Friday, February 26, 2010

Editing... not as easy as you think.

by Nathan Stout


Well, it's not so much 'hard' as it is tedious.

Lets start with all these fun facts...
  • To get 1 minute of screen time (at one angle) you will film about 10 minutes.
  • To get the same one minute utilizing 3 different angles you will film for 30 minutes.

You now have 30 minutes of footage that you need to edit down to 1 minute. Well, before you do any of that you need to get the footage into the computer. If you are using a hard drive type camera it's pretty easy. If you are using tape (like we do with MiniDV) you have to basically hook the camera up to the PC and play back the whole 30 minutes while the PC captures it. This is called encoding. So next:

  • The 30 minutes will take roughly 3 hour to get it cut down to 1 minute.

Notice the word 'roughly'. This means all the junk is tossed and you have a rough edit that has no finess. You need to further work on this minute of footage.

  • Make cuts so angle changes are smooth.
  • Any effects need to be done.
  • Any corrections to colors/visuals.
  • Sound editing.

This will take a further 3 hours to complete to get your final minute. Some scenes are easy and take less time. Other are hard and take twice as long. I have discovered that the more complex the scene (no matter how long) will take twice as long to edit that a scene 3 times as long with less complexitiy.

With all this jiba-jabba lets look at the facts surrounding season 2 of According To Whim.

  • 3 hours of screen time.
  • That equals 30 hours of filming.
  • That equals 30 hours of capture.
  • That equals 90 hours of editing.
  • Add an additional 10+ hours for effects/audio/graphics/fine tuning.

So that comes out to 160 hours of work for 3 hours of screen time. That equals about 53 hours of work per episode.

Oh did I mention the extra time you put in for writing the thing or all the other time you spend between takes like traveling, getting shots ready, etc?

It is a time intensive process but you can come up with something really nice in the end.

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