July 31st, 2009 by shawnmontano
In my last post I talked about the music I chose. Â Allow me to explain how I started using it a little bit along with some pacing controls and subtle visuals for the beginning of the story.
Scott’s Story start at [:11] on My YouTube channel. Â The editing in the beginning is pretty standard editing. Â I’m not trying to be fancy. Â Just simple S.W.A.P. Â I’m going though the reporter track looking for shots that fit.
The beginning of the documentary was very important for me. Â It sets the style for the rest of the piece. Â The Photographer and the reporter both felt this was a simple and powerful story. Â Scott’s story didn’t need any fancy editing. Â In fact, my goal was to stay out of the way as much as possible. Â I tried to make sure edits did not call attention to themselves. Â I kept away from anything jarring.
During the beginning of the story I did want to throw in a few shots that showed Scott’s tremors. Â I wanted to show this without the reporter talking about it. Â Kind of like the surprise. Â I wanted the first few times you see this to be subtle.
At [1:11] you see Scott laying on the ground working on the Go-Kart.
Then, I show a tight shot of Scott’s left hand shaking at [1:12].
Then, I show a medium shot with Scott’s left foot in the foreground at [1:14]. Â These 3 shots together introduce the viewer, subtly, that there is something wrong. Â Most people won’t pick up on this consciously. Â However, I strongly believe in the subconscious. Â That’s what’s going to pick up on Scott’s Tremors.
At [1:34] The reporter track says
Firing up the Engine, you’ll notice something else.
Now I want to make sure the viewer sees the tremors and understand this is an important moment in the story. Â So, I bring the music up full for a second and Scott says
This is hard to do with my hand shaking.
I then show a tight shot of Scott’s hand shaking.
I place the music here to signify a moment in the story. Â Scott and Scott’s best friend are talking about his tremors. Â There is a noticeable change in the mood of the story. Â The music here helps with that mood.
I pot up the music every now and then. Â Never just cause. Â If the music comes up full it’s for a reason. Â At [1:57] Scott says
Parkinson’s is a degenerative brain disease without a cure.
I bring the music up full after he says that for the same reason as before, a moment for the viewer to feel.
I leave the music underneath until [2:49]. Â Notice it just fades away? Â Not really and neither does the viewer.
I don’t want to bring the fact the music is gone to the viewer’s attention. Â So, I just slowly bring in down over 5 seconds. Â Back to that trying to keep the editing as unnoticeable as possible.
I do want to bring attention to Scott’s hand, A lot. Â Pay attention to just how many times there is a tight shot of Scott’s hand just in this first segment.
Music starts again at [3:50]. Â I don’t bring it full until [4:00].
This is a great tip, bring the music up subtle before you need it.
I use dissolves sparingly in this piece. Â At [4:00] I have 4 in a row. Â Why? Â I want to slow the piece down a little bit. Â Slow the pacing. Â I used dissolves to help slow the pacing down.
Notice the rest of the story keeps that slow pace. Â But I don’t need to keep dissolving (is that even a word?). Â I’ve slowed the pace down and cuts can resume.
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July 23rd, 2009 by shawnmontano
Last Saturday I won an Emmy for a documentary I edited last year.
Part 4 is the 15th video down on the list.Â I used that part for a discussion on Using Music.
The documentary,Â Journey of Hope, is the story of Scott Orr and his decision to have life changing brain surgery.Â This surgery would help with the tremors associated with Parkinson’s Disease.Â This documentary was by far the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done at a television station.Â It challenged me on so many aspects of editing and production.Â It pushed me as an editor to use every skill I developed.Â So, I’d like to share some things I learned along the way that may help you if you ever get a chance to edit something like this.
I didn’t capture a lot of the video for this.Â In fact my photographer, Dave Wertheimer, captured a majority of the video for me.Â I still went threw every tape.
Logging is extremely important process especially in anything long form.
I edited this is in Avid. Here is some things I did before IÂ started editing
Every time a shot changed I put a locators on the video (F3 in Avid).Â That way I could toggle between EVERY SHOT.Â So as I watched every tape that was captured I added locators.Â Most of the time I watched the video at either two or three times speed.Â I didn’t have time to watch everything in real time.
