Have A Great Holiday… And Get Busy!

Have a great holiday… and if you want something to do that’ll give you a head start on your rivals in the cut-throat world of film-making… check this out! Introducing AVID Media Composer|First. This is a biggy… actually, it’s a BIGGY!

AVID is the industry standard video editing software, and now you can learn the basics for free. Even better, it allows 4 video tracks and 8 audio tracks which should be more than enough for you to create an awesome product…

The historic downside with AVID has been the really steep learning curve. AVID say that this entry level version is much easier for beginners, but the great news is the skills you will pick up are transferable to all versions of AVID… That said, it is not a programme you will pick up by blasting through the instructions the night before you try a final edit, so if you want a worthwhile (and fun) project for the break, get some filming done, and start teaching yourself how to edit like the pros.

And I’ve kept the best bit till last. AVID Media Composer|First is free. No moneys needed… nothing… so what you waiting on? For what it’s worth, I’ve only ever played with AVID, but I’m downloading it as well and plan to teach myself the basics between now and August. Feel free to do the same, and post your thoughts/questions/discoveries in the comments. 🙂

Jumpcut Crew

My old keyboard player, Michael Hines, pointed me at Jumpcut. It’s not feasible for you this year (as you’d be working full-time right through the exams!), but it’s definitely a site to check on and they run regular projects.

Clicking on the poster will download the application pack which gives further information. If you are serious about a future career in the media, this could be just the thing for you!

12705733_897311490367179_3210563839119306258_n
Click on the Poster to download the Info Pack/Application

Cinematic TV

This post starts with a serious hat tip to Alisdair Satchel. He’s an actor, writer, director, and generally all-round good guy (who I’m hoping to drag in to speak to you some time) and who pointed me at a really interesting ‘essay’* that I strongly recommend you take 15 minutes to watch.

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 20.19.25It’s called “What Does ‘Cinematic TV’ Really Mean?” and explains with some fantastic examples why TV and film are not really the same… though some TV does use elements of film to tell its stories. It’s worth your while watching because it mentions (sometimes just in passing) several important institutional concepts (such as the need to film quickly for TV and how this leads to a bias for ‘shot-reverse-shot’ filming), and it may also give the more switched on of you ideas for improving your own films (and watch the bit at about 10 minutes for a really great idea I’d love to see you think about!).

Finally, while the link to the original article is above, I would actually recommend you use THIS LINK as it will open the video only in a tab/window at much higher resolution (at least on my setup). I haven’t worked out how to download it for saving (yet), so you’re on your own for this one.

PS: The video will always play you an advert first… 😦 I’ve seen an advert for flu jabs by NHS England 3 times now… At least I’ll get it free here!

PPS: Keep your eyes out for Terence Stamp playing more to type in a clip from The Limey!

*How would you go about submitting a ‘film’ as an essay for one of your subjects? 😉

Framing and Montage

Click to embiggen
Click to embiggen
pdf-icon-1
Click to download Handout

As promised, here is the handout version of the slides from today. The key things to remember are the difference between editing and montage, and to have an understanding of how montage can be used to advance the story. The documentary I referenced is The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing (<- Clickable link to YouTube), and the clips I used came from the following films:

You should also carry out a YouTube search for things like Rocky Training Montage for other examples of montage being used to shorten time. Feel free to share any interesting montages you find in the comments.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: October Workshop – THURSDAY 22nd!

NEW DATE

Hi everyone… There’s a new date for the workshop. It will now take place on THURSDAY 22nd OCTOBER. The plan is to start at about 9:30am with a session on cameras and filming. There’ll be some simple exercises for you to carry out that should improve your filming. Then, we’ll break for a bite of food at about 12. The afternoon session will start about 12:30 and will cover basic editing skills. I’m aiming to finish about 3pm.

filepicker-vawFINbnQJ2Szh0ngW4t_movie_cameraYou will need to sign in and out at the desk next to the janitor’s office in the main concourse. 🙂

While I will be able to provide some cameras and lights, you would be advised to bring your own equipment as much as possible… and this is especially true for the basic editing in the afternoon. Ideally, you should bring your own laptop with some video editing software on it. Leave me a comment if you need help with this… preferably sooner rather than later.

I’m looking forward to a useful day that should set you up nicely for the actual filming.

 

What Does A Foley Artist Do?

If you watch the credits at the end of a film, you may have wondered what a Best Boy, or Key Grip is*. Another of the more obscure technical jobs is that of Foley Artist. The foley artist has one of the most important jobs in ensuring that we suspend our disbelief and accept the film as being ‘real’. He or she adds sound to the final film… not the dialogue, but the ambient sound that makes what we see sound real: footsteps, cars, weather, and so on.

As you will find out (if you haven’t already done so), recording decent sound on location is challenging. As a result, it is sometimes easier to add the sound later and this is the job of the foley artist. And, thanks to someone somewhere making a mistake, we can now get a glimpse into the art (and it is art) of the foley artist.

Someone from Universal who made Everest, sent the BBC a clip with the ADR track rather than the final sound. As a result, the clip looks spot on, but the only sound is the dialogue. Here it is:

What they should have played is the final version complete with the foley artists contribution… so here it is again with all the effects…

Watch both clips two or three times and listen to just how much has been added for the final film: wind, the sounds of the ladder, the rumble of the avalanche, and so on. Foley work is crucial, and fascinating… and essential in creating ‘reality’. Enjoy!

*Best Boy: Is in charge of the lighting or grip department. Key Grip: supervises and coordinates the ancillary camera equipment such as cranes, dolly tracks, and so on.