Saturday, March 15, 2008

Testing out iMovie and Final Cut Express

I'm going to do a little test here.

First, i've got a sketch i shot in china a few years ago. The raw footage is about 6 minutes long, somewhat typical (although perhaps a a bit short) for a scene from a movie. Here is the unedited material for your review.

Notice the ways i covered this moment: I started wide, moved in close, got details, i kept the camera rolling for the most part while I repositioned because i thought i'd need the continuity. In a way I have too much coverage for this tiny scene, but it was so interesting to me i could bearly stop shooting.

1. I loaded this clip into iMovie HD. The software is free and came on my new Mac, so i was interested to try it. iMovie is simple, yes, but it lacks many features that are useful to editors. Still, it has the all important Cmd-T ("break clip at playhead") which is - frankly - a razor blade, and the most important tool an editor has. It lets me chop the big clip up; iMovie is pretty good at letting me move the pieces around with some control.

After 40 minutes of editing, the following is the iMovie sketch of the same material. It's not perfect and hard to fine tune. It's also hard to do much sound work - so in an effort to keep my time investment here minimal, i did none. Then, in keeping with the rules of this sort of thing, i left it alone overnight, to watch it one more time with fresh eyes before "locking it."

In the morning I watched it once, then laid down an audio track of ambient sound underneath the entire video, to smooth out jarring audio cuts made in the first pass. It doesn't solve them, but it softens them. This cut is 2 minutes 20 seconds:

1 comment:

ssherron said...

I have iMovie08 and the audio is a real pain in the rear end. It's a great program for quick and easy editing, but one outgrows it very quick. I have just upgraded to Final Cut Express and I have to learn it now. The lack of features in audio has been the reason for the upgrade. I liked your video, the guy is talented.