So the major takeaway from week one is…I don’t know shit!
While self taught is great, and youtube is brilliant for learning new skills, NOTHING compares with being shown a process by a professional in the flesh. I’ve always known this but when you’re shown something you’ve been doing for 5 years in a new way that makes it 100% quicker then It is a little frustrating. Everything from camera handling to the editing process there are little things that just make it easier.
The other aspects where I’ve had formal training in some aspects it became clear a few years have passed because technology used has advanced A FREAKING LOT!
WHAT I GOT WRONG
MISSING THE BEAT – In a 17 sec scene I managed to miss a pretty important beat, introducing a character. I will never do that again, EVER!
Excessive Cuts – Will this cut help the story, NO then don’t do it. Will cutting to a close up of something add to the story, are the audience clamoring to see that close up of feet running on a the pavement, do I really need to point a big arrow at something and say LOOK AT THIS!!! THIS IS IMPORTANT!!! Most of the time the answer is no. Only cut to something if you must.
The Master Shot – Playing your entire scene out from one vantage point so the entire crew and actors can see the payoff – SHOOT THIS FIRST!!!!! the master shot makes everything flow 100x quicker because everyone is on the same page. Taking the time to get the master shot will make the edit easier.
Slow Down! hold the camera on things longer, play a scene out a slower pace. Shrinking time in the edit is easy, adding time is hard.
When it comes to editing
The big takeaways for me were the extra time professionals spend in the sort, and labeling (LOGGING). They don’t head anywhere near creating a sequence until they’ve sorted, and BINed their rushes. So the SLOW DOWN lesson comes in again with editing. While the editing the final product is the fun part, if you organise it well enough you should already know your end result.
Create a SEQUENCE BIN – keep your sequence files nice and organised in their own bin.
Consolidate – All files should be contained within the project file structure. This might mean duplicating things but a project should be self contained digitally.
ASSEMBLE – The first sequence should be just really really rough in/out of a scene in a rough order. no transitions, no edits, or colour corrections, just the entire scene dumped into a timeline in a super rough order. This includes multiple versions of the same scene that might work. Duplicate and rename to:
FIRST CUT – Still no real editing other than trimming down your clips and putting them in the right order.
Continue this process. Titles, grading, sound effects, transitions don’t get added till the end. Worry about the story, the beats before the flashy parts.
So a positive takeaway from this week is I have a relatively good idea about framing and use of natural light in composition of a scene. YAY to photography for 10years.
That said I still missed the beat in my short which isn’t made up for by well framed scenes. STORY IS KING!
I also learned that 30 year old me is far better at slowing down and learning the basics. While the 20 year old in me wants to skip to the filming part, I know that mastering the basics is what will get me work in the future, and make my projects better.
- the process,
- the rules
- the little techniques and ways of doing things that are industry standard.
All of these things are what is going to set me up to working in the industry as quickly as possible.
I need to slow down and plan everything. Relying on my brain isn’t going to work long term. In a 20min shoot I forgot to film my 2nd character. Pre-Production is where i’m going to have to work hardest.
After 5 years of being front and centre it is very hard to pull back. I’m used to taking the lead in situations but for this I need to shut up and take a back seat. THIS IS HARD!!!
SO week one done and dusted.
From my bed – suffering MAN FLU