Friday, May 9, 2008

One Random Day (Example)

While I'm working on this book, i'm periodically testing whether i still believe the lessons i wrote 7 years ago when i penned the first edition. Back then I had shot about 75 hours of tapes; today i have closer to 200 hours (I actually record less often than when this was novel, but still remember to do it periodically.) So without looking at my logbook, I grabbed a tape from the stack. It turned out to be from about a week of shooting in May 2006.

I dumped the entire tape into my laptop, watching as it went in. I skipped one long useless scene of Jen on the phone, but otherwise had 45 minutes of video in two clips. This represented what I would call 8 scenes (or perhaps "events"). There was a scene of my kids asleep in our bed, early in the morning. There was a scene of them bumming around the house bored, a few different playdates, and shower time in the evening.

In a few hours (using Final Cut Express, which is nice) I edited 6 sketches, ranging from a minute to 4 minutes each. The entire episode runs 9 minutes.

Here are a few of the sketches, each illustrates another real-world situation you'll have when making your videos.

Part 1: Waking up.

This was easy. The kids weren't moving, so a shot from almost anywhere would intercut easily with any other shot. The only real problem was OVERCOVERAGE. I had every conceivable angle on these two. Close, wide. Left. Right. Above...I probably had 7 minute of video for this... It's less than a minute long now, and if I was a great editor, it would be half this.

Part 2: Bored.

Oddly, this was easy for other reasons. I had almost no coverage, and little to cut to to shorten it. Jonah's swinging around covered close and wide was the only repetitive event I could really work with. And since I never got any kind of reverse shot (I'm sitting inside shooting out for the whole time) I luckily have a few wide and close shots but for the most part, it doesn't leave me much room to edit. And thus: it's was easy because i didn't have many options.

Neither of these two would make any kind of "greatest hits" of my sketches. But this is what you typically end up with on your tapes, and cutting it down by a factor of 5 means you might watch it.

You should be able to grab any random tape, drop it into your computer, and cull it down to a shorter video, like these, with occassional creative edits for zest.

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