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  • August, 2010 | The Joy of Film Editing
    shows We ve been conditioned to understand that when the camera s shaky stuff doesn t match the dialogue s not so audible and there are strange cuts that it s real We allow more leeway for mistakes for messiness because they seem more real He continued Reality and nonfiction TV don t have to have production values because people viewers assume it s real and forgive more Role of a reality editor Adam stated I m not just putting shots together it s a lot more creative I m telling a story that didn t exist before I started He reflected I am much more the storyteller because I m creating the story as I m cutting it My conclusion The reality or non fiction editor plays the same role as a fiction editor or any other editor story teller Being a reality editor I like reality because I m not tied to continuity to temporal or space continuity I can jump cut for example when someone pulls up to a house and knocks on the door I can take time out He added Reality frees you up to think about a scene and put a scene together differently How you start a scene and how you end a scene I can start on a line and not worry about what people are wearing or where they are In the examples below from two series Adam edited on see how true his words are Example 1 In this first scene notice how the editing freely jumps around to move the story quickly and make the points clearly Crime 360 http www aetv com crime 360 video index jsp bclid 1463262306 bcpid 1463371098 bctid 1473689147 Example 2 See how the pacing differs in this scene Last American Cowboy Sherry Green Editing practices Editor s role Technical process Television The reality of cutting reality Interview with editor Adam Coleite Part 1 August 11th 2010 No comments Third in a series of interviews with working editors in and around Hollywood I connected with Adam Coleite after putting out a call for reality editors to interview on Facebook We met up at a restaurant of his choice a Corner Bakery in Burbank A genial 30 something he gave me a rundown on the logistics and challenges of editing reality love the double entendre as well as some insightful comments on audience perceptions of the genre and his own take on it Setting up the show It takes five weeks from start to finish to edit an hour show Adam explained Editorial begins with the assistant editors AEs who set up each show as a project on the Final Cut Pro They prep the bins log the footage and put in markers when there are multiple takes Ordinarily the AEs set up show one of two ways They stack takes on the timeline or multi clip it This entire set up process consumes 3 4 days as reality shows are as renowned for having tons of footage as they are for being shot on the cheap Starting to edit There s a lot of useless unusable footage Adam reports Because there s a lot of footage and not many good script supervisors on set sometimes I have to look through an hour of footage to find a moment or a response There are a lot of needle in the haystack moments He sums it up There are more options and poor notes In addition to a set up show on the system Adam gets a transcript of interviews marked by the loggers who can be in house or outsourced He also receives a story outline from the story producer But this is just a starting point A lot of the work is figuring out the show as you go At first I don t know what I m looking for Adam reveals Part of the job Adam cuts out the curses or bleeps them if unavoidable Pick ups may be necessary from the original people in the show and or the narrator often at the network s request Most shows shun re creations a k a re enactments or alert the audience to them with a caption There s tons of cheating of shots that goes on Adam relates Why Because you re paying attention the veracity and continuity of the story he explains He does all sound and music work and adds VFX graphics and titles as well There s a lot of rendering of VFX which take time as he cuts everything hi res Adam screens the cut on the system with the show producer after which the two of them work together to redo the outline and he re cuts the show Subsequent cuts may be viewed by the showrunner network executive and possibly the president of the production company Finishing Once locked the AEs sort out the audio tracks and send an OMF to the mixer They sort out the video files and send them to the colorist They also send these files to the online editor who QCs to meet broadcast specs the show and may add more VFX The final show is sent to the network for broadcast Coming up in Part 2 Hear what Adam has to say about cutting reality and compare scenes from two shows that he edited on Sherry Green Editing practices Editor s role Technical process Television You ll laugh you ll curse you ll want to click it off August 6th 2010 No comments What do you do when someone buttonholes you with My son wants to get into editing Can you help How hard can editing be This new short animated video So You re An Editor describes what editors do and provides some ammunition Consisting of static talking heads done in nauseating Necco wafer pastels it involves a union TV editor but applies to all editors Warning Video includes a short rant on the virtues of Avid guaranteed to po

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  • July, 2010 | The Joy of Film Editing
    Foster Edited by The Kennedy Center Honors CBS A George Stevens Jr Presentation Kennedy Center Television Productions Inc Michael Polito Editor Robin Williams Weapons Of Self Destruction HBO Fiat Risus MBST CKX and Funny Business in Association with HBO Entertainment Michael D Schultz Editor The 25th Anniversary Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Concert HBO Playtone Tenth Planet Productions and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation in association with HBO Entertainment Bill DeRonde Supervising Editor John Zimmer Editor Mark Stepp Editor Michael Polito Editor 6 Outstanding Picture Editing For Nonfiction Programming America The Story Of Us Division HISTORY Produced by Nutopia for History Matt Lowe Editor By The People The Election Of Barack Obama HBO Green Film Company Citi Productions Class 5 Films and GOOD in association with HBO Documentary Films Sam Pollard Editor Geeta Gandbhir Editor Arielle Amsalem Editor Deadliest Catch No Second Chances Discovery Channel Produced by Original Productions LLC for Discovery Communications Kelly Coskran Supervising Editor Josh Earl Editor Life Challenges Of Life Discovery Channel A BBC Discovery Channel SKAI Co Production in association with RTI Spa Martin Ellsbury Editor Sharon Gillooly Editor Whale Wars The Stuff Of Nightmares Animal Planet Produced by Lizard Trading Company LLC for Animal Planet Eric Myerson Lead Editor Andy Schrader Editor Joseph McCasland Editor 7 Outstanding Picture Editing For Reality Programming The Amazing Race I Think We re Fighting The Germans Right CBS World Race Productions Inc Eric Goldfarb Editor Julian Gomez Editor Andrew Kozar Editor Paul C Nielsen Editor Michael Bolanowski Editor Jennifer Nelson Editor Jacob Parsons Editor Rich Remis Editor Extreme Makeover Home Edition Extreme Makeover The Muppet Edition ABC Endemol USA Steve Mellon Supervising Editor Wes Paster Supervising Editor Matt Deitrich Supervising Editor Tenna Guthrie Lead Editor Arek Hope Editor Karin Hoving Editor Phil Stuben Editor Hilary Scratch Editor Intervention Robby A E Produced by GRB Entertainment for A E Network Erik Christensen