Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

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Montage

Every time I start editing a project, I am tickled by how much technology has made the filmmaker's job much easier. I had found the hard drive on the camera useful during shooting because I could easily refer to an earlier shot if I needed to reference continuity or make the eyelines match. But it is in editing that the true advantage of a hard drive based system becomes apparent. Sandy and I accomplished in a matter of hours what it would take days to have done if we had been working on film or even on DV tape with none of those oh-so-wonderful synch loss issues that occur when you've left a blank space on the DV tape to boot. All of the footage was laid out on the hard drive, and it was easy enough to peruse it and compare takes.

I do not miss the Steenbeck or that sticky tape one bit.

An interesting aspect to the way that we did sound came up; rather than wasting one of our crewmembers on the thankless, annoying task of boom operator (a tiring job that nobody acknowledges unless something is going wrong), simply I put the Sennheiser on a mic stand. This meant that regardless of which direction we were shooting, the microphone was always in the same place. The sonics are extremely consistent not only from shot to shot, but from set-up to set-up within each scene, which will make cutting the audio much easier. And for the most part, the sound is crystal clear (I love that microphone).

One of the things I like most about editing is that as a director I can start to see everything that I've done start to come together into something cohesive. Choices that I made months ago with respect to style and performance begin to bear fruit, not to mention how sides of phone conversations shot months apart are so easy to fit together... Oh, and all the footage shot over the past two weekends makes a hell of a lot more sense to Sandy now that it's all in some form of perspective!

I'm also seeing this footage I've been living with for months in a new light in a different way as well. We were shooting for the 'scope aspect ratio, but up until now I've been looking at raw footage on my monitor with dead space to accommodate the wider frame than high def's native 16:9; this causes even more active shots to look somewhat static. I am never shooting at the Academy ratio again if I can help it. This is not so much because I dislike 1.33:1, but because I've always found the 2.35:1 ratio to be more versatile than any other, allowing for such things as single shots that contain multiple close-ups, showing characters in their environment, or just more opportunities for interesting shot compositions.

I've mentioned this before, but Orson Welles' comment about cinema, "This is the biggest electric train set a boy ever had!" rings true. Making a film is hard and intense work, but there really is nothing that can compare to it.
Tags: audio, cinema, filmmaking, high def, orson welles, the early mixes
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