Tag Archives: Editing

Production Log: The Editing Process

Now that Emelia and I FINALLY have our footage we can begin editing. We have completely scrapped our original opening as we want to have a fresh start in the hope of a much more successful opening! Once again, Emelia and I are editing on Final Cut Pro X. We have used this many times before and so can jump straight in with beginning editing again. Due to the fact that Emelia and I decided to refilm our entire opening, we are even more pushed for time as groups around us are finishing editing before we have even begun!

Firstly, we had to import all of our new footage. We have made a completely new folder on the desktop as well in order to keep all of our version two separate from our version one. We then had to import all of the sound. This time around, we had lots to import and match to clips. The first thing that Emelia and I did was to create a rough cut…

For this, we once again solely focused on the order of the clips so that we could receive feedback on the filming and storyline rather than syncing of sound and fonts! Luckily, people agreed with us that our second go around was better than our first. We were extremely happy with this; however, our rough cut was 3 minutes 12 seconds long and we needed to cut it down to 2 minutes! In order to do so, Emelia and I began by cutting out the footage that was necessary. For example, we have many different shots of Rosie walking up and down the stairs. For actions such as these, the audience do not need a visual example of it in order to understand what is going on. Because of this, we cut out quite a few shots of everyday actions. The next area that we focused upon was the breakfast making part. This took up a large portion of the opening and so we had to fine tune this heavily. However, once cut down, this aspect to the opening did not make perfect sense as the bread seemed to be toasting in a millisecond. This was because the shot of Rosie putting the bread into the toaster was immediately followed by the shot of her taking it out, fully toasted. In order to resolve this I added in a fade in order to display the passing of time. I also did this in-between the shots of Rosie getting the tray where her direction of walking changes immediately. After cutting out many shots, Emelia and I decided to cut down the beginning and ends of many as they were necessarily long. This actually helped with the overall flow of our film opening as the lengths of shots were perfected.

Our next task was to import our two idents. Once imported, Emelia and I moved them onto the timeline of our opening. Of course they went right at the beginning and after one another. However, I added in a fade before the first one and in between the two as this helped with the flow even more. Without the fade, the transition between the two idents was too sudden and too sharp. We then had to create the parts of the film labelling the production company, names of director(s) and names of actors. As well as this, we had to add in the final title sequence! This was fairly easy due to our research into codes and conventions of film openings and fonts. In the end, Emelia and I went with a simple yet slightly gothic looking font; this fit in perfectly with our genre of thriller.

The next task was to add sound. Firstly, Emelia and I added in the diegetic sounds such as the footsteps, heavy breathing, rolling of the blind and footsteps crunching in the leaves. However, we focussed on the syncing of the sound rather than the volume as we believed that we should be worrying about that later with the non diegetic soundtrack layered over the top. When we were happy with the syncing of the diegetic sounds, Emelia and I searched the Final Cut Pro X sound effect menu for exaggerated sounds such as birds singing. We found an array of different birds singing but managed to pick the perfect one. We decided to add this in in the beginning and towards the end of the film opening in an attempt to bring it all together. We then had to add our soundtrack. This was fairly easy, however messed around with all of the other sounds as it, at first, drowned them all out. However, this did not last long as Emelia and I lowered the dynamics of the soundtrack so that you could hear the other sounds easily.

After this, I added in the gradual colour palette. To do this, I used an effect but set it so that it began to intensify at a constant yet steady pace from a certain moment up until the dead body. The blue, negative colour palette is at it’s most intense when the young girl is shown to be looking down at her dead Mother. This displays the emotions that she is feeling and shows that her whole world has just been turned upside down; this also allows the audience to feel empathy towards her as they feel connected through the tone of the ending.

After showing our classmates many times and watching it over and over again ourselves, Emelia and I feel as though our two minute film opening is finished. We are happy with it but believe that with more luck, more experience with the experience and a longer time period it could have been a whole lot better. However, with the endless problems that came my way, I am happy with what I managed to achieve!


More Sound…?