Editor Survivor Tonight We Make Our Move CBS SEG Inc Michael Greer Supervising Editor Tim Atzinger Editor Chad Bertalotto Editor Andrew Bolhuis Editor Eric Gardner Editor Evan Mediuch Editor Joubin Mortazavi Editor Top Chef Vivre Las Vegas Bravo Magical Elves Bravo Adrienne Salisbury Edited by Matt Reynolds Edited by Jamie Pedroza Edited by LaRonda Morris Editor Steve Lichtenstein Editor Kevin Kearney Editor Katherine Griffin Editor Sherry Green Awards Television Cutting the cut ups Comedy editor Steve Rasch ACE July 19th 2010 2 comments Part 2 of a continuing series of editor interviews Similar to the one man band corporate editor I interviewed comedy editor Steve Rasch ACE whose current show Curb Your Enthusiasm has been running six years now finds he s doing more than ever before as an editor It seems like there are no rules now he told me over lunch in Brentwood at Chin Chin Every show is different Steve like most TV editors creates green screens and other VFX and puts in SFX Additionally few years ago he took over editing the music so he makes extra money filling that position Workflow He edits on an Avid which is still the most used system in Hollywood on mainstream higher budget shows Final Cut Pro continues to make inroads and is used on low budget shows Steve receives a transcript of the show and a hard drive with low rez HD dailies which he views in a quad split channel that shows all four cameras on one screen Once the show is locked an online editor is hired to do the finishing work including up rezzing the show and making it network ready Comedy today Curb is a single cam show created in the mockumentary style which Rasch traces to Rob Reiner s 1989 movie When Harry Met Sally Steve maintains that The written joke is no longer funny to viewers They don t want to hear it They are more interested in story and character based comedy Also the show does not use a laff track which he reports most single cam comedies avoid On being an editor Over fortune cookies I asked Steve how he felt after years of editing comedy and drama I do not like to be barked at considered a button pusher I like it when they value me He added Editors are always working for some one Editors are compliant Editors are in it because they like the craft Sherry Green Editing practices Editor s role Technical process Television Preditor Being a one stop shop editor July 16th 2010 5 comments After a over a decade of working for Disney in various capacities actor editor and producer Les Perkins went solo creating an editing suite in a set off part of his home in Glendale CA His advice on setting up a system Make sure it s comfortable and ergonomically sound your butt s going to spend long hours in that seat Due to his contacts and the economy Hollywood studios let staff editors go and were looking to save money at big post houses on many projects one project has led to another and Les s business has thrived Over a lunch at a veggie place in the San Fernando Valley he told me I love problem solving finding editorial solutions for production problems so the client doesn t have to re shoot His system Les has a tricked out Final Cut Pro system and has just installed version 7 the latest FCP version He provides basic editing sound work and does all kinds of effects work on all types of corporate projects He produces many of the projects as well as editing them hence is called a preditor I featured Les in Your Cutting Room View which has his contact info but here it is again www LesIsMoreProductions com Fix it in post Not This is a less desirable approach than ever Les believes Before you shoot a pixel or a frame you have to plan your post production workflow all the way through delivery He rattled off many issues to be

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  • June, 2010 | The Joy of Film Editing
    Flying Circus Part 1 June 9th 2010 No comments Every year as part of the run up to the Emmy awards various production companies and TV channels hold screenings at the TV Academy in NoHo North Hollywood of what they consider their most award contending work Last week I went to see IFC s contender in the Emmy awards category Monty Python Almost the Truth The Lawyer s Cut It s a 90 minute cut down version of IFC s six hour documentary series celebrating the 40 th anniversary of the comedy troupe that stands on its own After the screening LA Times movie critic and Oscarologist this Hollywood term makes me laugh derisively Peter Hammond led a panel discussion Present Pythons Eric Idle and Terry Jones and two of the series three directors Bill Jones yes son of Terry and Ben Timlett Missing Pythons John Cleese Graham Chapman deceased in 1989 Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam L to R Pete Hammond Eric Idle Terry Jones Bill Jones Ben Tillet Photo by Craig T Miller Fathers and sons expectations Bill Jones prevailed upon the group presumably starting with his father to sit through in depth interviews that lasted up to three hours So this will be THE definitive series on the group It peers into the Pythons childhoods and how their fathers influenced them Jones fils who edited the series when asked about he dealt with the volume of footage commented You work your way through You select stories Part 2 My observations about the panel and the Pythons take on comedy and the possibility of a Python reunion Sherry Green Fun games History research Television DSLR Part 4 Game and career changer June 2nd 2010 No comments Interestingly DSLR has been a career changer for a few people Here a Hollywood cinematographer steers his career to commercials and talks about how he shot on DSLR in this demo meeting http www digitalcinemasociety org Popup php video DSLR Cascio4 mov Video pioneer and Pulitzer prize winning still photographer Vincent Laforet claims to have made the first DSLR video in 2008 when Canon gave him a camera to test no strings attached Since he had been preparing to make moving pictures for years he was determined to succeed He shot with mostly natural light at night in Brooklyn Looks like a music video cum camera test to me httpv www youtube com watch v a1Rq2KzoTSg Laforet has now made his first movie for which he used a Canon DSLR Here s the trailer http www laforetvisuals com pi 10 p 1 a 1 at 0 Laforet brings a voice of sanity to the case for DSLR case so I am going to leave the last word to him In this interview shot at NAB he talks about DSLR and shooting documentaries But then he talks about how filmmaking skills are paramount Here s to keeping tools and technologies in perspective I look forward to hearing your experiences with DSLR in editing

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  • May, 2010 | The Joy of Film Editing
