that may be very different from how you initially saw it. And that's okay.

So, after THAT day, I buckled down and got to work. After finally figuring out my workflow, I like to start the process by organizing everything in Final Cut. I organize my bins, my footage, my sequences, so that everything is easy to find and easy to get to. Then, I begin to sync all the performance footage into their own separate timelines (one for the club, one for the desert, one for the house party, etc) as well as any audio that need to be attached to the picture.

From there, I spent some time figuring out flow of the video. We have six major setups, or completely new scene changes, and it's meant to have a narrative structure to it. So, I worked on figuring out where each thing would go and how long we'd be in it before moving on. Once I had that general structure down, I went through and cut the performances for each section, how I might do it if I was only seeing the performances, with no cutaways.

When that was finished, I began laying over the more narrative b-roll to tell the story, fleshing out the video. I had the White and Crazy Kids come by on Wednesday to check out the cut. They loved it, got really excited about it.

Then, I had both Travis and Dan watch it (not at the same time) and got some notes from them. At his point, the last 30 seconds of the video aren't even cut yet, but I got some great feedback from both of them, which I then spent yesterday addressing. One of the biggest notes was to cut faster, make it really cutty, and use more juxtaposition. Another note was to cut down the house party stuff, which I did. I basically spent Thursday working on the first half of the video and plan to spend today working on the second half, to get it to a pretty solid rough cut. Then, I'll have more people see it, and power through the weekend to get to a fine cut.

On the suggestion of Travis, I'm looking to bring in an editor, who really knows his effects and techniques, to take my cut to the next level...spend a day on it just really fine tune it, and 'effect' it up. I'm not really an editor, or, if I am, I'm much more narratively inclined, and much less commercial and music video inclined, so to have someone come it and amp it up would be great, in addition to my colorist, James, who will be really putting the finishing touches on the video.


So, while all this going on, Travis and I have started writing our new feature comedy. We're normally very fast, we've written our last three scripts in roughly 10 days (first drafts that is). But this one is a little slower going. For one, the first card says "Opening Scene" which is basically a 10 page sequence that we didn't beat out too specifically when developing. We always knew what it was, just not exactly would be in there. So, it took us two days to really get it down.

Then, while we were suppose to be writing Wednesday night, we spent most of the time talking about 1) the music video and 2) a new project that our manager pitched to us. It's a great idea and will more than likely be our next script, after these first two we have to write (which is fine, since we need time to develop it anyway). But, it's a great story. It'll be a musical, which should be new for us, and in discussing with our manager, we'd put it together as something for me to direct as well, which of course got me excited.

We just need to get through this first draft, vomit it out all over the page, distance ourselves from it while we immediately move on to the next one, then come back and refine. I will be really pleased if Travis and I can bang out three scripts this year. Combined with how busy I've been production wise, it will have been a very productive year.

Lots of exciting things going on.

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