Wednesday, May 4, 2011


So I've gotten through the first rough cut. It's shown me a few things. For instance, I have a sequence where my character (let's call her The Girl) goes into Union Station. It is important that the viewer knows this, that they know she's entering a train station. I had lots of footage of the station but what I didn't have was a shot of a sign saying so, I was missing an establishing shot, which is Video 101.

While downtown I picked up a few more shots of busy crowds and traffic but I think that should be it. I'm happy with the footage I have but there you can fall into the habit of over shooting, of taking shots just for the sake of doing so. That's why deadlines are good, nothing like a Stop sign to slow me up.

Some of the shots I inserted into my timeline already affected; I'm using slo mo and fast speeds and it's important to put those in the sequence as such, for the timing. For anyone using Final Cut I put frame blending on when slowing, and frame blending off for speeding up.

I have a lot of effects at my disposable, hundreds and if you combine them, thousands and if I use programs such as Motion, or Colour or After Effects, thousands ... but why would I use effects and when.

My video is a story and each clip is a sentence. The effects are the punctuation in that sentence. It's all information, or expression. There is no actual dialogue in this story so effects help me convey emotion in the stead of words.

I'm doing a lot of contrasting here, a lot of juxtaposition. I have pastoral shots of country words cut next to fast moving highways. That juxtaposition is saying something right there, but I want emphasis. So the country shots are softened with a diffusion effect, then "aged" with just a touch of sepia and a soft black border which gives a vignette effect like a silent movie.

For the modern day, fast moving shots I want a jarring effect, especially when following that pastoral softness. So I use Color Corrector to oversaturate and exaggerate the colours and I put a little trail effect on the clip, to follow a kind of dreamy tone in the music.

For The Girl, I give her her very own effect. It is basically what I used for the pastoral shots but without the sepia tone; her shots are diffused, with a mild vignette. It's a way of referencing those country shots, contrasting here with the harsh colours and fast moving trails of the hurried shots of the city. She is as out of place in her environment as would be those idyllic country lanes.

Or at least that's the plan.

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