    No comments Ah yes the pita pain in the ass factor can be high when you work with green screen shots Sherry Green Fun games Visual FX editing A helpful book Or budgeting for editing means understanding the process May 10th 2010 No comments Confession 1 The book that I am about to recommend came free at my request from Michel Wiese Productions my publisher who in turn requests that for each free book I write a five star review on Amazon I only do this if I feel the book warrants it And most of my publisher s books do Confession 2 After re writing my first book Cut by Cut Editing Your Film or Video I plan to create my own movie so this is mostly why I ordered Film Video Budgets by Deke Simon Budgets are anathema to me and I need to start thinking beyond the cutting room like a producer Review I expected this book to be just a bunch of budget forms with boring explanations Was I off the mark It s a 465 page handbook that educates moviemakers on what happens in each stage of a project explaining how to anticipate a film so that the process runs as smoothly as possible Veteran producer Simon details preproduction preparation production challenges and postproduction processes so that you can plan your film and its budget For instance he goes over the issues and solutions for getting a film print from a digital file tape or tape Don t know when or how to market your video how to choose a camera or deal with unions This book guides you through each step of your film or video lavishing specific advice and the type of information that only comes from years of experience and up to date knowledge Use this book if you are setting out on your first or fifth student film feature documentary corporate video or music video It contains budgets for each of these as well as links to free downloadable budget forms Hint poke around publisher s site The book deciphers what each line item in a budget means Also it helps you know what questions to ask when negotiating with facilities unions etc and how to make deals I plan to rely on it to make my first film Combined with previous editions the book s sold over 45 000 copies Have any of you used it Let us know what you think Sherry Green Marketing budgeting Will hand cut movies be the wave of the future May 5th 2010 2 comments Many editors who cut on film and made the switch to video or straight to digital complained that they missed the feel of the film in their hands insisting that this was a vital part of editing that was lost in the transition While I will always maintain that you edit with your head and your heart and not necessarily in that order perhaps the future will go full

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  • April, 2010 | The Joy of Film Editing
    minute Duh Here s the news 1 Cut by Cut Editing Your Film or Video is available on Amazon Kindle Congrats 2 Now because There s an App for That it s also available on Apple iPad 3 For now your book s not on the iPad Library BUT it can be purchased and then VIEWED on an iPad by clicking on Sherry Green Editing books resources Dede Allen R I P April 19th 2010 1 comment To my generation of editors Dede Allen was a revered editor par excellence a queen of the cutting room She worked endlessly and tirelessly to breathe in the essence of the film s meaning and make sure it got to screen with the exact number of frames exactly placed not one more not one less She brought a fresh eye fresh techniques and a new style to American film editing starting with The Hustler and Bonnie and Clyde Cutting her teeth in commercials Allen incorporated this experience once she hit the big time world of features Allen broke continuity pre lapped sound when starting scenes freely mixed slo mo and reg mo shots She was known for working her assistants hard giving them her knowledge and encouraging them to take wing elevating a great new generation of editors One cannot possibly sum up the career or life of such a remarkable pioneer in one blog post so I will merely show some selects to use editor parlance and say Thank you Dede In interviews Allen was always insightful and reflective about that state of editing including approaches to the footage the effect of MTV and digital systems cutting room relationships studio politics etc Here are a few of her comments The buck stops in the cutting room I start every picture thinking that I ll fail that I ll never be able to do it that I ll forget how to cut I won t know how to do it I ll let it down I still bite my finger nails Editing is like writing with shots And writers are people who change their ideas all the time Ideas evolve They re not bound by a formula If you have a great deal of coverage you really can t just go plowing through the whole thing you d never remember all of it I make massive notes which I have if I need them but I memorize the material so thoroughly that I seldom even look at my notes I wonder if we re raising enough people in a generation who are able to sit and look at a scene play out without getting bored if it doesn t change every two seconds We talk an awful lot about cutting we talk very little about not lousing something up by cutting just to make it move faster I m afraid that s the very thing I helped promulgate It may come to haunt us because attention spans are short Lastly here s the scene s she s arguably most famous for She always gives credit to Jerry Greenberg her assistant who actually cut it with her watchful eye Notes 1 Don t know why this is out of sync at the beginning when Warren Beatty is talking 2 This could be retitled The Two Bites of Eve as they both take big bites of the apple Allen s films date and director in parenthesis The Hustler 1961 Rossen America America 1963 Kazan Bonnie Clyde 1967 Penn Rachel Rachel 1968 Newman Alice s Restaurant 1969 Penn Little Big Man 1970 Penn Serpico 1973 Lumet Dog Day Afternoon 1975 Lumet Night Moves 1975 Penn The Missouri Breaks 1976 Penn Reds 1981 Beatty The Breakfast Club 1985 Hughes Henry June 1990 Kaufman The Addams Family 1991 Sonnenfeld Wonder Boys 2000 Hanson Have Dreams Will Travel 2007 Isaacs Sherry Green Editing practices Editor s role History research Your Cutting Room View April 15th 2010 No comments Sandip Mahal London UK working on a playout for the executives Sandip writes The person in the monitor s story is being trapped and isolated from civilisation i can relate Latest project i am about to embark on a totally independent crazy shooting spree filming myself and my friend as we hit all the open mic venues and create an improvisational story based on two guys who beg borrow and steal stage time Contact Sandip via his website at www zeroheadroom com Sherry Green Your cutting room view Book announcement and giveaway April 12th 2010 No comments I have signed on to re write my first book Cut by Cut Editing Your Film or Video This is a major re write as there s a lot that s new since the first editing came out Luts render farms and the final demise of editing on film to name a few The post process has gotten more complex than ever as there are four formats to finish on and so many ways workflow variations to take to get there So I am calling on the experts YOU for help From time to time in this blog I will throw out some questions and ask for your experience and input To begin I have created a couple of tables see below to get people started down the postproduction path Please give me your feedback What formats or info needs to be added to each table Changed What other recommendations do you have Keep in mind that Cut by Cut is aimed at students independent filmmakers and professionals wanting to understand how the post production process works For your review Updated book material Determining your Finishing Format To decide which format your project will finish on ask yourself Where will the audience view my show To answer this question look at Table 1 1 It outlines the five scenarios for where an audience could view your show Read the scenarios to find out which one fits your project and note the finishing format You may pick more than one scenario for instance your audience may see your show in a movie theatre and then on TV This means your project could have three finishing formats tape file or film Table 1 1 Determine your Finishing Format Where audience will view your show Finishing Formats Behind the scenes How your show will be