Just another WordPress.com site


The tutors wanted to see our raw footage once we had completed our filming so we showed them our best shots according to the continuity forms. They said we have some nice shots with a variety of angles and a good basis for the story so to make a really rough edit. I set to work on this by firstly renaming most of the clips and putting the unsuitable clips into a separate folder. I then chose the best clips out of the ones we had taken and began placing the on the timeline. The tutors came down to see the clip but it had taken so long to rename our many clips, we did not have a very long video. I was given half an hour to rearrange all the clips into the rough order it will be in for the final project. This was quite rushed but I managed to do it on time, I actually liked doing it fast to meet the deadline because it made me concentrate harder on the task. It was a total of 6 minutes 45 seconds which is over double of what it needs to be. There were a few shots that cut really well together such as when Chris is looking at the flowers.

The tutors thought the sound might be better if we just had a monologue over the top. We were also unsure about the sound so took this on board. Matt and I are the designated editors and our short film was cut down to just over three minutes before presenting it to the class. The feedback we got was –

– Good atmosphere sounds in the graveyard

– Good tracking shots whilst in the supermarket

– There is a jump from one scene to the supermarket which needs filling with something, they suggested putting another shot of the long shot at the beginning with Chris walking down in between the trees because it was said that by the end of the video, they had forgotten about the shot at the beginning so maybe it needs to be repeated throughout.

– Need to sort out the pacing because it was slow in supermarket and fast afterwards

– We had Chris getting into the car, then getting out of the car in another location, this does not look right and needs to be changed. Perhaps the beginning shot in the middle of this?

– Needs more references to Ellie

– Have the end shot as Chris walking away from the grave

– Need more close-ups of Chris

– Get rid of the shot of him locking the door – too slow and not needed

– Get rid of the shot of Chris and the cashier exchanging money – too slow and not needed

– Need to sort grading

– Radio?

We have taken all these comments on board. Some of them we were intending to change anyway because it was a really rough cut, such as the grading and I knew some of the shots needed to be shortened to sort out the pacing. We are planning to recording a radio sound soon for the beginning part in the house as well as Ellie’s answer phone message to add more of her into the story. Matt and I have been working on editing on Final Cut Pro nearly every day so far, we now have a nearly finished piece. One of our main problems was the shot of Chris looking out the window in the kitchen. The light on the back wall was quite yellow and the colour coming through the window was blue. I tried many different effects such as colour corrector, but this did not work. I would get rid of the blue but then the yellow would have turned a strange colour. We needed to select just that area and change it. I went to ask our technician, Bex to help us out and she used an effect called 8 point garbage matte. To do this we had to duplicate the shot we wanted to change and put it above the shot we are going to edit. We applied the effect and changed the points so they just covered the area we wanted to change. We changed the settings in this space to make it how we wanted it to look. We done this on two different shots, the long shot of the window and the close up of him looking out the window. It looked so much better with even light colour after the edit. I decided to use the shot of him looking out the window instead of at the watch because it was not clear enough and just looked like he was looking in the sink. He looked like he was thinking more whilst looking out of the window.

Another problem we had was keeping the suspension of disbelief  because we only had three minutes so had to cut out the less important shots such as the traveling shots. We had filmed these but most of them did not look right or were too long and boring when we put them in. An example of this is the car shots. We had the shot of him entering the car then a shot of him getting out the car. I put in a fade to black in the middle of them but it still looked strange so we got rid of the shot of him getting out the car and just kept the shot below.

Our feedback suggested putting the shot at the beginning in the middle because the audience forget they have seen it. I like the fact that the audience forget because they are reminded at the end. There are a few shots we had to cut down such as when he leaves the house because he stops and locks it instead of just slamming the door. I solved this by putting a fade to black just as the door swings towards him and having the sound of the door closing in the fade to black. We had to cut down the checkout scene but now that we are no longer having any speech in it, it is not needed as much.

Matt and I have been through the footage many times and been shaving off unnecessary shots such as we originally had a close up shot of Chris’ feet walking through some flowers, it was quite a pretty shot but he looks like he is killing all the flowers and does a strange turn at last-minute. This was where he was about to walk the wrong way which would not have fitted into the rest of the scene because of screen direction, so I pointed the way he was meant to but it was slightly too late so there was a sharp turn.

