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Archive for October 16th, 2009

I find myself in the familiar confines of the video edit room. Specifically I am  in the jump seat, that second chair situated close enough that the editor can smell your Thai-food breath and feel your project-completion anxiety.

I am working with Charleston’s Unimedia to cut together Project X for the Huge Faceless Healthcare Manufacturer. And, I’ll tell you, it’s the full meal deal. My involvement so far has entailed:

  • Meetings, Correspondence and research
  • Writing the narration
  • Writing the interviews
  • Conducting the interviews (in Indiana, no less,)
  • Choosing the quotes
  • Getting (or NOT getting) approvals
  • Sifting thru online stock footage suppliers
  • Choosing kickass military stock footage (& being charged 3 times for it!)
  • Photoshopping a bunch of portraits
  • Shooting some pick up shots here around Charleston and, finally
  • Edit Day (one of two or three, I am guessing.)

So, how was edit day? We had the usual technical difficulties to begin with, ones that happen every single time and are largely expected. The problem is that it has been a LONG time since I had a project this big, so when 10:30 rolls around and you are ALMOST fixin’ to get ready to begin…you start to sweat! But eventually we got rolling and proceeded apace.

Aside from the technical aspects, there are also the work-style issues to consider. I have known RA for years now, but we have only actually worked together a couple of times. He is a 1-man shop used to hammering an edit out by his lonesome, without much explanation. Historically speaking, so am I.

Before I was a writer, I was a producer/director/shooter/lighter/editor in a 2-man shop. I did not have the time nor the inclination to explain my every move…and really never had to. One of my chief talents was convincing the client that there was nothing more boring than watching someone edit, so there was no reason to attend.

These days, it’s a different handicap.  I communicate with the written word almost exclusively. So there were a couple of humorous moments (as in, NOW we can look back and laugh) where I tried to explain my “vision” of quarter-frame portraits dissolving up, top-left, while zooming forward and fading out just in time for the next element to appear bottom right and…well, let’s just say there was a slight communications gap. I can’t speak for the editor, but I was more amused by it than I was frustrated. The irony? Finally he said, “Just let me explain what I am seeing here…” And he described exactly what I was looking for!

In the end, we churned out a fully-realized, damn near complete piece in 8 hours. We have 3 more to do, but we have made 90% of the style and execution decisions so, one would hope (pray) that the rest go quickly. My hope is that I will have access and permission (but mostly access) to share these pieces with you when they are complete.

So that’s the story so far. Someday I will have to tell you about the 26 OTHER balls I kept in the air this week!*

*heh-heh…balls!

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