screened Movie Theatre Film File Your show will be projected from a reel of film running through a projector or a digital file downloaded from a server Television Tape File Your show will be broadcast on tape or from a file uploaded from the network s disk server Home Entertainment System Tape Disk File Viewer will pop a tape or disk into a deck or drive to see your show If they ve wired a computer to their home entertainment system they may screen directly from the internet or from a download Computer File Disk Viewers will watch your show directly or via a download from the internet or from a disk inserted into a drive e g DVD Film festival Tape Disk File Film Initially you ll send a tape file or disk If you make into the round some festivals will require a film print See Chapter 12 for how to do this Know the festival requirements before shooting so you put your best film forward Now that you know your show s general finishing format s film tape file or disk it s time to familiarize yourself with the specific formats you ll be dealing with Table 1 2 identifies the formats used for shooting editing and finishing We will add and explain more parameters such as frame rate resolution and codecs as they come into play Table 1 2 Film and video formats How shows are shot input into digital editing system and finished Format Shoot Create Input Finish FILM 16mm super 16mm 35mm 3 and 4 perf super 35mm 70mm rare Transferred to tape and digitized 16mm super 16mm 35mm 4 perf super 35mm 70mm IMAX a special type of 70mm TAPE DV DVCAM DVCPRO DVPRO50 DVCPRO P DVCPRO HD HDV 24p SD or HD 60i 60p SD or HD BetaSX BetaSP DigiBeta MPEG IMX HDCAM or HDCAM SR Captured D1 D9 24p SD or HD DV HD DVPRO DVPRO 50 DVCAM DigiBeta FILE Memory card a k a flash card e g SD P2 Imported Disk DVD or Blu ray film tape Web See Finish Formats above for all possible formats DISK Hard disk or optical disk e g DVD PFD Imported GIVEAWAY If you would like to help more I will send a free copy of the current book to the first three people that agree to read it and give me feedback You will be listed in the acknowledgments and I may check in with you from time to time during the writing of the book Email me at info gaelchandler com Let me know your expertise and experiences in postproduction and the types of projects you work on so I can direct the appropriate questions your way Sherry Green Editing practices History research Technical process Television A Look at 3D Movies and Editing Part 2 April 8th 2010 8 comments Today s post concludes my exploration of the world of 3D answers which 3D movie I liked and why Alice in Wonderland or The Secret of Kells and dares to predict the future of 3D What editors say about 3D Cutting 3D is a boon to editors because they get to participate more in the creating of the whole picture its look characters their lines and the story over a longer period beginning with storyboarding in pre production JC Bond Additional Editor on Alice in Wonderland you get used to the fact that you re looking at something in stereo And then you just cut it like a regular movie There s no major difference beyond that There are minor considerations You can do some cheats in 2D where you may cross the line and things like that that are a bit more jarring in stereo But from a creative standpoint you should try to avoid those things even in regular 2D Joyce Arrastia Monsters vs Aliens For me it s been a revelation We were able to use it to emphasize key story points and a character s emotional arc simply by adding it or lessening it A lot of filmmakers maybe don t realize that 3D really is just another tool that helps you tell a more compelling story just like the choice you make in camera composition or using color or music or pacing to help set a tone and a style Conclusion I ve believe that 3D like HD is here to stay Unlike HD 3D is not for every movie due to cost But it is not a gimmick employed to make a creature leap off the screen and terrorize you And I predict that it will be used in TV when costs are more reasonable perhaps just for special event show or boosting up old wonders 3D is another aid to storytelling that can further immerse you in a show and make it more of a felt experience If the story s good well done 3D will enhance it If the story s NG no amount of 3D or HD will help it just gets a plain old D Alice in Wonderland had no magical moments for me except for her fall down into Underland Even the valiant efforts of all the actors couldn t make me recommend the movie Save your money and spend it on The Secret of Kells I have seen suffering in the darkness yet I have seen beauty thrive in the most fragile of places Opening line Brendan junior monk and main character in The Secret of Kells The Secret of Kells grabbed me from the first vibrant frame to the last Its rapturous images are gorgeous in color framing movement and design The rather ordinary non proselytizing story kept me going so that I could enjoy being in the medieval world The movie was like being in a medieval painting crossed with a sylvan fairy tale In the words of director Tomm Moore the medieval world is really flat with false perspective and lots of color like medieval art That was the majority of the movie And then for the dream sequences we went even flatter and simpler We tried to do something like Monty Python And then when there was danger we d go into 3D like the Viking attack I look forward to being transported by image and story to more imaginary worlds in future 3D shows Bring em on To learn more about 3D and view the sources of these two posts go to these links http community avid com blogs buzz archive 2010 03 05 alice in wonderland s jc bond answers questions from the industry about what it was like to edit tim burton s 3d spin on the classic tale aspx http www studiodaily com filmandvideo currentissue Editing for 3D on Alice in Wonderland http voices washingtonpost com comic riffs 2010 04 the riffs interview secret of html https www editorsguild com FromTheGuild cfm FromTheGuildid 56 https www editorsguild com Magazine cfm ArticleID 712 Sherry Green Editing practices Joy goes to the movies Technical process Visual FX editing A Look at 3D Movies and Editing Part 1 April 5th 2010 3 comments Like everyone else I ve viewed more 3D movies in the past few months than I ve seen in years Afterwards I ve wondered two things 1 Is 3D a money making fad or here to stay 2 How exactly is 3D edited One of the interesting things about being an editor is that there are so many types of projects that no one can understand them all Animation editors don t understand exactly what commercial editors do who don t understand the world of documentary editing who know little about comedy editing and so on So this blog allows me to see things and explore the editing behind them And today I m looking at 3D 2D to 3D Alice in Wonderland and The Secret of Kells With the unbound success of Avatar in 3D there s been a huge clamor to boost 2D movies up to 3D Both Alice in Wonderland and The Secret of Kells were upped to 3D with different degrees of success The looks of both features are drawn literally in the case of Kells whose images are mostly hand drawn from the periods they depict Victorian England and 800CE Ireland respectively One film I loved the other not so much I had high expectations of Alice because I d read the book enjoyed the Disney animated version as a kid loved the Jefferson Airplane song as a teenager had the white light white rabbit poster and looked forward to re visiting it all with Tim Burton