As well as a soundtrack, Emelia and I planned to include the nursery rhyme ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’. However, we could not find this specific nursery rhyme anywhere on the internet. Because of this, we knew that we would have to make this music ourselves. Because of this, we booked out one of the music rooms at school and some recording equipment from our media teachers. We then asked one of our peers whether or not he could play it for us whilst we recorded… he said that he would be happy to help! We sent him this in advance…


Oliver was happy to help and so we began recording. As a practice we asked Oliver to play a piece off the top of his head so that we could find the perfect spot to record from. In the background you can hear Emelia and I moving the recorder around as we found listened for the correct place to have it when recording ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’. Here is the practice piece…

After this, we asked Oliver to play ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’ as it is usually played. We asked him to do this as we planned to incorporate an original version towards the beginning of our opening in contrast to a slower version towards the end. Here is the normal version…

We then asked Oliver to play a more minor version. I suggested that he play an octave or two higher as often in horror films nursery rhymes are played in a much higher key as this sounds eery and mysterious. Emelia and I planned to use this piece towards the end as the girl finds her dead Mother’s body…

In the end, Emelia and I decided against using ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’ in our film opening. We imported the pieces into Final Cut Pro X and edited them into our opening. However, they did not sound right and didn’t fit with the flow of our film opening and so we decided not to include them. On the other hand, had we not tried it out we would have always been wondering whether or not it was going to work!

Rough Cut Version 2…

Now that Emelia and I had all of our footage, we could once again begin the editing process. The first thing that Emelia and I aimed to do was to create another rough cut so that we could show the class and our teachers our new footage. Emelia and I put the various clips together into an order that we deemed suitable. Our rough cut includes no sound, no music, no idents and no title. Because of this, it was quite hard for our classmates to give constructive criticism that we did not already know. However, they noticed the brighter lighting and focus on sticking to rules such as the 180 Degree Rule. Our first rough cut is over one minute longer than our film opening has to be and so Emelia and I have a lot of work to do. Here is our first rough cut of our second version opening…!

Gone Girl: Features

In order to understand the genre of ‘Thriller’ more thoroughly, I have decided to watch some well known films associated by this genre. Rather than write a review of the film, I am going to make a note of the various features used; this, for me, will be much more useful as I can refer back to this and incorporate the features found into my own film opening. Normally, I am not the hugest fan of this genre as I am scared fairly easily. However, I feel as though it is important for me to watch films from this genre and learn from them how to make our film opening more believable and professional. Gone Girl was released in 2014 and is categorised by a sub category of thriller, a psychological thriller. The film was directed by David Fincher and written by Gillian Flynn. Here is the trailer for Gone Girl…

  • The first thing that I noticed about Gone Girl was the dimly lit, cold colour palette. The colour palette itself is focused around colours such as blues and purples. These are colours often associated with negativity and sadness; this arguably sets the tone of the film as the audience are made to feel uncomfortable. It could also be foreboding events yet to come…
  • The length of shots are fairly short; this allows there to be more shots which is therefore resulting in a faster pace of the film. The pace of the shots could be matching a fast heart beat; this also makes the audience feel uncomfort as the heart beat increases as you feel fear.
  • During the first minute of the film, a contrast between narrative and picture is used in order to create a sense of discomfort and fear from the very beginning. The first thing that the audience hear are the words… “When I think of my wife, I always think of her head. Picture cracking her lovely skull, unspooling her brains, trying to get answers”. This disturbing narrative plays over the top of a scene of a couple in bed, calmly holding one another in their arms. This shot shows the vulnerability of the main character whilst the disturbing narrative played over the top suggests that something horrible is going to happen. Nick is shown to be stroking Amy’s head, his hand on her skull also suggests that he holds the control in the relationship and displays some sort of disturbing fantasy that he imagines, suggesting that there is something wrong with him psychologically. The scene then fades to black as the words “What have we done to each other” are spoken. This forebodes the rest of the film and leaves the audience with questions unanswered, feeling awkward and uncomfortable.
  • The structure of Gone Girl is fairly circular; this structure portrays the people within the film as they are trapped in this ongoing cycle. It could also represent that the characters are trapped within the expectations and ‘rules’ of society. The idea of being trapped also adds a sense of discomfort and terror.
  • The film plays on expected stereotypes and shows the true character of the people trapped under this stereotype. For example, the stereotypical blonde, pretty, fragile character (Amy), hides a dark personality under the expectations of society.
  • The majority of the film is filmed in dim light, if not then with a back light; this lighting creates a mysterious tone but could also represent the darkness that the characters have within them. The dark tones and lack of light adds discomfort as things always seem to be more cunning and unexpected when displayed this way.
  • The two characters, Amy and Dunne, have very different personalities. They seem to be binary opposites but are held together by the judgement of society as their relationship is fairly public. This adds discomfort as the two people are harming themselves and one another in order to keep up a reputation and the audience see how this pans out.
  • The main two characters in the film wear monochrome coloured clothing throughout. They are only seen to be wearing greys, blacks and whites. Not only does this match the colour palette of the film, but it also displays the emotions of the characters. It could also be argued that the clothes act as a barrier and so the plain and simple colours represent the characters trying to put across a ‘normal’ personality and life in society whilst they hid their true selfs.
  • The non diegetic sound throughout the film has been used to create an uncomfortable effect upon the audience. For example, the music played throughout the opening is fairly eery. The simple and somewhat whiny soundtrack matches the disturbing narration and portrays the discomfort felt by those in the film to those watching.
  • Diegetic sounds such as the expected sounds of nature, for example the cawing of a blackbird, are emphasised and exaggerated. This gives the film an eery tone and creates tension as it often feels as though something is going to happen.
  • The location of the film seems to be fairly run down and somewhat depressive. The run down buildings could represent the emotions of the characters and also creates a tense tone.

