Editing Archives - Blog
On 3/9/2011, John Fell Ryan and Akiva Saunders produced the first screening of
THE SHINING FORWARDS AND BACKWARDS, SIMULTANEOUSLY, SUPERIMPOSED. In their experimental film, they digitally re-edited THE SHINING so it plays both forward and backwards at the same time. By keeping the opacity of the top layer at 50%, the two versions are superimposed equally on top of each other. Only the audio from the forwards playing version is heard so that pure sonic chaos doesn’t overwhelm the viewers.
Somewhat shockingly, the visual symmetry of certain critical story points seemed to be more than just a coincidence. The screen position of the actors during pivotal scenes also seem to flawlessly interweave in a graphically pleasing way. Was this planned by Kubrick (as presupposed by some) or is this just a curious by-product of happenstance and wishful thinking? Either way, the visuals speak for themselves and the viewer can see whatever they want to see within the imagery.
A selection of scenes were featured in the 2012 documentary ROOM 237 but there hasn’t been a public screening of the experimental film in several years. There is not a full version in HD available on the internet as far as I know.
Film Editing begins with organization. A feature film can have anywhere from 77 minutes of footage as in PRIMER to over 500 hours of footage shot on DEADPOOL. On both films…keeping track of the footage and making it all instantly accessible to the editor is paramount to a successful edit. On my current feature film 6 BELOW I am using markers in a new way.
By using MARKERS on timelines and sequences to notate takes, scenes and memorable moments an editor can isolate specific shots or sections that all the filmmakers can use to help wrangle all the footage and help tell a clearer story with all the footage.
All editing software allows for dropping markers on timelines but I utilize one little know function inside Adobe Premiere Pro to help me mark larger groups of shots or sections of similar content. A marker is usually placed on one frame but I like to extend that marker to cover minutes or whole swaths of footage. I then assign a name to the marker and this allows me to visually spot my assets very easily inside my timeline.
Click the image below to see how to extend markers in Premiere Pro.
I’ve just finished editorial on the feature film 6 BELOW starring Josh Hartnett and directed by Scotty Waugh (Need for Speed, Act of Valor). This is my 10th feature film as an editor and a very welcome challenge both creatively and technically. It’s also the first feature film to be edited natively in 6K. I’m cutting the original RED 6K Dragon files (R3D) with no transcoding or proxies in Adobe Premiere Pro. We are framing for a 2.76:1 aspect ratio like The Hateful Eight and using Panavision Primo 70 lenses.
UPDATE: After I was hired as editorial consultant on DEADPOOL, one of the first things I did was create a custom 2-monitor Premiere Pro template for post production.
This was a solid starting point for all the editors and assistants before they customized it further to their liking. I designed the workspace with THE PANCAKE TIMELINE already active and a basic bin structure to keep the project organized right off the bat.
I also arranged the panels in tabbed groupings that made logical sense for our workflow and it also allowed quick full screen maximization with the tilde (`) key.
There are a limitless choice of options when you set up a workspace…this custom template was the most efficient and nimble option for our specific needs.
You can download the Premiere Pro template we used on the film below…
DOWNLOAD: VASHI’S DEADPOOL PREMIERE PRO TEMPLATE
Until next time…
As the editorial consultant on DEADPOOL, I spent 9 months crafting the post production workflow used for the edit and also trained the entire post production team in both Premiere Pro and After Effects. Very early into the cutting, lead editor Julian Clarke asked me if we could add camera shake to certain locked-off, static shots.
This can be accomplished in Premiere Pro by manually animating the frame with keyframes or by using a 3rd party plug-in…but I wanted a real-time solution without using a plug-in. I reached out to Jarle Leirpoll , an amazingly talented editor who also creates free Premiere Pro presets utilizing the included effects built into the software. His JARLE’S PREMIERE PRO PRESETS VERSION 3 includes 98 free presets that cover both video and audio.
Jarle created 7 custom handheld camera presets for DEADPOOL that could be applied directly onto clips and played back in real-time. Jarle shot footage with real cameras and mapped both the position and rotation of the handheld footage into his presets. It’s organic and real. It’s information captured by a human being and not the result of random computer generated data like the wiggle expression that After Effects would create. The difference between human and computer generated data may not look different viewing the keyframes…but their is an inherent honesty and palpable naturalness to ACTUAL human handheld movement compared to computer generated randomness.