Conversely I was wary of Kells due to not being a Christian but propelled by a strong review and by having seen the actual book in Dublin So which one did I like Well let s look at how these movies are edited and then I ll get back to you Editing 3D Here s what I ve gleaned 1 3D takes longer to edit due to a Large amount of footage b VFX Visual effects such as green screen and computer generated backgrounds c Technology Usually you re cutting in 2D and then viewing in 3D d Multiple versions 2D 3D and IMAX 3D 2 3D is costly but will come down as processes and technology evolve 3 Master shots are cut longer than usual so viewers can take in the action and world being created Camera movement must be well defined because fast paced blurry camera moves are too much for viewers to take in 4 Collaboration and organization are key because there are many editors picture VFX sound assistant editors etc Here s an editor s eye view of 3D on Avid Photo credit Editors Guild Magazine The editor can view a stereo frame left or select Over Under mode to see a horizontal split frame that splits each eye view Next post will conclude my stereo series on 3D Sherry Green Editing practices Joy goes to the movies Technical process Visual FX editing Old Hollywood Style editing vs MTV Style Editing or Silver screen vs Computer Screen Part 2 April 2nd 2010 No comments My previous post talked about the history and the cons of the MTV effect on modern editing today I ll continue the history and look at the pros and where we are now Look what they done to my cuts Ma They ve multiplied them and sped them up they re backed by green screen racked with titillating effects and tracking multiple stories and all while pulsing to the beat beat beat While a lot of MTV runs as mindless background visuals lacking story to be peered at when your companions or sports running on the TV above the bar fail to engage you the effect of MTV filmmaking has changed the landscape on the silver screen and computer as well as TV screen I deplore this Muzak type use of video as much as electronic billboards and all annoying anti environment promotions Roots are showing MTV didn t spring out of nowhere in the 1980s It germinated from 1950s French new Wave filmmaking style 1960s music culture movies like Help Easy Rider and Flashdance the TV series Miami Vice and the break out from the clutter world of commercials As movies evolved from theatres to TV screens in bars and computers screens at home and everywhere the modern style grew in cuts and effects Writer Debra Kaufman asks Video Spawned the Editing Star What Hath MTV Wrought in her 2005 Editor s Guild Magazine article Doug Ibold A C E responds that

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  • March, 2010 | The Joy of Film Editing
    pattern followed by adventure animation comedy and drama While they recognize that filmmakers have particular styles preferences and skills they believe that films and filmmakers influence each other we knew that and that both individuation and influence will continue Conclusions We suggest that over the next 50 years or so and with action films likely leading the way Hollywood film will evolve toward a shot structure that more generally matches the 1 f patterns found elsewhere in physics biology culture and the mind So does this mean we ll all be working faster and creating show that go by with the blink of an eye Not The researchers continue But is the task of the filmmaker solely to keep information flow and visual momentum visual information uptake sufficiently high to ward off the mind s natural restlessness Not likely Otherwise all films would be composed of unremittingly short shots Finally they acknowledged that viewers do not rate movies based on shot duration stating Good storytelling is the balancing of constraints at multiple scales of presentation film editors design shot patterns with care generating a visual momentum in the viewer who tracks the narrative Sherry Green History research Comedy Editing Part 4 The Last Laugh Adding the Laugh Track March 19th 2010 No comments A show is laffed after the dialogue mix or after the entire mix The laughs start after the laffer wheels the Laff box in Whoa hold the press That was then Now Charley Douglass s original machine from the 50s like everything else comes in a digital format Still it contains titters guffaws snickers and chuckles of varying lengths Why laugh a show To sweeten it Sweetening means that laughs are inserted to bridge and bolster audience response or lack of response Controversy Yes Laugh tracks have been disdained since the 70s but still they persist Many beloved shows have them I Love Lucy M A S H and Friends to name but a few The worst offenders are single cam shows such as Gilligan s Island and Hogan s Heroes With no audience and no laughs a laugh track was inserted at the network s insistence requiring extra time and money The laughter come across as canned due to the rarely varying volume length and strength of the laughs The trend today with single cam comedies such as Ugly Betty and The Office is to fuggeddabout the laugh track Most multi cam shows today take the natural laugh track created by the audience and simply sweeten it a much lighter touch than in the past For more info and the history of laughs tracks here s a detailed article http tvtropes org pmwiki pmwiki php Main LaughTrack Sherry Green Editing practices Editor s role Television Comedy Editing Part 3 Multi cam and single cam March 16th 2010 No comments MULTIPLE CAMERA COMEDY Multi cam shows are recorded from first scene to last in front of an audience with three or four cameras The cameras labeled A B C and D are maneuvered by a cabled gang of four camera operators who travel up and down the stage getting their assigned shots D camera is frequently called X camera or referred to as the Iso camera as it s often an isolated camera running independent of A B and C The Iso cam picks up isolated angles and may run only 50 of the time After the taping reverse angles and other angle unobtainable within the shooting space of the stage s proscenium arch are shot After the show is taped the multi cam editor receives A tape for each camera A B C D A tape of the line cut The script supervisor s script with A B C D camera s angles marked with the line cut The line cut is a tape of the switches from one camera angle to the other that the director called out to the TD Technical Director as each scene was shot It represents the director s desires for cutting the scenes and is a starting point for the editor It shows all four cameras on a monitor in the cutting room where it is called the quad split a k a Q split and used as a guide for editing Prepping the multi cam show All camera angles for each take must be synced by time code This is done after you input the footage into the digital editing system Below two short tutorials show you how to sync and cut multi cam on Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier Pro 2 0x Whether you re cutting comedy or a rock concert or other multi cam event as these tutorials demonstrate the principal is the same This syncing means you gang a k a lock all cameras to edit FCP tutorial form Century College Adobe Premier Pro 2 0x tutorial from Creative Cow Synced takes are critical to being able to cut freely and easily from camera to camera and not lose sync Cutting multi cam comedy To start editing you lay down the best and longest audio track from one of the cameras usually Camera A After this you simply cut from camera to