Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Inspiring Quote

'If a piece of dialogue or VoiceOver isn't progressing the storyline it doesn't need to be in there.' - Billy Wilder

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Quick Keyboard Controls

When it comes to editing efficiently, another way to do this is making good use of the keyboard. The suggested keyboard (shown before) is a great start, it allows you to work faster and easier without needing to use the mouse. I do use a lot of shortcuts on my own Mac at home which allows me to use it more efficiently, but it would be helpful to bring these shortcuts (or ones more related) into my editing. 

For Final Cut, you are able to set up your personalised keyboard, so if you have a specific style of using the keyboard in general, you can use this within your editing. By doing this, you can know what each key does which allows you to work more quickly - instead of wasting time looking things up and spending time scrolling down menus and other features.

Some keyboard shortcuts I currently use/know are:

J/K/L = Timeline Movement
This shortcut allows you to move through your footage without using your mouse. The mouse can make looking through your work time consuming and therefore these keys are helpful, especially when fine cutting, sorting shots and logging your footage. 

Apple + Shift + 3 = Full Screen Screenshot
This shortcut allows you to create an image of your entire screen, which is helpful because I need to do this for my research, so I can show images of my work as I explain how and why certain styles have been used. 

Apple + Shift + 4 = Specific Screenshot
This shortcut allows you to pick an area of your screen to screenshot, so you can specific certain sections of work. For example, wanting to focus on files on your Final Cut, or show your timeline settings more clearly.  

I + O = Creates In & Out Points
Instead of using the mouse to click the buttons which allow you to create the two points, these buttons are useful to create sub clips because it makes finding the right section of a clip more precise. 

Apple + U = Creates a Sub-Clip
I use this mostly when logging footage, it allows you to pick specific shots and label them easily, making them easier to find them later in the process of editing. 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Editing Techniques: Cuts & Transitions

When it comes to editing pieces of footage, there are a variety of editing techniques editors use, depending on what they want the shots to represent - e.g. showing emotion, movement in time/place.

There are many different styles and cuts an editor can use to create an effective edit. One of the first styles is called a 'Jump Cut'. This is simply a cut where two shots which focus on the same person/object/subject are taken from two slightly different positions. The style makes the image 'jump' position and obviously takes away the idea of continuity. These shots are sometimes not that widely used due to the importance of continuity in film - the shots jump space/time in this particular story world and makes the audience aware of the editing - this style makes the focus of the film on the construction rather than the narrative.

Above is an example of a jump cut. The shot starts with two cups, and then one disappears from shot. I've noticed that in Hollywood Film, this is never used due to the idea of wanting to have a flowing narrative with continuity that the audience are used to/are addicted to. However this shot is still often used, as I've noticed, in Experimental Films, such as Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon, one example (shown below) where we see a hand (mannequin) putting the flower on the ground, and then it jump cuts and the hand just disappears from shot:

For this type of film, I think jump shots work, I liked it in Meshes of the Afternoon because the film doesn't have a linear narrative - whereas Hollywood films are almost ALL narrative, because of audience needs in the 21st century.

A similar shot to the jump cut is a shot called the 'Axial cut', where the camera moves suddenly closer to or further away from it's subject - because jump cut takes away the idea of continuity within film, the axial cut tries to maintain that illusion by not instantly taking away a part of the subject. 

Another shot used within editing is a freeze frame. To be honest, this isn't overly used throughout a film today, but rather at the end as a comical/light-heart ending, are as (shown above) the end of an action scene. 

To me, a freeze frame's main purpose is to show a revelation of some kind - it maybe the end of the film itself or a character stopping and realising something within a narrative. It means a change is going to occur, maybe - however, in my opinion, the shot is used for this one purpose, I haven't seen it used in any other way and work as well as it does for things such as Goodfellas above, or even in TV programs like Scrubs.  

A different technique is the 'contrast cut', where an editor creates a cut between two juxtaposed subjects. For example, a woman dreaming about being happy, dancing with her friends as the first shot, and the second shot would be here waking up inside a dark damp apartment alone. So happy and lively in shot 1 and sad, silent and dark in shot 2. This is only one contrast, (light/dark) (peace/choas) etc. is intensified because the transition between the two is so sudden - which has a bigger and better effect than a more smooth or gradual transition.

A shot used most often within the action genre is cross-cutting. This technique, for example may be used to show action which is happening at the same time in two different locations. In a cross cut, the camera cuts away from one action to another action, which can suggest the simultaneity of this two actions, but sometimes this is not the case. For example (shown below) is a clip from Quantum of Solace, where the scene cuts from the men in the office to close ups of a moving car.

This style of cross-cutting, to me, shows similarity within the actions to the extent that the car is approaching the place - or taking on the mission that the men in the office are talking about. This type of cutting is effective because it cuts down time by showing both events occurring at the same time, and by using this cut, the audience understand that these are meant to be happening at the same time, whereas if you placed one after the other, that might not be so clear.

Another style of cutting is showing several consecutive shots of a brief duration, which is called 'Fast Cutting'. This type of shot is usually used to convey a wide range of information quickly or imply the idea of energy or chaos. More often though, this type of cut is used when shooting dialogue between two or more characters, which changes the viewer's perception to either focus on the reaction of the other character's dialogue, or bring attention to the non-verbal actions of the speaking character.

There is also a cut called 'Slow Cutting', which is a technique that uses shots for long durations. (Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange).

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Week Fifteen: Documentary Brief

After the talk with Josh Moore, Chris went through the brief for our next assessment brief.
To be undertaken in pairs
Length: 4.30 – 5.00
Structure a clear narrative with the material supplied
Establish an empathy with the character
Effective and considered use of voiceover
Creative implementation of sound design
Develop your technical, creative and collaborative skills

My original partner for this project was Luke Wren, however since he was absent for several sessions, I was allowed to change and worked with Alli Metcalf.

One of the main jobs within this task was to tidy up the project we were originally given. The footage was very unorganized, some were disconnected or missing and the music used was taken away. So firstly, we deleted any footage we didn’t have available to us so we didn’t get confused.

After getting given our partners, Alli & I started going through the final cut files and sequence to see if anything was usable, what we had and what steps we needed to take to make this project work. We then took the time to re-label and label the footage – then saving it as our own in our usernames.

By going through the footage, we were also allowed to familiarise ourselves with the footage and the storyline it’s trying to get across, therefore it allowed us to almost immediately think about the mood, atmosphere and style we wanted to create with the footage, and what we would need to do to accomplish this. 

Week Fifteen: Josh Moore & Envy Productions

In this week’s session, we had the opportunity to talk to Josh Moore from ENVY Post Productions in London. He was a former student at Sheffield Hallam University and came to talk to us about his job, experience and how it is working in post-production houses.

ENVY Productions are located at Oxford Street, LDN. There, you’ll find a community of postproduction houses, as well as other art and media companies around this area. Josh Moore first started by telling us how ENVY worked on long form/longer programs. The company themselves use up to 100 edit suites. There are a range of methods to their editing – including online and offline editing processes.
Offline editing is where the rushes are worked with in a lower quality, edited down and then put online which allows the standard of cuts can be applied to the original high quality footage.
After showing us some of the company’s work, Josh Moore gave us a few tips on how to get into the industry, in regards to first becoming a runner and working your way up. Firstly, is to ensure you make yourself available for any work experience, and try get as much experience as possible. Allow yourself to be flexible and enthusiastic as well as make as many contacts as possible.
Josh also said to contact him in regards to work experience over summer, so for reference, here are his details:
Email: (Put SHU in subject bar when applying for experience)