Editing Archives - Blog
David Fincher is known for his creative and visually ground-breaking title sequences.
From the frenetic and kinetic jagged cuts of SE7EN to the CGI extravaganza of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO to the North by Northwest inspired large static font in PANIC ROOM.
The Title Sequence is a chance for the filmmaker to set the tone and prepare the audience for the world they are about to enter.
In Fincher’s new NETFLIX show MINDHUNTER…the use of subliminal edits is used to cue the viewers to the violent world of serial killers.
As a filmmaker, I always want to challenge myself both creatively and technically. I pursue projects that can stimulate me on several levels. If I am going to commit a year of my life to a feature film…it is crucial that I walk away with new skills, a successful storytelling experience and a lot of fun in the trenches with my team.
When I was asked by director Scotty Waugh to edit 6 BELOW…all my personal and professional requirements were met. All the checkboxes were ticked. The true story of Eric LeMarque, a professional hockey player, that went snowboarding and got trapped in a snowstorm on an isolated mountain for 8 days was riveting.
As fate would have it, Scotty didn’t know I knew Eric LeMarque when he asked me to edit the film. He didn’t know that Eric and I both played professional hockey together 15 years earlier. That only added to the immense sense of responsibility I had to deal with in telling his true story in the best manner possible. The conflict of editor versus friend.
Then Scotty dropped a couple huge technical bombs on me. 6 BELOW would be the first entire feature film in the history of Hollywood to be presented in the Barco Escape format. The 7:1 aspect ratio is the widest of any format in 100 years. Three 2K DCPs are projected in sync onto 3 full-sized movie screens to create an incredibly immersive viewing experience.
On top of that, we also had to deliver a 2.76:1 aspect ratio (same as the 70mm version of “The Hateful Eight”) theatrical version for traditional one-screen theaters. That meant two complete separate feature film edits to accommodate for the different framings of each format.
After all that…there was one more surprise that Scotty had waiting for me…
The first time I heard “Fuck The Pain Away” was in Sofia Coppola’s film
LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003) starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. Great use of music to create an awkward moment in the strip club scene!
Canadian musician PEACHES wrote and recorded the song in 2000
for her album THE TEACHES OF PEACHES. I love the song, love her music, love her approach to life and finally had a chance to see her live.
On a cold night at Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown…PEACHES brought the thunder. Sick show. I recorded the performance on my iPhone 6S Plus and decided to cut a video the next morning.
My goal was to try to make the most interesting video with only my one angle of footage shot from the side of the outdoor stage. I took it as a creative challenge to see what I could come up with. I also chose to not use 3rd party plug-ins and only use the built-in effects of Premiere Pro.
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…