camera on the fly as the synced takes play and adjust the cuts later This method works well if you re not changing the audio track However if you re changing the audio track in any way shortening it repeating it or slowing it down you may want to use the normal stop and start method of cutting where you stop on your last desired frame and then choose the incoming frame You will need to re sync at times with each method Matching multi cam Since the multiple cameras capture all the action simultaneously there are no matching problems for the editor right Wrong This assumes that no filmed lines will be dropped during editing a typically false assumption It also assumes that the camera operators will always make it to their assigned spots to capture the action Wrong again When the camera is out of position the actor will be shot off camera partially on camera or with the camera moving and settling on a critical line If the director doesn t catch this there is little chance of picking up the line since by the time the editor receives the footage the next week s show is already being blocked Challenge of multi cam The multi cam editor doesn t just tidy up the line cut and retire for the day Multi cam comedy brings a special challenge for the editor the audience The audience though unseen during the taping of the show is not unheard It laughs These laughs are miked and become part of the daily tapes sent to the cutting room During editing the editor incorporates these natural audience laughs into the show Sometimes however the audience doesn t laugh or it laughs and laughs and laughs exceeding what is sustainable for an edited show What to do The editor must take advantage of the audience s response by cutting in the laughs but must also keep the drama going So the editor becomes expert at finessing the laughs in and out of the show This finessing is called feathering the laughs dialing the laughs in or out or ramping them up or down The audience is thus a boon and a challenge because it functions as a character verbal reactive and unseen that the editor must attend to while editing Pros and cons of multi cam comedies Studios shoot multi cam for two main reasons 1 It can be done live e g Letterman Leno Ellen 2 It s cheaper and faster than single camera The long list of shows include Two and a Half Men Friends Frasier Cheers All in the Family and I Love Lucy SINGLE CAM COMEDY Single camera shows are shot and edited like dramas and most other TV and theatrical shows out of scene order with a single camera except for stunts and several set ups for each scene Since multiple cam shows shoot toward a stage they can only capture about 180 of the action This means that reverse angles outdoor scenes 360 shots and others are avoided or shot before or after the live audience taping With single cam these angles are part of the regular shoot and do not need to be picked up later making for more visual creativity Single cam shows include Nurse Jackie 30 Rock The Office Weeds Ugly Betty M A S H and Leave it to Beaver Which type of comedy single cam or multi cam uses a laugh track Find out the answer later this week in the final installment of this series Part 4 The Last Laugh Adding the Laugh Track Sherry Green Editing practices Editor s role Technical process Television Docu Days March 11th 2010 No comments Every year IDA International Documentary Association puts on DocuDays in LA screening all nominees for documentary features and shorts IDA times this event to the weekend of the Oscars so that all the filmmakers and their amazing subjects are in town It s worth a visit to LA This year I saw two features and two shorts and was enthralled by all of them Each is powerful in its own way and highly recommended Shorts Rabbit à la Berlin made by a band of Polish filmmakers gives a rabbit s eye view of the Berlin wall The analogies between humans and hares are left for the audience to make in this grounded pensive doc The movie s schnitt German for editor was on the panel following the film and its editing was a major subject of the discussion Turns out there was very little archival footage so shots of rabbit from many different countries were gathered and stitched together with a lot of color correction I m sure The producer quipped It was an international cast of rabbits The director remarked that it was necessary to gather a lot of rabbit close ups and reactions to tell the tale My conclusion This story as so often occurs with a documentary came together in editing How else to consistently put across a bunny s POV of the decades preceding and following the wall To get a view of the doc here s the trailer The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner This movie is about the decline of the genial always in control well liked ex governor of Washington and his drive to pass an initiative granting terminal patients the right to elect doctor assisted death It made me cry It also made me believe in politicians once again and the ability of filmmakers on one side of an issue to fairly present both sides During the panel discussion the director stated that the Film s intent was to open up dialogue on end of life issues not to be an advocacy film But seeing a powerful man fight his deterioration due to Parkinson s disease with every brain cell and muscle humanized the issue When Gardner was wheeled on to the stage by his daughter after the movie he received a standing ovation Here s a sampling from the beginning of the film Oscar winner for best documentary short Music by Prudence Features The Most Dangerous Man in America Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers This stellar doc reflects on the war in Vietnam and the downfall of President Nixon from the angle of the act of Daniel Ellsberg and his assistant Anthony Russo The pair worked for Rand Corporation to support the war and then turned over 7000 pages of evidence to show that each successive administration disregarded the facts lied to the American people and escalated the war Afterwards it was touching to see septuagenarian Ellsberg who also got a standing ovation and his wife a dove on the war from the start holding hands and intelligently and passionately laying out the facts about the wars we re embroiled in today Get an idea of the movie from the trailer The Cove I had already seen stills of the gruesome bloody footage of this film about the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji Japan on Facebook Still I ducked my head to avoid watching at times but did not duck its truths about mercury build up in dolphins and other fish which gets passed on to humans and the intelligence of these creatures This film like Rabbit à la Berlin gave voice to creatures and clearly depended on VO and editing to make it work In the post screening panel the director talked about the challenges of making this film which included death threats risking arrest going without a salary for 18 months and not knowing if there was a film in what they were shooting This movie is a must see because it proves that docs can be entertaining and change the world and all the effort and sacrifice are worth it Get a glimpse of it below Food Inc This high budget doc about how our food is produced by a handful of companies who mistreat animals and humans alike to put unhealthy foods in our supermarkets is also a game change changer and a must see Again IDA put the director and producer on stage as well as Eric Schlosser author of Fast Food Nation and an expert seen in the film Here s the trailer to get you started