The abstract edit
This exercise consisted in the shooting of some “abstract footage” seeking for interesting pattern or unusual images to edit layering the audio and the video of the clips. Not all the material that we shoot was great because we had limited time for this exercise. Every member of the group supposed to shoot at least a couple of scene so we have to rush to find nice shot and angles. The quality of what we got wasn’t amazing but at the end was functional for it’s purpose.
We edited this version of the Abstract video all together. We played with the speed of some clips and overlapped other scenes changing the opacity to create a images delay effect. We decide also to use keyframes to change the rotation and the blur of a clip. I already knew how to use this function on final cut, but I was happy to discover that they works mostly the same on premiere.
I’ve edited the second version of the Abstract exercise by my self to try different video effects. I wanted to give to the video a more psychedelic look so I scrolled the effect library to find an effect called Kaleidoscopic that I’ve used before on Final cut pro. Unfortunately there’s no such effect on premiere and I have to figure out if there was an alternative way to recreate a similar impression. I tried to use twice the mirror effect on the same clip and the result was quite satisfactory because allowed me to create a kind of kaleidoscopic pattern.
Looking at the effect controls panel I’ve noticed that premiere have the option to do a time remapping of the speed on clips. This function really excited me so I watched a tutorial on youtube to learn how to use it properly. I tried to apply what I’ve learned on the last clip of my editing to slow down the jump of the skater.
I could have probably pay more attention on the audio part of both the version of the exercise cause, compared to the video, is not too elaborated. We shoot in a crowded place so the audio that we recorded was somehow dirty and not really usable. Nevertheless, I think that the two expertise video fulfill what we where required to do.
The Expertise (three shot) edit
Regarding the technical aspect of the work, I don’t think I’ve learn anything new from the expertise exercise. I am already confident using editing programs because I come from a film studies background and even though I was used to edit on Final cut pro, the Expertise exercise for me was quite basic. However, knowing how editing software works does not mean that it would be easy teach it to someone else.
I’ve decided to help my Class mate Annette with the editing of her videos since this was the first time she used premiere pro. She didn’t have and advanced knowledge of how editing software (or adobe software in general) works and accomplishing this task for her was more challenging than it was for me. Another obstacle was that Annette is not confident using the Mac interface so she was struggling even to find out where things are. Her main problem is that she was wasting a lot of time improvising instead of using the proper commands on the keyboard. This situation was trying her patience and made her feel frustrated.
I’ve helped Annette to discover some shortcuts that can speed up her work, making it easier and smoother.Fore example, I told her to try to mark in the source viewer the Input and the Output of the piece of the clip that she wanted to use and then to drag it in the time line. Before she was inserting the whole clips in the sequence to cut each of them manually in the timeline.
Things were not always easy to explain, because what was automatic and obvious for me, was totally new for her. I’ve found that the best ways to teach her the different function of premiere was showing how tools works directly in the timeline instead of trying to explain it with words. We ran through the most common shortcut and editing tools together and now Annette is able to edit faster and in a less confusing way.
From this experience I’ve learned for sure that teaching is not that easy at is seems. However, Annette was motivated to learn so we worked well together. The bottomline is that with a minimum effort everyone could help others to improve their skills.
The initiative post
For this prompt I decided to compare the work behind a video clip that I made in Italy to the exercises that we shoot in class, in order to identify what could I have improve If I would have know what I learned during this course.
The shooting of this videoclip requires a crew of 3 people. I took care of the production, direction, and editing part, a friend took care of the direction of photography and the lightning and the third person was the camera operator.
Compared to the level of the Lenny exercise, the quality of the videoclip is more advanced and professional. There was a longer period of production and organization behind it so is obvious that the Lenny gives a more amateur feeling.
I edited the videoclip using final cut pro but if I would have used Premiere at the time I would have probably avoid waisting my time to convert all the clip to the format Appleprores 422, that is the only codec that final cut pro is able to read. This for sure would have been an improvement of my work.
The greatest benefits that I would have had using premiere instead of Final cut regards the software compatibility with other adobe programs.
In fact, Editing on premiere allowed you to open your timeline directly on after effect where is possible to do different kinds of color correction, making animated titles, applying masks and using effects that Final cut does not offer.
Prompt – Readings
For this prompt I’ve decided to talk about the chapter of the Sound Design reading called “Function of sounds in relation to Image” and compares it to certain points of the Sight and hearing reading.
According to the Sound design reading, the relationship of picture and audio in the same media (as television or film) creates certain dynamics that affect their meaning.
There’s a common belief that film and television are “visual media” . However, this reading proves that this is untrue since audio provides most of the information conveyed. I would explain four of the different relationship between sounds and image in relation to Bresson notes.
The first one happen when sounds parallels pictures, that basically means that neither the sounds nor the video is dominant because you see what you hear. A shot of a person knocking juxtapose to the audio of the same action, a shot of a dog barking and you can hear it, a video of an orchestra playing with his audio, are all good example of this relationship.
Even though the writer believe that this kind of relationship between sound and image is virtually mandatory, Bresson states that “what is for they eye must not be what is for the hear”. In my opinion this two theory are in contrast, because in the examples above video and audio coexist and are equally important.
Another relationship is the one where sounds defines pictures. The audio in this case is dominant and it could also determine the point of view and the meaning of the image. A quoted example is putting different music backgrounds to a prison scene with guards in a battle-ready position. If the soundtrack consist in crashing, braking and yelling sounds you will imply that there’s a prisoner riot and identify the guard as the “good guys”. If you add to the same scene a music that suggest oppression the guard would become the evil force.
