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Old June 18th, 2008, 10:15 AM   #1
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I just finished a short film on the Ex-1

I just put the finishing touches on a short I was editing that used the Ex-1. When editing all my sequences they were set to Pro Res HQ. The sound is lacking but the only mic they had on set was the Ex-1 mic and they decided they could ADR everything else back in. Let me know what you think of the color grading and pacing because those are two things I am trying to work on.

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http://www.jambrill.com/MY%20WORK%20/Know%20Idea.mov
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Old June 18th, 2008, 11:26 AM   #2
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hahahahaha. I love the OCD girl causing his death because she put his stuff
away. nicely done.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #3
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James, I thought it well composed, and flowed well. Well done.

I would have have killed for the "boki" focus you demo in many of the shots. The V1U footage that I shot on a couple of projects last year suffers from infinite depth of focus, and my V1U needs an outing on Ebay after seeing this.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 12:54 PM   #4
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Thanks for the spoiler, Scott. Now I don't have to watch the video!
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Old June 18th, 2008, 09:37 PM   #5
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Greg you have are quite right, I feel your pain since I until recently was a Z1 owner and unfortunately I was not the DP. He used a Letus DOF adapter and no external monitor which led to lack of rack focuses and even some missed focuses. As the editor and I was left to make some pretty hard decisions especially with the bathroom scene where almost every close up was out of focus.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 09:51 AM   #6
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Scott, I didn't read it that way at all, unless I missed something. Was is her fault?

Anyway, James, nice film, with a good feel.

I would say the sound needs a lot of work. I agree that it might be best to ADR all the dialogue if possible, but be careful if your actors are not up to it. I guess they're not pros and proper lip sync in ADR is hard to get right. But the use of the on camera mike REALLY hurts the film. It gets away with it in the wide shots, but the close ups feel really off.

Colour grading wise :
the first shot where they meet doesn't match with the following shot where she enters the house. The inside of the flat looks warmer in the first shot than the second. The big close up of her, with the line "Oh no it's a doctor's appointment" jumped out as being much bluer than the rest, as did couple of detail shots of the remotes. It might actually be continuous in terms of the actual lighting on the day as I think the shots are using more direct daylight than the wider shots, but it does stick out. In the final scene when cutting back and forth between the girl in the car and the boy searching through the house it seems her shots are browning and his are bluish. Again, it might technically be a real reflection of the lighting conditions, but intercutting does emphasise the differences. It looks like it's evening in her shots, when it's still supposed to be midday.

Pace wise, in my opinion it could be MUCH tighter at the start of your film. It needs to be a montage as at the moment you have a lot of (quite nice) match on action editing, but it means you have nearly two minutes of her getting ready to leave the house. I know you're establishing the really important plot device of her OCD, but I think you can probably do it in 30 seconds! Otherwise it's not far off half your film. If you really can't get it under a minute, at least put credits over it ;-). I think you need to be a lot less nervous about the audience getting that she's OCD. It's pretty clear, you don't need to labour it.

Otherwise, do you have some establishing shots of the boy lounging around his flat. Maybe you could cross cut between the two. There a re a few awkward pauses in the dialogue, but this might be due to the idea of the characters being slightly ill at ease with each other.

Possible spoiler below!

Also. there is no shot of the skate board being turned over, I think, I've looked through a couple of times but didn't spot it. In one shot he kicks it upside down, at the end it's right side up (I don't know, is THAT a spoiler?).

BTW James, are you the editor only or also the director?
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Old June 19th, 2008, 08:57 PM   #7
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Dylan - Ya I was grading this on a Sony CRT at my work that had a good amount of flicker with the 24p material and now that I brought it home and looked at with a MXO I could see some stuff needed to be fixed. All the lighting was natural and was shot 2 different days so I think I will go back and try and match the shots better.

I totally agree with you on the pacing for the beginning. I actually cut out some stuff that showed her OCD, one scene she leaves the bathroom and flicks the lights on and off three times, and another scene is when she closes the fridge she grabs the handle three times. Also there were pans every time a label showed up. I am only the editor for this short but if I was the writer I would of done it different, the director/writer didn't enjoy me cutting everything out but we had to be under five minutes.

And yes with the skateboard that is just one of the many continuity issues I had to deal with. Notice also the amount of bowls the guy has in his hand on the couch. I guess doing everything 3 times many times over ended up needing a person on set who actually had OCD themselves.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 04:59 AM   #8
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Hi James, I know you you mean about the OCD. My students find it a very interesting subject, but they feel they have to show EVERY single symptom (if that's the right word) which leads to some very long slow moving films. I know you said you were finished, but you could try just cutting out all of her entrances and exits. (Frank Darabont refers to them as "shoe leather shots.") For example it doesn't really need that first shot where she walks in and stretches. The actress looks like she's doing for the camera rather than naturally (as in "OK, now show the audience you've just woken up.") Plus I think she looks at the camera, but I can't be sure. I make the pan of the labels in the closet the opening shot, but that's just my taste.

I have to say I didn't notice the bowls thing, it's quite minor, and you cut around it quite well, but the skateboard is actually part of the plot so there is attention drawn to it.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 11:09 PM   #9
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Dylan I totally agree and I am going to re cut like you say. I started to do a lot of punch ins as I call it like the reveal in the mirror and the fridge door in the kitchen. I went to work today and calibrated that sony monitor I graded on and it was way off.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 08:21 PM   #10
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That was a very nice short one. very funny at the end. she was so caught up in putting things away she ended up killing him! He just layinh there in the doorway and she didnt even look for him. Nice film man
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Old July 7th, 2008, 09:44 PM   #11
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Hmmm...

I struggled with this one James. From only an editing standpoint the pacing sputtered along. That's your job as editor. Indeed, if the director was sitting over your shoulder and the DP missed critical focus, it limits what you can do but how many times can we see the same OCD idea displayed from different camera angles? Walter Murch says "edit out the bad bits" and "choose emotion over any other editing principle" - in my mind seeing something repeated over and over without conscious thought to the audience’s intelligence is a "bad bit." It's spoon-fed and we get it from the first example.

Another choice (maybe not yours) was the "needle drop" music placed in the background. This in my eyes was a quick fix for a serious pacing problem. Music is used to enhance not pace, otherwise you'll have a music video.

It is not my intention to discount your hard work on this project. You're already farther than most (as most say they'll make a film and never do) but I'd say go a bit further with your craft. Watch some movies by Michael Mann (for some reason this guy's editors get this stuff), see some classic movies (The Third Man, The Sting) which demonstrate emotion driven cutting and solid pacing. Most recently I saw "Brick" by Rian Johnson which is a great resource in stylistic editing(not only for commentary but low budget filmmaking techniques / writing a compelling story).

Hope this helps.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 01:08 AM   #12
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Christopher- Thanks for the tips and I loved the sting, my dad used to make me watch it all the time. Ya I ended up using the music to cover up faults in the audio over pacing. The song was added in last minute. Lots of excuses I know, I found all of the original media on one of my back up drives so I'm definitely re cutting it now, by myself.
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