I did not expect to enjoy watching Gone Girl as often movies such as these scare me too much. However, I have surprised myself and enjoyed every second of the film. The various ways to look at the storyline have interested me and I plan to watch the film again sometime in order to look at it from a different perspective in order to see how this changes the film. The various features that I noted down from the film will help me when I am creating my own two minute opening as hopefully, it will seem much more professional by using these.

Research Into Fonts

Emelia and I decided to research into what sort of fonts are often used in film production. Here is a short blog post that Emelia wrote about the fonts often seen in horror film openings and why we chose the fonts that we did…

“We decided to research what fonts would be best suited for the opening title sequence of our film. We feel as though this is really important because it can be the reason for a film looking professional or not. For example we wouldn’t want to use Comic Sans as this would just look completely unprofessional.

We started our research by looking at other films title sequences and seeing what type of font they were using. We noticed that a lot of thriller films often use square looking letters that are only slightly noticeably tall and thin. We decided to use a font like this for our credits. We chose to have the credits quite small and in the centre of the screen because it looked much more dramatic and realistic that way.

For the idents we used much bolder fonts because we felt like they could seem more creative than the credits. For Lucent Pictures we just chose a large square looking font because it is similar to what other idents of that genre are like, for example Ghost House and Blumhouse. However for our Orchid House Productions ident we thought that the font could look a bit more eccentric because the ident itself was much more colourful than the rest of the film. So for this one we used a curly font to make it look much more extravagant and I think it matched quite well with the pink glow of the orchid.”


Rough Cut: Version 1

Although Emelia and I had no audio for our film opening, we did not want to waste our lesson time and so began making a rough cut on Final Cut Pro X. After a couple of lessons, Emelia and I had managed to put together a rough cut version of our film. This version solely included our footage put together in an order. We had not yet trimmed them down, imported our idents, added sound plus much more. The purpose of this was solely to put together our footage in an order that made sense in order to see whether it was good enough or not. A couple of lessons in, Emelia and I showed our rough cut to our teachers and peers in order to receive criticisms to make it better. We received a range of constructive criticisms that pushed us to make our next decision. Here are examples of some points made by our teachers and classmates…

  • The first thing that was noticed was that we had no audio. However, Emelia and I then explained the situation that we were in considering our sound and people understood. It was suggested to us that we make our own sound and fit it into the film opening. For example, we could record footsteps, humming and heavy breathing easily. On the other hand, it would be hard to get the sounds to sync perfectly with our original footage and so we had to think about our options concerning this matter.
  • The next issue noted was to do with our lighting. Although overall we received hugely positive feedback surrounding our lighting, when cutting to the shot of Rosie walking down the stairs, the lighting is significantly darker than the bright lighting in the rest of the film. To solve this issue, Emelia and I could simply not use this shot or could re film it.
  • It was also noticed that when getting up, our main character was already fully dressed! This was a mistake and adds an unprofessional image to our film and so we need to change this!
  • Another problem surrounded the issue of acting. When playing with her toys, Rosie seems to be quite awkward as though she does not know what to do with her toys. Because of this, Emelia and I will need to either not use this shot or think of another action that Rosie could do to pass her time… for example watching the television or colouring in a drawing.
  • Arguably one of the most important criticisms from our first rough cut surrounds the issue of the ‘180 Degree Rule’. When filming in Tom’s Grandma’s home, Emelia and I felt extremely awkward and so rushed our filming. Because of this, we had forgotten to consider theories and rules such as the ‘180 Degree Rule’. Our rough cut displays this particular rule being broken on two occasions. Emelia and I need to change this…!
  • We were then advised to focus on the length of some shots as they disturbed the overall flow of our film. However, Emelia and I had not yet got to the point where we had began to cut down our various shots and so agreed wholly with this statement.