Oscar winner for best documentary feature The Cove Like Man on Wire which won in 2009 The Cove can be seen as a caper film with much reconnaissance and stealthy nighttime set up leading to daytime coup Sherry Green Awards Editing practices Editor s role Joy goes to the movies The Day After March 8th 2010 No comments I was extremely pleased that The Hurt Locker won for both picture editing and sound editing and sound mixing too This was a picture and sound editor s movie if there ever was one and it previously won the A C E Eddie award for best feature editing Picture editing drove the rhythm of this story about an American bomb diffusion squad in Iraq and in a way diffusion was the movie s metaphor trying to mitigate the harm the war s causing The editing provided the tension from the film s first frame and brought the excellent script acting and footage together It was also the first time a husband wife team won Hats off to Bob Murawski and Chris Innes Sound editing I will never forget the night scene in The Hurt Locker when members of the squad go up a blind alley guns at the ready not knowing what they ll find We can t see much of anything but their grunted words and the sound effects carry us through Thank you sound team led by Paul N J Ottosson editors and Paul N J Ottosson and Paul Beckett mixers Today s LA Times reported Ottoson s words backstage The most important part was to put you as a viewer into being the fourth man on the team and always being with the guy we re with We really thought about every shot in the movie instead of making something flashy and cool Last thoughts All movies nominated had excellent editing but I am glad not only that Hurt Locker took the editing Oscars but also the best picture and best director awards In accepting her Oscar finally a woman I was hoping Kathryn Bigelow would mention other women directors Lois Weber Dorothy Arzner Barbara Streisand etc But I was pleased when she said I think the secret to directing is collaborating giving credit to all who toiled along with her Sherry Green Awards Editor s role Joy goes to the movies Sound music editing Comedy Editing Part 2 Reactions and Rule of Three March 5th 2010 2 comments This post continues five part series on comedy editing and how I learned to cut comedy working with editor Dann Cahn on The New Leave it to Beaver series 1 Reactions are critical On one episode ten year old Ollie the new Beaver played by John Snee got a tractor going and plowed it into a partially constructed house Many cameras yielded many takes of the one time action but no reactions of Ollie Dann caught this omission and brought it up to the director The director agreed but said it was too late there was no time to go back to the location Put him in a chair Dann persisted So a small crew went outside the sound stage hoisted the boy in a chair above their heads and wiggled it from side to side against the sky while the camera caught him in a close up When cut in his reactions made all the difference in the scene 2 Rule of Three Usually you show three instances of something say a guy choosing a tie for a date before you pay if off with him leaving in his selection Three s funny and the viewer stays with it and can remember it four or more is not unless the cuts are very short How does this work The first tie the set up should be funny the second tie reinforcing the first funnier and the third tie the punchline or payoff the funniest and often the most unexpected The comic rule of three most often arrives in three verbal beats Example 1 I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old fashioned way I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house we had an enormous feast and then I killed them and took their land Jon Stewart Example 2 There was a priest a rabbi and a minister Example 3 I used to be Snow White but I drifted Mae West The pause in the middle after Snow White serves as the second beat So the rule of three

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  • February, 2010 | The Joy of Film Editing
    great to talk about how revolutionary Avatar is we were still making a movie when you come down to it all this technology is just there to make the images more compelling and to tell the story better Ultimately we re asking the same questions editors always ask Does this shot work Does this scene serve the story It s all about performance and story Things just take a little longer to get done when you re on the moon Pandora Editor John Refoua A C E To accommodate the breakthrough filmmaking techniques used to create Avatar a unique editing process and work flow were developed In this article the editors lay it all out Read the full details in the current issue of the Editors Guild mag https www editorsguild com Magazine cfm ArticleID 803 You don t cut a 3 D movie just like you don t write a 3 D movie or compose shots in 3 D he says There are some small accommodations to the stereo that need to be made but they should always be downstream of the dramatic edit I don t think we shifted one cut because of it More people are going to see Avatar in 2 D anyway so the edit is the edit it has to stand on its own James Cameron Director James Cameron was one of the three main editors on the movie In this extensive interview he talks in depth about the filming and cutting of the movie https www editorsguild com Magazine cfm ArticleID 802 Sherry Green Editing practices Editor s role Technical process Visual FX editing Follow up Avatar and the Creator of the Na vi language February 8th 2010 3 comments As I wrote in last month a long time friend of mine Paul Frommer created the Na vi language for Avatar I finally got to spend an evening with him the first time I ve seen him since the movie opened on planet earth Five of us plied him with questions so here s some more information He s received over 500 emails many of them written in excellent Na vi asking sophisticated questions about the language There was more Na vi in the movie Many lines were cut If there s a sequel to Avatar duh contractually Paul will be asked first to write the Na vi Who else He loves this highly complex language and it s his baby Students desire to learn languages in general has spiked Paul Frommer by Bryce Homick There s a website devoted to learning the language http www learnnavi org Oel ngati kameie I see you Paul has been amazed and delighted by the response to Na vi People from around the world have signed a petition entreating him Karyu Pawl Father Paul to teach them the language The number is over 3500 and growing daily You can sign the petition and or hear his response spoken and written in Na vi with English subtitles at Sherry Green Joy goes to the movies Sound music editing The Everlovin Oscars Nominations are in once again February 4th 2010 No comments For the first time since 1943 there are 10 nominations for best picture Everything else gets five nominations Let Joy know your thoughts on the nominees and all things Oscar especially the editing nominees Best picture Best editing picture Best editing sound Avatar Avatar Avatar The Blind Side District 9 District 9 District 9 The Hurt Locker The Hurt Locker An Education Inglourious Basterds Star Trek The Hurt Locker Precious Up Inglourious Basterds Precious A Serious Man Up Up in the Air I will be on an Oscar panel with other film authors so if you re in the LA area come on over I d love to see you Here s the official announcement The Writer s Store Pre Oscar Bash and Discussion with the Authors of Michael Wiese Productions Date