The story for this post is part 1 of a documentary I edited back in 2008.
In this post I’ll share how I used music and the importance of tight shots. I have lots of and lots of tight shots. You can never have enough tight shots. I’m glad my photographer had lots and lots of tight shots to choose from.
Scott’s Story (the documentary) starts at [:11] on my YouTube channel. The editing in the beginning is pretty standard. I’m not trying to be fancy, just simple S.W.A.P. (synchronizing words and pictures). Tight shots can really take the viewer into your location. If you want to make them feel like they are closer watching it on TV then use tight shots.
Like this tight shot of the wheel.
The beginning of the documentary is important. It sets the style for the rest of the piece. The photographer and the reporter both felt this was a powerful story. Scott’s story didn’t need any fancy editing. My goal was to stay out of the way as much as possible. If you don’t notice my editing in this story then I’ve done my job.
During the beginning of the story I did want to throw in a few shots that shows Scott’s tremors. I am showing this without the reporter talking about it. You could say it’s the surprise in the beginning of the story. 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]. When you show a tight it should share one piece of information and that one piece of information should be important to the story. A tight shot of the wheel show details of the go kart. The go kart is an important part of the story. A tight show of Scott’s hand, is also an important part of the story. The viewer just doesn’t know why yet.
Then, I show a medium shot with Scott’s left foot in the foreground at [1:14]. These 3 shots together introduce the viewer to something that’s not right with Scott.
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. 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. That tight shot is not up long. But with the addition of the music and the use of the tight shot the viewer should get it.
I place the music here to signify a moment in the story. Scott and his best friend are talking about his tremors. There is a noticeable change in the mood of the story. The music helps with that mood.
I bring up the music every now and then, never just cause. If the music comes up full it’s for a reason. 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. The music helps to reinforce the moment.
I leave the music underneath until [2:49]. Notice it just fades away? No you didn’t, and neither does the viewer. I slowly bring in down over 5 seconds. Back to that trying to keep the editing as unnoticeable as possible.
I do want to bring attention to Scott’s hand, A lot. Pay attention to just how many times there is a tight shot of Scott’s hand just in this first segment.
Here is another tight shot at [1:48] showing Scott’s tremors. So much information in tight shots. It’s amazing sometimes how such a small thing can carry so much information for a story. Please continue watching part of of Journey of Hope. Please see how often I use tight shots. When you see a tight shot of Scott’s tremors ask yourself is Shawn using too many tight shots? Am I over-showing the tremors? I don’t think so. Enjoy my tight shots. Now go out and shoot some tight shots yourself.
Thanks for reading.