May 12th, 2009 by shawnmontano
For those of you new to the Edit Foundry, here is how it’s works. I upload a story to YouTube. I ask you to go and watch the story and then come back here and read as I breakdown the editing.
Our story for this post is click here -> How Far She’s Come <-.
This is a story about a little girl that fell out of a window in an apartment complex.
Our story begins inside the apartment complex. The first shot is of the little girl.
I did have a few exteriors to choose from. But I decided to start with the little girl. I’d rather see her cute face and I feel the viewer would rather see her than the exterior of the apartment complex.
I use a lot of natural sound from the little girl.
This post is about adding elements to a story to help convey emotion. At [:15] is my first little addition. I do a match frame from her cute face…
..and then I slow the video down 50% and I put a slow zoom onto her. I do a slow zoom on the very next shot as well,
and the next shot.
My logic for using these slow zooms is I like to pull the viewer into a story. It’s a subtle way of adding a little emotion.
Here another trick I use when I think a story needs a little help with emotion. I’m going to slow the track down. I’m NOT going to alter the voice. Here’s my trick, between her sentences I’m going to put 10 frames of nothing. When I think a reporter is talking to fast a quick way to help the pace out and slow the track down is to put ten frames of nothing or silence down.
You can really hear it at [:24]. Now that I’ve pointed it out, look for other places in the story where you hear me putting space between sentences. There are more in this story.
At [:26] I pan down from the top floor of the apartment to the ground below.Â I am not a fan of pans.
- I’m not a fan of pans
However, once in a while a pan works. This is one occasion where conveying the fall to the viewer works with a pan down.
At [:29] here me pausing her track again. 10 frames make a big difference!
Another slow zoom at [:31]
You’ll also notice every shot from [:18] to [1:03] is a dissolve.
A series of dissolves with several shots with a slow zoom in. All my little tools to help pull the viewer in and add a little emotion.
I also decided to add music to the story.Â I chose something very simple and unrecognizable. I don’t like using music that’s too popular or well known. People often have there own emotional tie to music.
I want them to remember my story and not some ex-girlfriend.
At 1:03 there are no more dissolve (well for a while) and no more music.
Back to standard storytelling.
Why? I don’t feel a need for any music now. The little girl is recovering, she’s in therapy, and I have lots of good stuff to convey the feeling of the day. I don’t need music here to help.
It’s not till [1:54] that my story need a little help again. We’re going back outside, back in time talking about the fall. I use dissolves and slow zooms again to convey to the viewer were in the past again.
The reporter stand up is something that was shot on a different day at a different location. I tried to convince the reporter and an Executive Producer I could make the story better and work without the stand up. Obviously I lost that one. You can’t win every editing battle. But I’m happy I tried.
The closing shot is that of the little girl again playing being cute. I’m book ending the story keeping the opening and closing shots similar. I also think this is a much better shot than say an exterior.
Thanks for reading