Thursday February 25th 6 8PM Location Writer s Store 2040 Westwood Boulevard Los Angeles CA 90025 Phone 310 441 5151 RSVP http www storylink com event 2009OscarPanel Join Screenwriters Directors Editors and Indie Filmmakers for a lively discussion about the picks and pans for 2009 Hear from Industry Insiders about their favorite movies for 2009 and learn new skills about writing screenwriting editing storyboarding and more Panelists Moderated by Christopher Vogler author of The Writer s Journey 3rd edition Marcie Begleiter author of From Word to Image 2nd edition Gael Chandler author of Cut by Cut Editing Your Film or Video and Film Editing Great Cuts Every Filmmaker and Movie Love Must Know Michael Hauge author of Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds Christopher Riley author of The Hollywood Standard 2nd edition Sherry Green Awards Joy goes to the movies Sound music editing Blog Talk Radio Podcast on Editing Update February 2nd 2010 1 comment My interview didn t make it into Sunday s broadcast As a result they gave me my own show at After Wednesday the podcast will be archived and available on the Blog Radio site or its main site Sherry Green Announcements Editing practices Editor s role Fun games History research Sound music editing Television Blogging on Blogging February 1st 2010 1 comment A few days ago MovieMaker Magazine the world s best selling independent movie mag named this blog one of the 50 Best Blogs for Moviemakers Click here to read the announcement The mag s editor Jennifer Wood emailed me We reviewed a lot of blogs and I can tell you that the competition was fierce this year The full article is in on newsstands now and will show up online soon But Jennifer pdf d me what it says about Joy s blog Gael Chandler s blog concentrates on surprise film editing reminding readers that editing is a lot more than pushing buttons on a computer Well we all knew that but it sure is well joyful to be acknowledged Especially since this blog is not even

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  • January, 2010 | The Joy of Film Editing
    Together Editing 310 West 94th Street 5A NY NY 10025 adesless nyc rr com http www wix com PuttingItTogetherEditing Putting It Together Editing Sherry Green Your cutting room view Yours Truly interviewed by Blog Talk Radio January 22nd 2010 No comments I just got off the phone with Jamey DuVall producer writer and co host of Movie Geeks United a top social networking media site that features interviews with John Sayles Paul Shrader and Francis Ford Coppola and many others filmmakers and film writers Recent interviews include film journalist Peter Biskind author of recent biography composer Atticus Ross and actress CCH Pounder So there s something of interest to everyone here Jamey questioned me about a bunch of editing topics the editor and the director and the producer the editor s contributions editing trends the role of digital editing my two books and more The podcast will be available next Wednesday January 27 JoyofEditing will let you know and provide a link to it In the meantime check out Movie Geeks United for yourself Sherry Green Announcements Editing practices Editor s role History research Television Announcing Kindle Edition of Cut by Cut Editing Your Film or Video January 20th 2010 No comments I never had kinder but now I have a kindle Yes Amazon will now make a wireless delivery via Whispernet of my first book Cut by Cut Editing Your Film or Video You can sample it for free or order it here Sherry Green Announcements Martin Luther King Day 2010 January 18th 2010 No comments Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted Martin Luther King Jr OK all you creative maladjusts it s time for a great contemporary movie on King as well one about Shirley Chisholm and Barbara Jordan In the meantime I hope you like many of us are smiling at the words deeds and promise of our current president Sherry Green Uncategorized Avatar Creating the Na vi Language Part II January 13th 2010 1 comment Here s the conclusion to my interview of my friend Paul Frommer the creator of the movie s fictional language Na vi and a linguist and professor of Clinical Management Communication at USC s Marshall School of Business I must say although I am a skxawng moron about the language that is the one word I came away from the movie remembering I am glad I have a little more insight into Paul s mind and the world of linguistics GC Where does the word Na vi come from Did Cameron conceive it PF Yes it s his word I made sure though that the apostrophe meant something that is wasn t just there for decoration It indicates a glottal stop the sharp break you hear in for example uh oh GC Does the language have gender PF Only rarely There s a general word for he or she po But if you need to specify he vs she then he is poan and she is poe There are a few other such examples itan son ite daughter As you see the an ending is masculine the e ending is feminine But as I said only a few words have that distinction GC How does Na vi relate to Klingon PF Klingon is a rough sounding language with a complex and difficult phonology and grammar that now has a devoted base of followers To some ears Klingon sounds like a cross between Russian and crawfish but the Na vi language is far more gentle on the ear Cameron wanted something melodious and musical something that would sound strange and alien but smooth and appealing GC What was the process for transmitting the language to the actors PF I met with all seven of the Na vi speaking actors off set before their scenes were shot to help them with the pronunciation and I also supplied recordings in the form of mp3 files so that they could listen to and absorb the dialog it was quite a challenge They had to learn their lines in a language no one had ever heard before including learning to make unusual sounds and sound combinations and then they had to act convincingly in that language That involved not only memorizing the sentences but mastering the stress and intonation so that they could place emphasis in the right place It wasn t easy but they did a remarkable job When I couldn t be there however the dialog coach Carla Meyer took over She didn t know the grammar of the language but did understand the pronunciation which was the main thing GC What things did you create in Na vi dialogue song video game lexicon and PF Yes all of those I translated lyrics for four songs that JC had written in English that was fun Gave me a chance to try my hand at Na vi poetry GC How did ADR go PF There was no ADR for the Na vi GC Is there a word for editor or editing that I could possibly use PF No word for edit or editor yet http www dblondin com 092507 html Follow this link to an extensive well written and in depth article about fictional languages and sound design Sherry Green Joy goes to the movies Sound music editing Avatar Creating the Na vi Language Part I January 13th 2010 No comments I have been hearing about this movie since 2005 from longtime friend and creator of its fictional language Na vi Paul Frommer a linguist and professor of Clinical Management Communication at USC s Marshall School of Business When I first heard the news I was thrilled for Paul how many people get to create a language and he was just as thrilled to get the job Since the movie s exploded everywhere he s been up to his non blue ears in interviews but happily consented to answer my questions Paul Frommer and his Na vi language Photo James Watson

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