DV Digital

Photos, videos, and general ramblings from myself. Content is king.

You Need to Think Fourth-dimensionally, Marty!

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• Season 8 Finals - Jive With The Band • from Dan V on Vimeo.

I’m relearning the fine art of video editing. I learned on an analog system (real film!) though the concepts carry over. It’s all about the story.

My current weapon of choice for editing is Final Cut Pro X. While the dyed-in-the-wool digital video types give it hell for being too much like iMovie and not a “real” pro product like it was, I find FCP-X suits my fancy for the basic video projects I’m doing myself at the moment. Like I’ve mentioned in the past, I usually just shoot, and pass my results off to someone with more editing and VFX skills like Alex and his team over at Deepsleep. However, even they use Final Cut Pro X for their final editing workflow.

In the end, an edit is an edit. You’re trying to tell a story, and all the VFX goodies and title transitions in the world won’t help if your timing and sequencing is off. That’s actually something that takes years to master. I know in my head where I want to go with the story, I’m still just learning the modern tools of the trade. So yes, sometimes my edits are “off”. It’s a work in progress.

You have to think fourth-dimensionally. When shooting and when editing. You have to have an idea of what you want to shoot, and during the edit, what you have in your “bin”. In an event like Jive, the regular repeat singers often perform twice throughout the night, once in the beginning, and once near the end to really knock the crowd out. I have to remember that sometimes I’ll have “better” footage of say, Sir Diego, from later on in the night, even if his first performance knocked it out of the park. Sometimes it’s the reverse actually. Either way, I have to keep in mind I have multiple takes. Keeping the bin coherent is key.

And this is just on the video side. The audio side is a whole other ball of wax. I record with a basic Sennheiser stereo mic, though I do want to progress to one of their wireless kits where I take a feed straight from the FOH mixer at the bar. That is a $600 investment though, and I’m currently not shooting enough live music events to justify the outlay. It’s an amazing widget regardless, though.

Regardless, if you are a photographer getting into video, just remember to think fourth-dimensionally. You are composing a project that exists not only in space, but in time.