Matt and I worked together to grade our short film. We wanted it too look quite natural and not noticeably graded. The main effects we added onto our short was brightness and contrast and the three-way colour corrector. There was one shot where we could not get the focus on the camera correct but did not have any other useable shots so had to try to sharpen this up without it looking too obvious.

For the credits we are hoping to use Motion to create falling bits of paper til one bit gets blown towards the screen and has the word ‘Paper’ on. I have been playing around on Motion and managed to create bits of paper floating around but am trying to work out how to get ‘Paper’ written on the big piece of paper that covers the screen at the end. I find it quite difficult to use and had no idea where to start when I opened it, even after the tutorial on it. To make it easier for myself, I watched a few tutorials online which made it a bit clearer but I am going to have to practise on it quite a bit to get myself comfortable with using it.

One of the most useful effects we used was the image stabilisation tool. Matt and I applied this to all the unsteady shots with a good result. The only issue we found was in one of the tracking shots in Tesco, there is a slightly different movement of the camera but it is still much better than before. This is one of my favourite shots out of all the shots we took and it would have been a shame if it was really wobbly.

I had not come across this tool before and neither had Matt, so I researched into it and found this video to learn from.

For the monologue Kayleigh volunteered to write it, this is the first draft.

My eyes full of wonder, yet so lost
The wonder of this blank canvas
The visions still burn so brightly in mind
Just one last step, one last breath, one last touch

I hear your voice through the whisper of the wind
The crunching of leaves beneath my feet
Sometimes its nature just calling to me
Just one last step, one last breath, one last touch

The wonder of realisation is a beautiful thing
The loss of the loneliness I feel
You are not to be pitied in your peaceful slumber
No last step, no last breath, no last touch

Just blissful realisation.

I like this but I think it gives away he has lost his wife too quickly. I think it needs to be more like a love poem on their anniversary at the beginning before it starts talking about loss. There is a part referencing autumn but when we filmed it was not autumn and if it was a year ago it could not have been autumn then either. I also do not understand the relevance of the second verse about nature. Here is the second draft of the poem.

Blissful happiness when I see you smile
The glint in your eyes so bright
Sitting, talking, times going so fast
Rushing past in indecent haste

One year has passed since that crisp autumn day
The White dress of linen still hangs
I still see your smile, much larger than life
Ready for our next big adventure

I hear your voice through the whisper of the wind
The crunching of leaves beneath my feet
Sometimes its nature just calling to me
Just one last step, one last breath, one last touch

The wonder of realisation is a beautiful thing
The loss of the loneliness I feel
You are not to be pitied in your peaceful slumber
No last step, no last breath, no last touch

I like this one much better, I feel like it flows much more and the fact that she died is not right at the beginning. I still do not like the verse about nature, the only relevance it has it the ‘circle of life’ because she has died but he lives on. Lydia looked through the poem and had a few ideas on how to improve it.

The wonder of realisation is a beautiful thing
I hear your voice through the whisper of the wind
Sitting talking times going so fast
It seems so hard to forget the past

The white linen dress still hangs high
I find it so hard to say goodbye
The glint in your eyes so bright
Everything seems so perfectly right

Blissful happiness when I see your smile
A year has passed since that walk down the aisle
An empty house, an empty chair
A wifes love no longer there

You can remember her and only that she’s gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on
You are not pitied in your peaceful slumber
No last step, no last breath, no last wonder

Your heart can be empty because you no longer see
But I feel your still with me finally free
As the sky calls you home you fly like a bird
My sweetheart, my love, don’t say another word

It’s hard to move on, its hard to cope
I wish for you back but can only hope
A gap in time even I cannot undo
Dearest Ellie I miss you

I think the poem has improved even more and I like the rhyming and flow it has when you read through it. It could do with a bit more time before reviling she has died but my main issue is in the edit in the graveyard Chris says ‘Miss you Ellie.’ I thought we were going to be able to lip sync thing but this will not be possible.