Overall, our teachers and classmates were fairly positive concerning our first rough cut. They gave lots of feedback, both good and bad. Everyone agreed that our storyline made sense , but Emelia and I have lots of changes to consider. We will have to re film various shots in order to get the look that we want and in order to overcome some issues previously pointed out. Unfortunately, Emelia and I did not export our first version of the rough cut and so cannot put it on here…

Production Log – 4th of January

Today, Emelia and I had intentions to start editing our 2 minute film opening. However, we faced various problems…

Firstly, we managed to upload our footage successfully. However, it took a very long time because we had to use DropBox in order to get the majority of the footage off of my phone. Because of this, we had to download each shot individually, one by one. We then attempted to upload our sound recordings. However, we could not find our recordings anywhere on the memory card… In the end, our sound had not recorded due to there being no space on the sound recorder. Although this was a major downfall, Emelia and I thought that we could re make the sound effects in post production due to the lack of them. However, when trying to do so and matching it up to the actions on the screen, Emelia and I noticed that we would need to film again. On the other hand, we did not want to waste our media lessons up until the weekend and so decided to make a rough cut using the footage that we had. Later on that evening, I messaged Tom asking whether or not he and Rosie were free in the upcoming weekend. Unfortunately, due to the late notice, neither of them are free. On top of this, we have just been told that Tom’s Grandma has gone on holiday to Australia for five months and so we will not be able to film at her house in the future meaning that we will have to re shoot the whole film! However, determined not to waste time, Emelia and I have booked out the equipment for the weekend and plan to get as much footage of nature, frost and fields as we can…

Final Cut Pro X

Emelia and I will be using Final Cut Pro X to edit our film opening. Here is what Emelia found out about this software…

“The software that we used to edit our film on is called Final Cut Pro X and it allows you to import and export video and audio clips and layer them to create a professional quality film.


Final Cut Pro X has many features such as:

  • Unlimited audio tracks – This feature allowed us to layer multiple pieces of audio in order to create the right atmosphere for our film.
  • Various editing functions – such as; standard ripple, roll, slip, slide, scrub, razor blade and time remapping.
  • Transitions –  We used several transitions in our final product in order to create a smoother running film and make it more aesthetically pleasing.
  • A variety of filters – We looked through several filters in order to find one that portrayed the correct mood at the correct time. We found this feature really interesting and useful.

One of the most useful things that we discovered on Final Cut Pro X was the stabilization tool. This allowed us to limit the shakiness of the camera which was especially helpful because the ground where we were filming was unsteady and the bike method that we used gave a little bit of shake. However this helped to make our filming look much smoother.”

Emelia and I used Final Cut Pro X when making our music video for GCSE and for the various Preliminary Tasks for AS Level. Because of this, many actions came back to us and so we managed to work quickly and efficiently with the programme. However, just before editing Emelia and I watched a short tutorial on how to use Final Cut Pro X in order to remind us of the key functions and how to use the software to it’s best capability…


Emelia and I have decided to try and create the dandelion ident first as we feel as though it will be the easiest to create. We have chosen to create the ident through animation. In order to complete this, we are using an application called Motion. Motion is used to create create and edit motion graphics, titling for video production and film production. Unlike Final Cut Pro, I have not used this software before and have heard that it is quite tricky to get your head around. Because of this, I have watched a couple of introductory tutorials in order to reduce the amount of time wasted in lessons. This will also hopefully help me to create our idents to the best possible quality. 

Lucky You: Our Attempt…

Similarly to before when we recreated the opening to Reservoir Dogs, we were once again given the task to replicate a movie scene from “Lucky You”. Rather than working as a class, this time around we were put into groups. I was put into a group with Emily Jackson, Kieran Cross and Emelia Rodgers.  Unfortunately, I was off school on the days where my group planned and filmed the recreation of this scene due to illness. However, I was back for the lesson that we were given to edit. In this lesson, I was partnered up with Kieran. We found the given time period of one lesson to edit extremely difficult as not only did we have to edit the footage, Kieran had to explain to me what was going on! When watching the final, edited piece of footage you can tell that we were extremely rushed as there are many problems and issues. Firstly, there are many issues surrounding the audio. When editing, Kieran and I found it extremely difficult to find the correct pieces of audio for the correct piece of footage. However, we tried our best in the given time period. Another problem is the positioning of Kieran’s eyes. I was told that when filming, the script was written on the board behind as a prompt. When I was told this, it became clear that Kieran was reading the script off of the board when filming. There are various other problems with this recreation, however, with more time I feel as though Kieran and I could have done a much better job…