I’m enjoying a little downtime between paying projects. I’m catching up on things around the office as well as working on a few pet projects. One of the pet projects is titled ‘Drysdael’s little problem.’ My guilty pleasure is playing World of Warcraft. For awhile, I had the habit of killing a particular bunny outside the auction house in Silvermoon City. I decided to capture movies about it and edit them together.
I’m also shooting short interviews with my Flip camera. I’m enjoying using the Flip camera for some basic storytelling. Last fall I started a series of interviews about the New Warrior Training Adventure. I attended the NWTA in October of 2004 and it was a life-changing experience for me. I decided to ask other graduates what they learned at the training and how it impacted them and their families. I’ve used some downtime to edit Pat Sullivan’s interview. Look for more interviews in the near future.
“Good storytelling is the balancing of constraints at multiple scales of presentation… film editors design shot patterns with care, generating a visual momentum in the viewer, who tracks the narrative.”
If you’re an editor, love movies, or just a geek, it’s worth a read.
I recently wrapped up two weeks at Screenscape Studios in Des Moines, Iowa. Screenscape is a bright star in midwest post-production. Their work is uber-solid. You could relocate this company and it would be competitive in any other market. Screenscape Studios has been in business for 23 years and has successfully withstood the decline of the full service post-house. The staff is both excellent and fun to work with. I always look forward to working a gig at Screenscape.
As a side note, their producer staff is centered around the excellence of three producers named Sarah. This is is the second time in my career that I’ve encountered same-named staff members. The first… three Jasons in the new media department of the now defunct Pathway Productions.
Through the miracle of social media, I recently got reintroduced to an old colleague from my WFYI days. He introduced me to a creative team that needed a trailer for a documentary on The Nutcracker. They had the video and needed an editor. The piece turned out great! I hope you enjoy it as much as I loved putting together. By the way, the documentary is still seeking funding. If you’ve always wanted to fund a documentary on The Nutcracker, I’ll hook you up!
That means you have to add a reel name in FCP. This can be accomplished by bringing up the Reel column in your FCP bin. I’ve got into the habit of copy and pasting the name of the 5D/7D file into the Reel column as it will be a unique name:
December 14, 2009 in: Editing by Andrew Birkhead
Oliver Peters has posted a nice list of films that editors might enjoy.
With Oscar time approaching and movie-going, as well as, movie-giving a holiday tradition for many families, I decided to post a list of some films that are fun for editors to watch. These aren’t all Oscar-contenders, although there’s plenty of bling in this list. They are presented in no particular order, so I hope you enjoy.
When my daughter, Sarah, was really young, I took her to the pediatrician for a check-up. I’ve always enjoyed my interactions with Dr. Leland. He’s direct, to the point, and insightful. On this visit he said something that I’ll never forget. As he started to leave, he turned and looked at Sarah, who was around two years old and said “You’re doing a good job raising your dad, keep up the great work.” Ever since then, I’ve been on the lookout for what Sarah might be trying to teach me. Often it’s a tip on how to be a better parent. Sometimes it’s an idea about leadership, being present, forgiveness, or keeping an open heart. Until last weekend the lessons were never related to editing.
Last Sunday we decided to carve pumpkins. I have recently purchased a flip camera and we agreed to shoot the project and collaborate on a video. The process was a blast! I shot the video and we edited the piece together at the studio afterward. For me, the real enjoyment of editing comes from connection and collaboration. Collaborating with my daughter on a creative project is something I’ll never forget, and I intend to do it again, as often as I can.
My best work as an editor comes when I’m connected with my collaborators. I have Sarah to thank for the reminder. Here’s the video we created together.
October 11, 2009 in: Editing by Andrew Birkhead
If you know me, you know of my profound love of creating soups. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why I love soup making until I read a horoscope written by Rob Brezney. He suggests that soups are magical because “their value and beauty as a totality are more than the sum of their parts.” It dawned on me today that soup-making and editing are very similar in that regard. My job as an editor and soup-maker are to create something that’s better than the sum of it’s parts.
Making a great soup and editing a great story work the same for me. With a soup I start with the recipe. Then I change things around until they make sense. For example, last night’s lentil soup recipe looked good until I saw that it called for 8 cups of water. Water seemed boring so I substituted homemade chicken stock. Storytelling works the same way for me. I take the client’s ideas and make them better by ruthlessly discarding what isn’t working and adding elements that work better. Like a good soup, the result is a creation that’s greater than the sum of it’s parts.