So, I’ve been editing my new short “Enter the Blackberry”. What should have taken one week has stretched into weeks. Things keep coming up and interrupting. I’ve been playing close attention to the fight scene with the second and third eye of my fight supervisor and director. I’ve finally finished time lining it, now to add sound effects and background music, then to the colouring stage, which I will leave up to my director because he’s good at that. I will dabble with it myself especially colour matching scenes but I’d rather leave the bulk of that to someone more experienced while I work on the graphics for the intro/commercial. I really hope people like this because I am trying hard with it. I know it’s not perfect. There were a lot of things I would do differently but each shoot and each edit is a learning experience. This weekend got botched with a lot of meetings and obligations but I really am going to strive to get it done this week. I need to have it ready for the Reggae Film Festival in April. It’s not a meaningful film, so it might not get enough critical acclaim to win an award but I hope it gets people’s choice award. Right before I upload the video to Vimeo (see what I did there?) I will blog the script for that episode so people can see the process.
When I started editing I contemplated whether or not my Thinkpad could handle the Canon 7D's HD footage in Sony Vegas with a 2.1 GHz core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of ram and a laptop onboard graphics card. So far so good. The only time I had a problem was when some footage went black in the preview and wouldn't render properly. I researched the problem and realized something had gone wrong with the Quicktime codec. I reinstalled Quicktime and was good again.
Shooting this fight scene we got a lot of footage. I still wanted more but having shot over two days in the sun, with physical fatique we were not going to be able to get anymore. Of course during editing, there were points I was cussing because I was like "See, I knew we should have gotten more footage here" but it turned out what we had was enough. Every time I found myself stuck saying "Crap, there is no continuity between these two shots." I end up finding footage to stick in between. Shots that work out better than what I pictured. There are still points I would have wanted an ideal shot, but when you are working with $0 you just have to make what you have work.
At first I was concerned that the fight scene violated 180 degree rule a few times but, then I remembered the rule being broken in every good fight scene I've seen from Hong Kong to USA. I did a little additional research just to confirm and I saw it in Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen, Jet Li and other films. So I was now comfortable with sacrificing a rule for the better shots.
Editing all this footage was not easy. As I said before we had a lot of footage. I sat down and reviewed the takes one by one putting all the good (usable) ones in a folder by itself (consuming more of my external hard drives space). This allowed me in editing to just focus on dropping the clips in and cutting together as I pleased as opposed to reviewing while cutting which can be tedious and annoying. At this point stringing the fight scene together became seamless. When I tailored this fight sequence together I wanted it to be 2 minutes long not realizing a 2 minute fight scene is very intricate. I've been doing choreographed fight scenes with my fight supervisor for 20 years, so to me 2 minutes is a standard. I showed someone a preliminary render and they were impressed at how long it was while still exciting and this is without sound. I was happy that he thought so. It gave me hope others will think so. The Fight Supe and the Director also approved with minor changes which have been effected. Now I'm looking forward to making final adjustments and adding music and sound effects to wrap everything together. I've edited the last segment of acting scenes between me and my characters girl friend but I have not touched the first part as yet. The Acting parts are straight forward. There the 180 rule will have to be maintained and I will have to sync the external audio. I'll get to that in a next post.
I am a Filmmaker, Animator and Writer. I love telling stories and making them come true. You will see me on the big screen soon enough.