I sub-clipped A LOT.Â I sub-clipped interviews, the surgeries, at the race track, head shaving party, etc.Â So later I could just go to the subclips and looked a smaller amount of media at once.
I had a different bin for each tape the photographer shot.Â VERY important for organization and for sanity.
I had additional bins for music, graphics, sequences, etc.
I made sure my media was as organized as I could possible have it.
I went through all the video and got very organized.Â I got the reporter’s logs.Â I made mental and written notes.Â No notes on paper.Â All my notes were in Avid.Â Using the locators to tag video and write things about my video within the locators.
Double click on a locator in Avid and you’ll be able to type text associated with that locator.
The next thing I did was figure out music.Â Before I started editing I wanted the music to help set the mood.Â I wanted the all the music to feel like a score in a movie. So the whole documentary would feel like it had music composed for it.Â Obviously I didn’t have music composed.Â But I did find a soundtrack that worked well.Â I’m a big fan of Thomas Newman.Â He’s composed music for many films like Finding Nemo, Pay it Forward, and Cinderella Man.
I decided to use the soundtrack to the movie Erin Brokovich
I chose this for several reasons.
It’s a great soundtrack
I liked the selection of music I could choose from within this soundtrack
The movie came out in 2000 so it wouldn’t be fresh in the viewer’s mind.
I never use anything TOO popular.Â IÂ want the viewer to have as little emotional contact with a song as possible.
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July 11th, 2009 by shawnmontano
I know my last post was about eye trace but it’s making me rethink how I edit stories.Â Last week I was given a natural sound story to edit.Â I’ve placed it on The Edit Foundry’s Youtube channel. The story is called We’re Shootin the big ones. It’s nothing special, It’s a story about setting up a fireworks display.Â However, it was a chance for me to think about eye trace and do it with a limited amount of time.Â I only had about 2 hours to edit this story.Â In my last post I tried to explain what eye trace was, in this post I’m going to explain how I used eye trace to make edits.
So, at [:02] into the story I have a tight shot.
He picks this item up.Â Before it leaves the frame 100% I cut to another shot.Â Your eye is watching the item go up and so your eye is in the top middle of the frame.Â So, I looked for a shot that
Matched the action
Has some action to look at in the middle of the screen to maintain eye trace
I found one.
I’m keeping your eye in the middle of the frame.
This gentlemen walks screen left.Â So, I looked for a shot that has action screen left.
This is the shot I could find.Â I wanted something more screen left but I didn’t have it.Â So, this was the best shot that I could find.
So now, not only am I looking for what is in the shot, I’m looking at the action in the shot and how it maintains eye trace with the next edit.Â It’s really interesting to think about.
The next time I use eye trace in this piece it at [:08].
I’m looking at the next shot and what’s going on.Â I’m thinking ahead.Â In fact during this piece I was often thinking at least 3 edits ahead.Â For this edit I’m thinking about the end of the shot.Â When it’s start isn’t nearly as important as when it ends.Â I’m thinking about eye trace to the next shot.Â So, I wait until the guy walks far enough screen left just as he bends down I cut.
Notice this gentlemen is screen right, maintaining eye trace, and he moves subtly to our right. His movement helps the edit.
The next shot at [:11] the action is also screen right.
But the next shot at [:12] is not a great edit.Â Now, the viewer’s forced to move their eyes all the way screen left.
My new goal is a perfect eye trace package.Â The day I get that done I’ll definitely show you!
If I had a shot to move the viewer’s eyes from screen right to screen left this shot would of worked better.
This shot does work for eye trace on the next edit.Â I’m thinking about eye trace as much as I can and making as many edits as I can work. The gentlemen walks screen right
Just when he gets to the point I want him at, I make a cut
To the interview that’s set up screen right.
Again, with this edit I’m thinking about what happens at the end of the edit more than what happens at the beginning of the edit.
I hope you see how thinking about eye trace can add a little something extra in everyday ordinary stories.
There are several other instances of eye trace in this story. Watch where their is some movement in the story.Â A person walking or something coming into screen.Â Notice all the edits I’m paying attention to eye trace.
So here’s a test for you.Â The next time your editing a story, think about the end of the edit more than the beginning of the edit.Â Is something moving?Â Can you use eye trace to make your edit better?
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