The 7 presets are split into 2 groups with different functions. 3 presets can be used on footage with resolution that matches the sequence settings. These 3 presets will resize the footage to 104% so the edges of the frame will not show black as the footage is being moved around. The other 4 presets are for sequences where oversized footage is dropped into a smaller resolution timeline. This was the workflow for both GONE GIRL and DEADPOOL where 6K / 5K / 4K / 3K footage was edited inside a 2K sequence. This extra padding of resolution allows the handheld camera presets to move the footage WITHOUT resizing the source footage. This is the great benefit of shooting at a resolution larger than your final output as both stabilization and reframing can be accomplished without losing any resolution.
Download: JARLE’S DEADPOOL HANDHELD CAMERA PRESETS
and use these Deadpool Premiere Pro Presets on your projects for free.
BTW these presets work in all versions from Premiere Pro CS6 and later…
Until next time…
The Shooting Ratio in filmmaking and television production is the ratio between the total duration of its footage created for possible use in a project and that which appears in its final cut. In the Golden Age of Hollywood (1930-1959), it was normal to have a 10:1 ratio. A 90 minute feature film would have have shot roughly 25 hours of film. Certain directors like Alfred Hitchcock were known to have a 3:1 ratio so he could control the edit by leaving the studio no other options.
The shooting ratio has skyrocketed over the last 20 years. Due to the relative inexpensive nature of digital filmmaking, cameras often shoot for extended periods that cover several takes, resets and everything in-between. Film has always been associated with a more disciplined style of shooting with the camera rolling only between “Action” and “Cut”…well technically between “Speed” and “Cut”!
I have edited 9 feature films over the last 15 years and I can attest to the fact of getting more and more footage into the edit bay on every project. Here’s an infographic that compares 8 films shot over the last 35 years to give you an idea of the actual numbers and ratios.
Until next time…
On January 23rd, 2016 I shared the stage with 3 amazing filmmakers to discuss our films. I worked with Deadpool director Tim Miller for the last 9 months on editorial for the upcoming Marvel Super Hero film. Shot digitally on ARRI, my role as Editorial Consultant was to design the workflow for the post production and train all the editors in properly using Adobe Premiere Pro. With over 1100 VFX shots, the integration between Premiere Pro and After Effects (using Dynamic Link) was critical in keeping the production moving forward.
Hail, Caesar! was shot on film by Roger Deakins and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Editor Katie McQuerrey and Post Production Supervisor Catherine Farrell also used Premiere Pro to edit their film. The Coen brothers have finally transitioned away from Final Cut Pro 7 which they used on the bulk of their previous films.
During the 64-minute panel, we discussed our filmmaking experiences with Premiere Pro and shared stories from the trenches in front of a packed house. Enjoy!
Until next time…
Super host Hyla and I talked about filmmaking and creativity while laying in a bed at the Airbnb Haus on Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival 2016.
We discussed Deadpool, Sundance, film editing and the best way to work with directors. Enjoy!
Until next time…
The panel is 3:30pm this Saturday, January 23rd at the AirBnB Haus on Main Street in Park City. I will be explaining how we set up and implemented the Premiere Pro workflow with director Tim Miller and how his entire post production team made the switch from Avid Media Composer to Adobe Premiere Pro. Read more…
The average film has around 1250 individual shots. Action films and Blockbusters often have more than 3000 individual shots. This can be attributed to the ongoing trend of Chaos Cinema and the tendency to create false pace and momentum by simply cutting so frequently that it constantly bombards the viewer with new shots and information. This can become overwhelming and it creates a disconnected and jumbled viewing experience that assaults the audience. The frenetic pace exists but the audience can become exhausted as the eye and brain try to make sense of the imagery.
My most popular post of 2015 was MAD MAX: CENTER FRAMED which explained the cinematography and editing techniques used in MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. Even though it had roughly 3000 individual shots, the action and story is comprehensible and digestible while still viscerally effective. Fast editing and ASLs (Average Shot Length) of around 2 seconds does not have to be a visual debris tornado that hammers the viewer. Properly planned shots and diligent editing can result in an energetic AND quickly paced film that tells a coherent story.
To make this point even more evident…I have compiled 5 films that average 2 seconds per shot and average 3000 shots per film. They are being played back in their entirety at 12X speed. The resulting video is 10 minutes long. Only one of these films remains comprehensible at this speed. You don’t have to watch the whole video…feel free to scroll through and view different sections and compare the films. You will see that the painstaking craftsmanship of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD survives the massive speed up.
Enjoy the video:
This bird’s eye view at high speed is something I often use as an editor to help judge the pacing and visual variety of my own work. By pushing the boundary of human information intake, it helps me spot trends, patterns and gives me an overall feeling of the visual mosaic I am creating at that moment. By speeding up the footage I can literally see WHERE in the frame the energy and emphasis exists and I use that information to my advantage.
Congratulations to editor Margaret Sixel on her 2016 Oscar nomination for Best Film Editing!
Until next time…