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Old January 3rd, 2003, 02:00 PM   #16
Obstreperous Rex
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Hi Scott,

Cutaways are little filler pieces which you use to insert between other shots. In editing, you "cut away" from the main action to these little shots, for a variety of reasons. You can compress time, hide mistakes, and avoid costly faked snowboarding accidents by using cutaways.

A couple of good cutaway shots for the sequence we're discussing here would be: horrified expressions of onlookers, close-up of the victim's face prior to impact, a wild point-of-view "swish pan" across the sky, sunglasses landing in the snow, or... blood in the snow... ewww. You get the idea.

You shoot these elements separately at your convenience, and then cut away from the main action to these little bits during editing, to jazz things up and at the same time avoid staging an elaborate fake accident. Hope this helps,

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Old January 3rd, 2003, 02:04 PM   #17
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Gotchya. Thanks Ken and Chris!
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 02:32 PM   #18
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Just reading the latest posts here. . .

And I'm thinking just how well thought out this little project has to be in order to work correctly and seem believable.

When you're "composing" your script (let's keep to the "action scene" of a snowboarding having an accident), how involved is your script writing? Jeff Donald gave one example of how one snowboarding action scene can be shot. Do you guys write your scripts that detailed? Would you write all the quick "cut away" pieces within that detailed script?

OR. . .

Do you "ad lib" the scene? In other words, do you have a basic idea in mind as to what you want . . . a scene with lots of quick cuts showing the snowboarder, crowd reactions, etc . . . and film all of these shots and splice together the scene during the editing process?

I ask you this because I want to be as prepared as possible when it does come time to start shooting this project.

Does adhearing to a well detailed script that includes all actions, cuts, fade-ins, fade-outs, "cut aways" (am I missing some terms here) make for a better flowing video? Or does shooting tons and tons of footage and splice together the scenes work as well?

During my "film-music composition" college days . . . oh 20 years ago. . . I remember how detailed a record we were required to have on our short film project. All cuts, all dissolves, all significant dialogue, all significant sound effects were recorded down to the frame of the film. By the end of this process, you really KNEW that film! Then out of that very detailed record of events we began the process of composing the music.

When you script your video projects, do you get as detailed with all of your shots?

(I hope my questioning is clear.)

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Old January 3rd, 2003, 02:59 PM   #19
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The real key to a successful project like yours is pre-production, pre-production, pre-production. One hour of pre-production work saves me an hour of shooting and two hours of editing. Pre-production is scouting the location (where will the sun and shadows be?) a very through script (much more detailed than what i wrote) a detailed list describing every shot your going to take, and for a scene like the snowboarder I will probably add 6 to 8 cut aways as I work. You can never have too many cut aways. The extras have saved my a** in edit many a time.

If you just go out and start shooting, I can guarantee you'll have problems. Shadows in the wrong spot, background audio that is too loud, missed shots, hours of footage you never use, to name a few. Do your pre-production, stick to it, and everything will fall into place.

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Old January 3rd, 2003, 03:00 PM   #20
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Now you've discovered another mystery: why movies cost so darn much to make!

As drug packaging instructions often begin, "For best results ..." plan your shooting to the greatest degree possible.

I would envision this accident sequence being no more than 2 minutes, probably closer to 90 seconds. But a shot script of this sequence could easily consume 2-5 pages depending on how detailed you waant to make it. But the whole process begins with the sequence's concept, which is similar to telling a story verbally. It should have a beginning, a middle and an end.

I would start with a few establishing shots showing where this takes place.
- Panoramic shots of the hill/mountain
- Wide shots showing skiers and snowboarders gently sliding down the slope. Sound: ambient sounds of children squealing with fun, etc. Just turn the camera on and record 10 secs of ambient sound near the slope.

Now to develop the story:
- The camera catches a hot-dogger moving a bit faster and more recklessly than the general crowd.
- Close-ups of this fellow's body with cut-aways to his board biting into the snow hard, kicking up spray.
- Cut aways to other skiers starting to take notice of this fellow. Maybe show a mother moving her 6 yr old out of the way.

- Hot-dog starts to lose control. Close-up of his face, which changes from a tongue-wagging grin to wde-eyed fear.
- Hot-dog loses balance. Falls backwards. Close of of his head and shoulder toppling backward.
- Close up of his snowboard biting deeply into the snow. (Message: this baby's stuck!)
- Close-up of his leg twisting in an odd direction (as compared to the visual position of the snowboard shot)
- Close up of hot-dog's face in grimmace as he screams in pain.
- Cut-away to onlookers in horror.
- Wider show of hot-dog sliding face-down down the slope for a few feet.

The results:
- Medium shot of hot-dog lying face down, his board slides past his limp body. (Nothing say's dead or seriously injured better than a face-down shot)
- various shots of ski patrol coming to his aid

etc, etc.

Whew, I'm tired!

I think you get the idea.
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 03:34 PM   #21
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Just as I thought!

The art of film making is very, very detailed. It's all in the details and preparation. Just like composing great music!

So. . . .I have my work cut out for me! And I take the challange with a welcomed smile! :) Because some of the best music that I've ever composed was when I wrote down every note, every dynamic marking and every articulation that was to be played by the musician.

Cheers! :)

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Old January 5th, 2003, 01:50 PM   #22
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I actually have some footage of myself and a friend that I shot on Hi8 while we were snowboarding a few years ago. There are a few wipeouts including one that has the cameraman wipeing out! I was snowboarding and filming at the same time (it is hard to navigate through the viewfinder while you are snowboarding as I found out). I haven't looked at the footage in a while but it was really quite fun to make. Most snowboarders are easy to get along with and they tend to all hit the same "kickers" so if you ask one where the popular spots are you could just set up there and shoot all day. Someone is bound to wipe out soon, or you could do like me and ask a less experienced rider to try a jump that is out of their league and then film it. It is pretty funny. (sorry Tim if you are reading this).
Stock footage can get costly, especially if you really want it.
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Old January 7th, 2003, 11:06 AM   #23
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Send me an e-mail. I may have some footage that might interest you.

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Old January 10th, 2003, 06:49 AM   #24
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this site might have something

ogrish.com is a very sick site (not for the faint hearted or easily offended)

They have footage of real accidents, deaths etc.
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