Editing

Using the 2nd and 3rd interviews I collected on Monday (see here), I practiced my editing by trying to create a short piece of video that presented the opinions of the people questioned.

Having had an induction into Adobe Premiere the week earlier, I aimed to get to grips with the various tools again (which are pretty much the same as the ones I had been using in Final Cut last year), to create meaning from the footage I’d collected. I wanted to mix together the their different points of view to create a the effect of a balanced discussion, to create an interesting piece of video with the material I had gathered.

What I did:

  • First I cut my voice out of the footage. I then cut the footage into individual sections, isolating the answers to different questions. I cut out every thing that was ‘waffley’, or did not make sense. I then had chunks of video, which I could move about to create a sense of progression through the topic, with a beginning, middle and end to the discussion.
  • I tried to alternate between the different interviews, to break up long sections of speech from one person, increasing the pace, in order to keep the viewer engaged. Where the girls spoke about similar issues I would edit these together so to create a logical order.
  • I tried to put the more broad/general points of speech at the beginning of the video, where the issues were being outlined, and edited the more important, more emotive points of discussion towards the end of the video. I wanted the final section to be one which seemed conclusive, and not too open ended, so that the viewer was left with some kind of message.

Problems:

  • I found the material hard to edit, as the points made were too long and ‘waffly’, so it was hard to cut out the irrelevant stuff and keep the important bits without the video and audio jumping about. I was too chatty in the interview, and so their answers didn’t end up making sense (once my voice was cut out). This has left me to think that perhaps this informal interview style will only work if I am in the scene with them in a talk-show style, where responses are part of the interview.
  • I don’t feel as if I edited the footage well, but I feel as if the final video would have been easier to create had my interview technique been a better standard. Fading the audio and visuals between shots was a challenge since I had to abruptly cut waffly speech out. My camera work was poor as well, having not really considered lighting, audio and framing which meant that both aspects looked really low quality regardless of my attempts to edit these using filters, cropping or audio gain levels.

Despite this first attempt being a bit of a failure it has taught me a great deal about the importance of getting certain aspects of documentary right, particularly interview technique, audio clarity, lighting and framing. I know to work on these in future attempts which will hopefully enable me to be more creative in editing, allowing me to develop my editing skills further.

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