After all the footage is captured for a film/video project, the video editor holds the most powerful set of tools to set the tone, create interest, and to move the story forward in a logical format. Shot angles are chosen, bad shots are tossed or fixed, and the sequence of events are adjusted to retain viewer curiosity and build through the climax to conclusion.
I’ve found in working with editors that they bring their own sense of perspective to the table, and a director must acknowledge that. Read more…
Here are two great links for authors and screenplay writers to follow in creating meaningful stories. Each enforces itself with the visual as well, though in varying forms, so take your pick of preference:
Every year, thousands head to Los Angeles, CA with the hopes of becoming icons for the film industry. Those that are in the mix will you tell you it’s certainly not as easy as one would think. Overnight success is a rarity, and very few find the gleaming lights of public notoriety and stardom. If one wants to navigate properly through the maze of connections he or she can find help from those who have already found some success in the business.
Enter, Hollywood Connect. Hollywood Connect (HC) exists to “[equip] creative artists and professionals to thrive personally and professionally in the arts, media, and entertainment industries” (HC website). HC hosted a well-attended Q&A with Mr. Mark Atteberry recently, and in this gathering, Shun Lee Fong led discussion and then fielded several questions from the audience to get Mark’s responses. I took notes feverishly and thought to share the wisdom – with Mark’s approval, of course. Read more…
I ran across a great podcast/audio blog post on JohnAugust.com regarding cutting pages in the screenwriting process and thought to take notes on it for those who prefer the reader’s digest version.
Most screenwriters spend their days creating multiple pages, adding them up until they find out that they have so much more to tell beyond their typical/average 120 page (feature-length) allotment. Likewise, for television, guidelines are tighter, since time constraints for each episode are impassable. Obviously, the tempo is important, Read more…
Okay, first, watch “I Need a Car” and see the clip on facebook, then read how it was completed.
I usually don’t do stuff last minute, but it must have been fate that I was thinking about WJXT’s Morning Jam Contest when I was approached by a guy who asked me to help him win a car. Unfortunately, I only had two days to complete the project. GULP! So, I threw all caution to the wind and did a true “run-n-gun” production. Read more…
Most anyone who produces anything (books, videos, toys, cars) can tell you the three major forces that are constantly tugging at each other: Cost, Time, and Quality. Essentially, you can pick two of these items, but the third will be pulled from the sum of the other two. For instance, if I choose to do a quickly done project with high quality, I should expect to pay more for it. Similarly, choosing to go on a reduced budget within a short timeframe, I should expect to find a sacrifice in quality. The opposite is true if I choose a high budget and a longer production time – quality will certainly go up.
For some time I’ve prided myself in the fact that I’ve been able to still provide quality in spite of a lack of time or funding in most of the productions that I’ve been asked to produce. However, in taking a closer look at the three pulls, they do little to recognize the intrinsic value of the artist(s) involved in the project. Let me explain. Read more…
A few months ago, Sony followed three film students from the United Kingdom as they competed for the best edit of a trailer for the film, “Priest.” Of these, Mr. Joshua Sanger stands triumphant. You can see details and read my critique of each of their edits in the competition here. Just recently, I learned that Joshua is about set for his awaited venture to Sony Studios where he will be fortunate to meet top execs and to observe daily activities at the studio. For many young filmmakers, this is a dream come-true, or maybe better, a dream getting ready to begin. Even though I won’t be there, I took some time to think about items that I would do if I were Joshua. Here are my thoughts (in both serious and entertaining ventures)…
Questions to ask:
- Economy has had an impact on filmmaking over the last few years. How has that affected your decision-making process? What criteria do you consider to determine if a film will be successful in theaters?
- What are the top qualities you look for in up-and-coming producers and directors? Are there any personality traits you’ve seen that stand out?
- How were you (speaking to execs) able to find your way through the ranks to get to your position? Was it chance timing, planned effort, or others with vision that helped you through?
- To the budding filmmaker who thinks he/she has what it takes, what is one piece of advice you would give them to follow if they are going to be successful?
- What is Sony’s vision/goal for creating entertainment? Is a sense of vision important? How does your vision impact day-to-day activities for both yourself and employees?
- What do you do that separates you from other film studios, and how is that niche maintained?
- What is your favorite film to go out in the past 3 years?
- What future films are in the works that you are really looking forward to seeing in the theaters?
Things to Do:
- Walk of stars (of course!)
- In-depth tour of Sony Studios and production work (a free-be this time).
- Hollywood & Beverly Hills Tour
- Try a couple west coast fast food locations: In and Out Burger and Jack-in-a-Box and review your experience.
- I’d really entertain spending some time with some everyday employees, too, since they are the backbone of the company. Consider having a pizza party with a group of grips or spending some time with some editors to find out how they’ve gotten to where they are.
- If you really get bored, then find some time to shoot and then edit yourself into a scene from the upcoming ‘Amazing Spiderman,’ climbing a wall or something.
Challenges (on a not-so-serious note, but might still be worth trying):
- Rent an exotic sports car and cruise down Mulholland Drive. Consider a call to Top Gear (USA or UK) or Jay Leno to see if they can match your time through the bends. Otherwise, maybe you can challenge Will Smith, but he has to wear a suite from a Men in Black film.
- Try to find and pull a yellow brick from stage 27.
- Measure Stage 15 with toothpicks. How many would be used around its perimeter? (Stage 15 happens to be the second largest sound stage in the world. It was used
- Climb to the top of the Sony Studios water tower and repel back to the ground.
- Attempt to find an open office and move your stuff into it. After you’ve done that, find me one and set it up for my arrival.
Here’s an article that was recently written by Christian Bell, pointing out several production errors that keep the editor from a successful cut: 6 Ways Directors Screw Editors. This somewhat mirrors one of my earlier posts on a similar subject: Things Editors Wish Directors Would Do.