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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!


Feedback on Editing…

Throughout the editing process, Emelia and I showed our teachers and classmates our film opening so far. Each time, we received constructive criticism and also positive feedback that allowed us to fine-tune our opening. With the feedback being from so many different people, Emelia and I hoped that we could perfect our film opening due to the range of suggestions. Some of these suggestions included…

  • Audio: Our diegetic sound was not consistent throughout our opening. This was because the volumes varied too much and so to fix this Emelia and I had to note down which volumes were too high or too low and had to alter them . For example, towards the beginning of the opening the young girl is shown to be opening the blinds. At first, the sound of the blinds opening was way too loud and so we had to turn this down. On the other hand, there were some diegetic sounds that we wanted exaggerated such as the footsteps crunching in the leaves; this is because this creates tension and depth into the shot.
  • Time Frames: In our opening we show the young girl making breakfast. However, we include the shot of her putting the toast in the toaster immediately followed by the shot of her taking it out already toasted. Our classmates said that this confused them slightly as it does not take that short amount of time to toast bread! In order to get over this, I added a fade. This indicates time passing and so brings back a sense of time to the opening. I also added in a fade in-between the two shots of the young girl retrieving the tray as the immediate change of her walking direction also put off people. Once again, the fade displays the passing of time.
  • Direction of Steps: In the outside scene, Emelia and I included various shots of the young girl’s feet walking. From feedback, it was clear that two of these shots were filmed the wrong way around in order for the opening to make complete sense. Although we could not go and film again, this could be easily rectified as we could simply flip the shots. When showing our film opening to the class after doing so, people agreed that it looked correct and made sense.
  • Length of Opening: Emelia and I started out with a lot of footage, if not too much! Because of this, our 2 minute opening was looking as if it was going to be around the 4 minute mark. We needed to cut down drastically and so looked for advice into which parts to cut. We were advised not to include so many different angles of the same shot and not to have shots of unnecessary things. We were then advised to cut down the individual clips so that the film opening would flow more.
  • Non Diegetic Sound: In our penultimate screening, it was suggested that Emelia and I turned up our non diegetic soundtrack slightly as in some places you could not hear it due to the exaggerated diegetic sounds. This was not hard to change but changed the tone of our film opening quite heavily… however, Emelia and I feel as though it changed it for the better.

As well as constructive criticism, the class gave us positive feedback. Overall, they liked the brightness of our shots and stated that the opening made perfect sense. However, the aspect that received the most feedback was on our final shot. People asked how we created it and when we explained they were fairly intrigued and impressed. Overall, Emelia and I were extremely grateful for the feedback given to us from our classmates and teachers. It allowed us to have various characters viewing our film and also allowed a fresh eye to pick out the silly mistakes that we may have missed from watching close up on the small screen. With this feedback, Emelia and I hope to create a professional film opening to be proud of!

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…!

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…

Opinions On Animated Storyboards…

Emelia and I were happy with our animated storyboards because to us, it all made sense and we felt as though the flow was fairly decent for a film within the genre of a thriller. However, we began to wonder whether or not our animated storyboard and, ultimately, plot for our opening made sense to other. Because of these queries, we decided that it would be best to show our animated video to family and friends and note their viewpoints and opinions.

Firstly, we asked for opinions surrounding the pace of our 2 minute opening. From asking, we received varying answers. However, on the whole most people agreed that what we had was a believable pace for a thriller film. When we asked why they thought this, the majority of replies said that it was because “it helped to give a creepy or foreboding atmosphere” (Sally, 16). In complete comparison to this, some people said that the pace gave an almost “safe” atmosphere. Although at first rather baffled by the huge contrast between the two opinions, Emelia and I were not too worried as both of these opinions could work to our advantage. For example, the “creepy or foreboding atmosphere” could work to our advantage as it would help our film opening of it within our desired genre, thriller. On the other hand, the “safe” atmosphere could work to our advantage as the setting and location of our opening is meant to give off this feeling at first in lead up to the shock and twist at the end.

We then asked our family and friends whether or not they understood the plot of our film because we felt as though it only made sense to us as we know the background of each frame. The majority of people said that they understood what was going on throughout the scene and understood the movement and actions of the character completely. However, others mentioned that they were confused whether there was one or two young girls. When asking them why they thought this, it was clear to Emelia and I that the source of the confusion was due to the fact that the two of us have varying drawing technique and did not draw the young girl exactly the same as each other. This is something that we would consider changing if we were to re draw these storyboards, however as a whole we are happy with this feedback as we were extremely worried as to people would be able to tell what had been drawn because of the fact that neither of us are the most amazing of artists.

Overall, Emelia and I are happy with the feedback that we have received from our friends and family. We are now excited to use the animation when filming as we believe that it will be extremely useful in the chaos of it all!

Screenplay Version 3…

Emelia and I are now happy with our screenplay. Although we have still not come up with a title, we can add this in later on in the process. Our third version is not a whole lot different from our second version. However, we have decided that we would like our song at the end to be a distorted and creepy version of ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’. We have chosen this because it shall tie our opening together as it will relate to earlier on where the young girl is heard to be humming the nursery rhyme. It also adds tension and a sense of fear to our opening which is what we are aiming for due to our chosen genre. We once again showed people our final version four screenplay and with the exception of a lack of a title, thew feedback was all positive. We plan to use this screenplay in order to help us film the opening. It shall also give our actors an idea of what we need them to do. Here is the final version of our screenplay…Script-4.jpg

Script-4 (1).jpg

Script-4 (2).jpg

Final Script.jpg