Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Season 2 ' The Fix' Part 8 - Editing A Scene

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

Welcome to the eighth part of the According To Whim Season 2 'Fix'. The editing I have been doing is in an attempt to rebuild Episodes 3, 4, 5, and 6 of our public access television show: According To Whim (Season 2). Season 3 Episode 1 was also lost so I have included it as well.

In this installment I have decided to take you step by step through my editing of Season 2: Episode 5: Scene 2 of the show. This scene takes place in front of Loren's house and is basically Chris' attempt to find a temporary place to live. The scene is basically Chris getting out of his truck (sitting in front of Loren's house), walking up to the front door and having a conversation with Loren.

For this scene I gave Chris the camera to take home to shoot this scene. We had used my house so much in the season that we needed a fresh location for Loren's house. So Chris' house doubles for Loren's. After he shot the footage and gave it back to me (back in 2009) I encoded it, lost it, then re-encoded it a couple of months back. Chris had shot a lot of footage (probably ten minutes for the one minute scene). He wanted to make sure I had enough footage to do anything I needed to in the edit to make it work out right.

Chris' house sits off a major road in Bedford. There is a lot of traffic noise... a lot. Some of the angles pick up the traffic noise so that it is very pronounced and some angles it is a lot more subdued. Viewing the footage is very distracting. When we have a situation like this we will shoot about 45 seconds of background noise to use in the final edit. That way when the camera switches from one angle to another the level of background noise does not change. This keeps the viewer focused on what is going on and not the rough editing.

A couple of issues I had with this footage (besides the background noise level) was Loren's kid in the background. In the scene Loren is standing in the front door way with the door half open. His kid was in the living room being... well a kid... and noisy. I had to trim out some footage when the kid got really loud. Again, it didn't matter story wise for Loren to have a child but the noise was a distraction. Also the noise level kept me from using an additional angle Chris has shot (a sort of long distance shot where you could see both of them in the frame). It was no big deal since there was plenty of good close up footage to use.

When we are famous and we get to reshoot Season 2 with an actual budget for some movie studio I will have some additional seconds of whitty dialogue as well as more of Chris' attempt to gain entrance to the house. I will also shoot it on a sound stage and just drop some traffic in via CGI so you don't have all that noise going on. That sounds good. I'll get right on that re-write.

In the next part of the fix I will run down the editing of scene 3 which required a lot of green screen and some video tracking shots.

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