This point reminds me of an editing theory called Kuleshov effect. Kuleshov was a soviet filmmaker, he made an editing experiment that consisted in pair the image of a face of a man with 3 different images. When you put the man next to an image of a beautiful woman the impression that you have would suggest lust. If you take the same man and pair it with a coffin image it would suggest sadness and if you do the same with the image of a plate of food it would suggest hunger. I thinks that the similarity of this two example proves that we can have the same result applying this theory bot to video editing and sound design, in order to change the feeling of the audience.
There are certain case where, at the contrary, pictures can define sounds. Indeed, picture helps to define sounds calling attention to particulars action or images. To exemplify, a scene where a person walks down a city street with traffic sounds on the back ground could be edited cutting to close-ups to increase the impact of sounds. Or also, a bar scene where a character walk to the jukebox and plays a record will have supporting background sounds of people chatting, clinking glasses, coins being dropped into the jukebox and the music playing. If we edit this scene cutting to close-ups of the footfalls, laughing faces and coins being insert into the slot we will be able to bring out this particular sounds.
Once again Bresson states the contrary. He said that when sounds can replace an image you have to cut the image or neutralize it because the ear goes more towards the within the eye towards the outer. Applying this statement to the example above, we wouldn’t need to add the close up of the same scene because the sound alone contributes to create the atmosphere and already explain what’s going on.
When the aural and visual effect are different but complementary at the same time we have a relationship where sounds and picture define effect. In this occasion the impact that sounds and picture creates together is stronger than the one that they could create singularly. If we take as an example a scene of an old man sitting on a park bench and watching a mother playing with his child,lovers walking hand in hand and teenagers playing footballs and accompanied it with a music track that evokes feeling of pleasure, then of loneliness and finally of futility we will see that video and sound reinforce each other and produce a cumulative effect. In this example sounds and picture are complementary, both are contributing to an effect that would not be possible if one element were dominant or absent.
Even in this occasion Bresson have a discordant opinion. In the reading he states that if sounds is the obligatory complement of an image you must give preponderance either to the sound, or to the image. If equal they damage or kill each other. In fact, where the author of the Sound design reading believes that sound and image could be equally important in order to help each other, Bresson thinks that in any case sounds can come to the rescue of an image.
Lenny – reflection on
The Lenny exercise consisted in the shooting and the editing of few scenes of a script.
We were grouped in crews of 4-5 people and we have to take turns to cover each role of the crew (camera operator, sound operator, director, first Ad) for at least one shot.
As the pre-production part of the exercise, we were required to singularly mark the script and to draw a storyboard before the shooting day. I’ve noticed that it was almost impossible to follow exactly the storyboard and the notes on the marked script because, at the time, we didn’t knew the location where we ended up shooting. If it would have been a professional project, we would have probably done an inspection of the location before the shooting in order to be more specific during this pre-production stage.
During the shooting phase we had a little bit of confusion about the line of action because we where afraid of being “crossing the line” in some of the scene. However, when looking at the footage on the computer we realize that we did not have this problem as we thought.
The most challenging part of the shooting was the time managing. To solve this problem, as part of the production aspect of the Lenny we should have follow a timing schedule, in order to give equal attention to each scene. As a result of our poor time managing we had to rush during the shooting of the last scene because we ran out of time and we weren’t able to shoot different angles as we wanted to. This problem obviously influenced our editing.
Even though I would have like to have more different cut to edit the end of the Lenny, the editing phase of the exercise wasn’t difficult for me. I just had a few trouble understanding how the tex function of premiere works when I added the titles. Although the interface of the title of premiere is similar to the one of photoshop, I will look over it more carefully to do better next time.
The Lumetri presets were a nice discovery of the functions of Premiere. I tried to apply it to some clip during my editing but at the end I decided to do only a light color correction to my footage to balance the whites. I will for sure use the lumetri in my future edit.
Even if there are few things that could have been fixed, I’m quite happy about the final result of the Lenny exercise.
You find a scene
Analysis of the opening scene of Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless (from beginning till min 05:15)
The film starts with a close-up of Michel, the protagonist, reading the newspaper and smoking. The scene continues alternating shots of his close-up and close-up of a woman nodding at him as a signal to steal a car. Looking at the scene one could think that the two characters are close to each other but when the frame get wider, we see that they are not. This use of close-up confuses the viewer, and it is different from the continuity editing style of Classic Hollywood.
After getting the signal from the woman, Michel promptly steals the car. The following scene is a long sequence of Michel driving, talking to himself and talking directly to the camera addressing it as it was a person. In this sequence the protagonist is talking about his surroundings while the camera, inside the vehicle and handheld, follow him and what he looks at. The director in the scene once again breaks the rules using jump cut of Michel driving and holding the gun. The dialogue in this scene has the purpose of showing the nature of the protagonist.
While driving, Michel gets chased by the police. The scene alternate tracking shot of Michael and of the police following him. The camera movement are dirty because once again the camera his handheld. To evade the cops Michel drive outside the road and loses all the cops but one. The shooting of the cop takes advantage of jump cuts and close-ups to disorient the viewer about what’s going on. We then hear the gun fired and we see a wide shot of the cop fall into a bush. The background music of this scene helps us to fell the tension of the action.
The last shot of the scene is a panning long shot of Michel running through a meadow. The scene is really dark and we can barely see what’s going on.
The whole movie use mainly natural lighting and panning and other physical techniques are fairly amateur. Cause of the low-budget of the production the use of props is limited too. Also the acting is more spontaneous and imperfect then usual. In fact, In this movie actors sometimes improvise dialogues to give a more realistic feeling to the narration. This unprofessional feel is part of the style of the French Nouvelle vague movement that wanted to rebel against the traditional French cinema.