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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Information Exchange  |  Pros & Novices  |  Editing Is Hard « previous next »
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Author Topic: Editing Is Hard  (Read 7563 times)
ulthar
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« on: May 23, 2012, 12:46:17 PM »

I have been editing "home movies" on and off for about two years now, and I have found that cutting is VERY difficult.  I have a newfound respect for those that put our movies together (even 'bad' ones!).

In a similar vein, a number of my projects are cut with music since the sound is pretty much nonsense.  I find this to very difficult as well...finding the "right" music, getting it to fit with the theme, story, visual edits, etc.

I've always trended toward the technical aspects of getting images on captured (the photography and the fx, for example).  Post production is a whole other world requiring a completely different skill set.

And patience.

I have a few I want to post, but here's the first one for the list (my most recent project, not the first one produced).

Small | Large


Commentary:

(1) Shaky cam is an abomination.  That whole thing was shot hand-held, and I missed some good scenes due to camera motion.  I'm going to try to remember a tripod next time.   Wink

(2) There are a few places with "ancillary" crap I kind of wish I had edited out, but I did try blending the scenes that way and was not satisfied with the result.

(3) These are long shots, not a lot of jumping.  I've noticed some exciting sailing / racing footage on youtube with shorter cuts and that does enhance excitement, but I wanted to "just let the camera roll" for most of this.

(4) Dang, finding the right music and even with the right song getting it to fit is hard.

I did it backwards this time.  In the past, and I think a generally better way to do it, I used the soundtrack first then cut in the video to fit.  This time (and a couple of other times when 'needed'), I started with the cut video and added the music.  This is MUCH harder!!

(5) I think it's not over all TOO terribly bad for what it is (a 'home movie').  Could I do better?  Yes; as always, with more "time resource" it'd be better.  As "director," this fit the quality given my self-imposed 'deadline.'

In post production, I think the chief commodity is time; the plug has to be pulled eventually.

(6) Cutting takes PATIENCE.

(May post some more later....)
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2012, 05:12:06 PM »

What software are you using?

Rev. Powell had a recent post on how to recognize good editing. (He didn't know, he was asking how.)

I think it would be "fun" to edit videos, but like you I think I'd find the project to be a massive time sink. Glad you're having fun with it, as well as filming the sailing stuff.
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ulthar
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 05:31:21 PM »


What software are you using?



Sorry.  I meant to include this in the original post.

Kdenlive

Clarification:

When I say hard, I mean the 'art' of it is hard, the decisions, the development of "story" from clips.

I've noticed very subtle changes in how two clips are cut together can COMPLETELY change the "feel" of the net scene.

I cannot imagine starting with 30, 40 takes of a sequence and finding the best "magic" whole.  Or any whole that makes sense in the end.

Quote

Rev. Powell had a recent post on how to recognize good editing. (He didn't know, he was asking how.)



Yeah, I commented in that thread some amorphous, unhelpful (read: non-specific) remarks about not noticing GOOD editing because the result is seamless.

I'm also hampered by my tendency toward the "old school" doctrine of letting the subject move, not the camera, which runs completely counter to "modern" movie making technique.  That, and I am in awe of Tarkovsky's long, continuous takes.

I cannot stand the editing style of very rapid cuts, like in a fight scene, where you get close-up of sometihng, close-up of something else, under-lit face, close-up of something, panning, pulling or pushing, rapid zoom, each 'cut' in the sequence being about 5 frames at most.

It takes me out of a movie in a major way, makes me think they are trying to hide something (bad choreography, bad lighting, bad acting, whatever) and I just notice the editing.  It strikes me as lazy film-making.

Now, that said, I do have to say that doing that would be VERY difficult to cut it where it even makes the sense those kinds of scenes make.  I don't like that kind of editing, but I do have newfound respect for the work it takes to produce it.
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Jim H
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2012, 05:12:11 PM »

Quote
It takes me out of a movie in a major way, makes me think they are trying to hide something (bad choreography, bad lighting, bad acting, whatever) and I just notice the editing.  It strikes me as lazy film-making.

Sometimes it is genuinely lazy film-making, sometimes it is not.  Sometimes the editor gets a mess of footage, and they do that to hide it.  Sometimes the director shot with that intention to begin with.  It's pretty interesting, really.  One of the more interesting bits of related trivia is that shaky-cam is generally done either in post by the editor or with a special rig on the camera itself. 