We asked Brian Mansi who is on our course and aspires to do voice overs in the future, to do the voice over for us. He agreed and it went very well, he wanted to edit it to change the base in his voice so has taken the clip of him speaking away to edit ready for our final editing session on Monday. Whist editing we have tried to follow the art and craft of editing drama shorts as taught in our lecture. Ken Dancyger says there are three levels of technique to editing, this is the technique, craft and art. The technique is knowing how to edit using the program so knowing how to piece together clips. The craft is being able to put two shots together to create a meaning that would not be there if you watched them separately. The art is taking the meaning to a new level such as emotions by putting two or more shots together. We were told to read this article and it held my attention the whole way through. I am interested in editing and am the head editor of the university TV group, Source TV. I love learning new aspects of editing and it is a career I am interested in. The article talks about Walter Murch’s fascination with editing and his point of view of how it all works. He talks about how the audience are programmed to understand the edit because of dreams. In dreams they cut from one scene to another and are cinematic. Editing is taking the language of dreams and making something from it. I really like this idea because dreams fascinate me, I can normally remember my dreams and if they are really interesting I write them down. The audience make their own assumptions in the edit, you do not need to guide them too much because they make the link themselves in between shots. We have done this in our short film by not showing the travelling shots in between scenes because the audience will just assume that we travelled there. It is quite clever really how the audience do not think ‘how did he get there’ they just assume he got there in a normal way. This is called continuity editing.

Ken Dancyger notes:

it is the practical challenge of the director and the editor to work with some number of shots to create a continuity that does not draw unnecessary attention to itself. If it does, the filmmaker and the editor have failed to present the narrative in the most effective possible manner. (1997a: 295)

Continuity editing normally had an establishing shot to orient the audience, the 30 degree rule where if you have two shots next to each other they must have moved 30 degrees, cutting on action and use of shot/reverse shot. Dancyger says there are nine basic techniques available to the editor. These are –

  • Scene selection – Chosing the correct shot such as having an establishing shot first then moving to close-ups.
  • Construction shot continuity – Creating a ‘seamless cut’ so there is no jump from one shot to another. The edit should match the action and the audience should not be able to see the edit.
  • Ensuring adequate cover – This was my job as director to make sure we had enough shots from each scene to use in the edit. This includes a variety of shots such as close-ups and high angled shots.
  • Matching the action – This is cutting in the middle of a movement to a different angle of the action such as Chris looking and touching the flowers to a close up of him touching the flowers. I think we have done this well in our shot film because the actions all match well.
  • Maintaining screen direction – I spoke about this earlier, if the actor is walking to the left to right then it needs to be kept this way. We done this well because I was specific about keeping the screen direction correct. The only thing I had to change in the edit was in the supermarket because we put Chris picking up bananas in the middle of two tracking shots so he was facing the wrong way for screen direction. To solve this I used the effect called ‘flop’ which just acted like a mirror to turn this round. Although screen direction can be experimented with and come out well such as the video below.
  • Matching tone – Keeping the colour and lighting the same throughout the short film. We have tried to do this by using the tools such as colour corrector.
  • Matching the flow over a cut – This is deciding what is needed to be shown in the short film. For example, in our short film you do not see Chris putting his shoes on or brushing his teeth because it does not add to the story line, it would be unnecessary.
  • Location change – This is similar to matching the flow over a cut but is about the transition between locations. I spoke about this earlier because we had issues on the car scenes because they looked strange next to each other. You do not need to show the whole travel, possibly part of it but in our short film we just showed leaving each location and one shot in a car.
  • Scene change – Can be done by a cut or dissolve.

The grammar of the edit is linking two scenes together in certain ways. This can be done by moving the camera in the same manner from shot to shot. Tracking shots can be used and cut half way through then the tracking shot is continued in the next scene. Another way is having the character talking then being in a different scene in different clothes still talking, this cannot be applied to our short film because it is only based in a day so his clothes do not change. A prop can also be used to change the scene such as a close up on an object then another close up of the object then the camera is pulled back to show a different scene.

This lecture helped us edit our short film and now to create our fine-cut we need to add our narration and graphics for the titles. I have enjoyed editing with Matt, we take turns editing but are still there whilst the other is editing for suggestions and feedback on the edit. If there is anything we are unsure to do, the other will research it then instruct the other. I think we have all worked together well as a group, our main source of communication has been via the Facebook group.

We have set up our own blog at http://shortandsweetproductions.wordpress.com where all our group workings are kept and we divided the roles of blogging so we all do an equal amount. The only problem we have had with communication so far is Kayleigh being on placement, it is something none of us would turn down but it has been hard to communicate all of our ideas since we have been doing so much.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s