05/06/2017 – 09/06/2017
Today I came into college with one primary focus on my mind: editing. I knew that I had to edit my film together this week, and I knew that it would make me feel so much less stressed because then I would have my film completed and all left to focus on a few blog posts that needed to be written and finished. I was originally planning to do all the editing over the course of the two and a half days, because I don’t have Premiere Pro software at home (only iMovie, which is fine for little projects, but a nightmare for more serious work where everything needs to be very polished). However, I found out that the college would be closed Tuesday morning because of GCSE exams. This wasn’t so much an annoyance as a kick up the backside, as now I knew I needed to be quick and edit my film in one college day. Although the college would be open Tuesday afternoon, and there is also Wednesday, I didn’t want to leave my editing that late because doing it earlier means that I get it out the way and have time to polish up the rough edges of my project elsewhere, like in my blog posts for example. Luckily, I quite enjoy editing and I’m fairly quick at it, so I managed to get stuck in and finish it in good time, and still have time to write a few blog posts. However, editing for the whole day can be quite grueling so if anything I had a greater respect now for professional editors who do this day in and day out with a lot longer and more serious projects than mine.
I started editing the audio first. I knew I would be working in lines, corresponding the correct shot with the correct line of the poem, so I cut the poem into singular lines and labeled them with what line they were so I wouldn’t forget which was which. Then I used my shot list to define which shot went where and started to edit the clips together. Originally, I put an equal amount of space between each line of the poem, but I quickly found that this wasn’t exactly convenient because some shots were either too short, or would seem too dragged out. After putting all the clips together, I watched through to see where I could improve, every so often pausing to either extend a clip I felt was too short, or clip one too long. I was debating by this time whether to put a title and credits sequence at the start and the end of the clip, but I decided I would. I overlaid the titles over the footage because I thought that the transition from title to film would be more seamless that way. As for the credits, I was originally debating whether I should put a singular credits after each poem, or just do both credit sequences at the end, but I decided that I would a credits sequence at the end of each poem, as if they were two completely separate films edited together. Again, I overlaid this over the last shot, but on the last poem (City Dusk) I decided to let it carry on after the footage had finished for a few seconds and continued to let the music play over it, because I thought it would be a clearer indication that the film was ending, and not just transferring to another poem again.
The font I used was Arial, because it’s a simple sleek and easy to read font. I used the colour white, because it enabled the credits and titles to be readable against the darker colours of the shot. In the credits, I listed who the poem was by, and who was starring in the film, myself of course, and who the music was by and what the song was called. I decided to put the voice overs under ‘starring’ instead of under their own voiceover categories for space and font size purposes.
After creating the titles and credits, I went back through all the footage and colour grading. For my Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep film, I used the Fuji Eterna 250d Kodak 2395 colour grading preset on all the shots except one, the footage with the flickering lights, where I used Cinespace 50 Faded Film. I used Fuji because it kept a subdued look while making the colours ever so slightly more vibrant so as not to keep the original slightly washed out DSLR look. I used Cinespace because I needed the shot to be brighter because I had filmed it on my iPhone and it was a little too dark compared to the other shots.
For the City Dusk film, I used the same Fuji Eterna colour grading preset for the same reasons, and for the darker shots (of which there was quite a few because I was filming in the dark in my back garden with only my iPhone torch providing light) I brightened them using the brightness and contrast effect tool, brightening them to 50.0 and keeping the contrast the same. This gave the shots quite a faded look, which I actually quite liked for this film, because it kept the original tone of young freedom and made it seem more handheld movie like, which I liked.
After colour grading, I moved on to the music and audio. I increased the audio of the poetry voice over to 6.0 decibels higher than normal, which is the highest it can go, because I didn’t want to risk the voiceovers being drowned out by the background music and inaudible. Luckily, however, this wasn’t the case. For Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, I decided to choose the song The Curious Roe by Axletree, and for City Dusk I chose the song Passages by Kai Engel. You can find more information on why I chose these songs on these two blog posts regarding the music of each film 1/2.
Then all I had to do was export and I was finished! I’m very happy with my end product, and although there were things that I would change and improve on if I were to do the same again, I’m still happy with my end result because I think it looks polished and interesting, and also bears a similarity to the video art I studied for my research posts which is what I was aiming for. You can find the post containing the finished production here.
As the deadline of our FMP for year one was approaching, and I had finished working on the actual film, now all I needed to do to finish my project was to complete a few blog posts, and polish a few edges of the project and I was done! I spent the day going meticulously through my blog posts to check for any spelling and grammar errors (because I know English skills are marked for this project, and also because I wanted to be as clear about what I was trying to get across as possible), and making sure I had the right links where they were supposed to be, and I had written everything I needed to. This task was a little tedious, because I had to read everything I’d written this whole project which proved to be quite a bit, but is very important for a polished, and professional level project.
Today I wrote an evaluation post for my work. Evaluation is a very important part of any project because it’s a time to reflect on our own work and the parts we like and went well and the parts that we would improve. My evaluation can be found here. This went hand in hand with the group crit, where we took a look at the work of one of our classmates and did a short survey reviewing their work – what they did well on and what they could improve on. I reviewed Drew Graves’ work. Group crits are also important because it gives us a chance to see the standard of work that our peers are working at, and can help us improve our own work by noticing things that they achieved that we might have missed. My group crit survey can be found here.