But yeah, editing is tough.  What I've found interesting after doing in it a lot is you notice the editing in films you watch a lot more.  It makes it easier to deconstruct what they've done in individual scenes, and also makes you realize how deliberate of a craft it really is. 

It also makes you realize how crappy of a job a lot of action editing often is.  Some scenes can not be saved - you can often change the tone, but an action scene with bad action in it is like being given black and brown paint and being asked to paint a sunset. 
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2012, 02:40:28 AM »

Something that really, really helps is to have a 'rough cut' in your head before you put your eye to the camera.  If you have a storyline and a shot sequence in mind you'll naturally move to create that.

If you don't have a storyline, then make one up and select footage to match.  One of the best examples I've seen of this is 'Robbie' on Vimeo.  The creator downloaded hours worth of NASA footage and built it into a magnificent storyline.


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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 08:35:32 AM »

One famous editor that I can quote on editing is Michael Kahn A.C.E. who is quoted as saying "Editing is not a problem" and, referring to a lot of work put in on an Indiana Jones film, saying: "It was a hell of a lot of work but also a hell of a lot of fun."  TeddyR

It is a matter of record in some circles that the master editor Verna Fields rescued Jaws literally from the *COUGH* Jaws of defeat.  Wink
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 02:05:22 PM »

For me editing is like being staked down and letting the pegions eat you alive,lol. 

Unfortunatly that is where a film is really built.  I never look at the time code it's all feeling, cutting in the moment.  So say if you film has elelments of action, horror, and drama each scene is cut unto itself and hopfully you have shot enough coverage to save yourself if something has gone wrong.  Once you have cut all the scenes you piece it together and see how the entire film looks.  If you have watched enough movies you'll know if something is working just trust your instincts.  Unfortunatly the only ay one can really get good at it is to cut, practice, work. I use Adobe Premire I wouldn't use anything else unless a better software comes along and Avid isn't it, not for me anyway.

I found it very temper mental and not user friendly for someone just starting out.


Shoot fast, shoot hard, go hand held and get in there.  Timing for each scene is everything it doesn't matter what type of film you are making when its put together its how it feels.  If you are shooting a drama of a couple of people standing there talking don't cut fast let it play itself out.


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zombiechow
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2016, 04:03:16 PM »

I hear people say that editing is hard often, and I just plain don't agree.
30 years ago it was hard-- splicing together actual film & making real cuts in real reels; that was the arena of mad genius artists. But in the digital age, when you can make your movie on a laptop, there's no mess, no confusion, no fire hazards.

I feel like the movie really gets made in post production. Actors, directors, grips, the masters of light and sound-- these people work together to make the highest quality raw footage for the editor to work with; like expert quarrymen cutting & preparing a perfect cube of stone for a sculptor. Once the shooting is done and everything is in the computer, that's when the fun starts.

Modern editing software is like a video game for me, except that beating a boss means perfecting a moment and completing a level means another layer of complexity to a project, and when you're done, you get a MOVIE that you made yourself!!!

AND you can get PAID for it! God I love my job.
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ulthar
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2016, 07:43:18 PM »


When I say hard, I mean the 'art' of it is hard, the decisions, the development of "story" from clips.

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zombiechow
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2016, 10:07:27 PM »

Let the force FLOW through you.
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ulthar
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2016, 12:06:50 AM »

Let the force FLOW through you.

 TeddyR   Cheers

It does tend to get very "organic," eh?

I'd welcome any specific experiences/comments from the 'pro' side.  I guess, as has been said, it just seems to me that editing in film making is vastly under rated, both in term of actual difficulty as well as  influence on the final product.
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2016, 12:28:40 PM »

Editing.

When it is done right, then one should not notice it. It is only when it is done wrong, does one notice it. Still . . .?! Here are 3 examples (IMHO) where it is done right, even if one does notice it.

Prime Suspect
1st episode

A 360 degree shot of an ocean pier, shot from a helicopter, which is then seamlessly edited into the next scene of a street in London.

Women in Love
Live action

One of the best edited films I have ever seen, as not a scene seems to go on a second too long. Now compare that with the same director's, Ken Russell's, "Valentino," where the scenes seem to drag on forever.

Zootopia
Animated

A film should be edited to generate some effect in the audience, and this one surely does, especially the DMV scene. "And don't call me Shirley."


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