Editing diary

So we reached the post-production stage – editing. We imported our video files onto the iMac at school and put them onto Final Cut editing software.

Our editing took us around 2 weeks and we worked things in this order:

1. Firstly we had to look through the 40 minutes worth of footage and carefully note down what shots we wanted in our 2 minute production. This was the longest stage of the process.

1a) We had to find about 40 seconds worth of artistic and teasing shots which look so obscure the audience would not know what they were looking at.
1b) We had to then find 40 seconds worth of establishing shots of the holding cell which allow the viewer to see that the footage is set in a dark, prison-like place.
1c) We then had to find 40 seconds worth of shots of the prisoners in handcuffs sitting against the walls of the prison and laying down which would then clearly show to the audience the nature of the footage. In having the shots displayed in this order there is clearly a climax to the footage – the viewer is unsure what s/he is seeing, then the viewer is given an idea, and then the viewer clearly sees what is going on and then it ends.

2. We then had to cut up the footage and put them in the correct order and trim them so the timing was precise. We also had to add colour effects to the flashing strobe parts as well as dreamy effects to the extreme close-up of Henry’s eye which jumps forward and to the sides.

3. We then had to put in the credits.

1a) We decided when exactly each credit would come up (this involved going into milliseconds).
1b) We then looked at fonts and decided that our credits would be similar to Barber’s Harry Brown in its simplistic style which would heavily contrast the action going on stage.
1c) Make the credits on LiveType and implement them over the top of the footage in the right times.

4. Harry is in a band and likes his music and opted to make a soundtrack which would marry the footage so I gave him a detailed timetable of where the credits came in so he could put in the sound of a thud whenever a credit came in.

 

1

Here is some footage we took on set.

 

As one can well see, the footage is predominantly useless and runs on for a long time with only a few moments we can use in the film. This footage is …. long and we only used ….. in our final footage. This was common practice for us to trawl through all the footage and note down exactly what seconds of each footage we wanted to use. Whereas I lacked in skills of manually operating the software, I was more than proactive in planning exactly what shots went where and selecting the order in which the shots came. This gave a detailed structure to the footage.

Here is an example of the artistic and obscure shots we wanted for the first 40 seconds –


 

Here is an example of the establishing shots we wanted for the second 40 seconds –


Here is an example of the establishing shots with the actors which we wanted for the third 40 seconds –


2

After planning the order which the shots were to come we cut them up and timed them which was a simple process on Final Cut. The more complex process was the colour transition between shots. Like I stated in the planning, the lighting for Honey is very unique and took a long time to get right (we had to use the reflector and a floodlight facing away from the set), therefore a lot of the shots are lit up different because the lighting is always wavering and changing. This made the editing blatant and did not have a professional seamlessness you see on real productions. To fix this problem we used a quick colour transition effect on Final Cut which drained the colour of a shot very rapidly until it was black and equally as rapidly filled it again with the brightness of the next shot. This way each shot slid into each other without having some shots extremely brighter or darker than the other. This visual effect we used was called “Dip to colour dissolve” under Transitions.

The shots where Henry flashes in various different colours meant that we had to alter the colour scheme of the shot. We did this using “Chroma keyer” effect.

This allowed us to play around with the colour from the dull greyness of the cell to a lucid dream-like progression. Our finished flashing shots looked like this…

and this…

3

We researched into how many credits we wanted to have and in what order. After deciding we drew out how we wanted them to look (simplistic).

The different titles are displayed on different sides of the screen for variation (variation is the splice of life!). Honey takes up the whole width of the screen to signify importance.

We had to choose moments in the footage where the background was light because the credit was just a black screen with a stencil cut out of the letters with the action going in the background – you could see the footage through the letters. We chose to keep the titles simple because the film is supposed to be realistic and so we decided fantasy-esque credits would be inappropriate.

Here is an example of one of the credits (one can see its complete simplicity):

4

We all agreed that the non-diegetic soundtrack had to act in a sort of narrative that strung all the shots together. They needed to marry with the credits and footage well. We matched up the obscure and revolting footage of the prison-like room with an atonal and arhythmic soundtrack which would act only to be ambient and atmospheric but presenting a pulse beat every time a credit was shown.

The non-diegetic soundtrack was created off GarageBand off purely synth and electronically produced sounds, however there are samples of diegetic coughing featuring in the track which was a real cough recorded off a mic. The diegetic dog’s bark was electronically produced also. 

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About elmercqegs

I am 16 years old and studying at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Horncastle, Lincolnshire.
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