Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Editing TIme! Entry 7


Pretty much picking up were i left off with the last post, at around 9-9.30pm yesterday evening we took out the XD cam and a tripod to capture some additional establishing shots of the main casino location and the surrounding area. We was intending to get some dusk shots and full night time shots! but to say the least, what i feared and what did become very apparent, May is not the best time of the calendar year to wait around with a camera and a tripod for nightfall to occur as i experienced, and fully well realized that the sun does not set until well after 10-10.30pm. With that in mind, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the XD cam and its censor was not adequate enough to capture efficient footage in extreme low light conditions. So the footage we managed to capture was in more a dusk like condition.

Now seen as we were on track, i decided to try a technique that i had in mind to get a more visually stunning effect in post production. With me being in charge of the D.O.P Job on set, i thought it would be nice to get a set of visually pleasing establishing shots. The technique i had in mind shares a very similar workflow process to that of HDR image processing in still photography. By taking two exposures of an exterior shot, an under exposed composite for the sky, and a correct exposure for the foreground, i would then overlay the two exposures on to separate layers in Adobe After Effects, and mask out the under exposed foreground on the under exposed file. This would result in having a nice exposed foreground with a nice contrasted sky instead of being blown out.

The main workflow for this process was very successful as i did the exposures in a fixed position, however i would like to have done the same with moving footage but to do the same process with moving footage would be impossible unless you have a perfect duplicate of the shot with two separate exposures, plus it would be a nightmare to mask out.

Heres some teaser screenshots of my D.O.P Work in the new film:

To explain the images shown, the first screenshot is from one of the establishing shots to the main casino location and/or the "jazz club" as it is known in the film, were the main character plays gigs from time to time. This is the shot were i used the exposure technique i explained above. plus the addition of some nice color treatment, we have a successful HDR style shot, crediting my cinematography skills! i am very happy with it also! =D

The second clip is of a nice focus blur. it was a spur of the moment thing, that has now made it into he final cut. The shot consists of flickering lights coming in and out of focus, and we have now linked it to the fading career of the main support actor "brandy" so its acting as a visual reference to the life of the films "brandy" character"
In addition to yesterdays progress and todays progress, i have applied the establishing clips into the final cut, and they do a great job of slowing the pace down in much needed places, and setting the scenes moods nicely.


I ran into a major problem today, as we started to apply color editing to the clips, Apples final cut, pretty much had enough and grinded to a halt. This fault was being caused by huge files having very heavy effects applied to them, the software had no chance keeping up with the live rendering of the clips. To resolve the issue, i exported the clip and replaced in into the position of the reference clips from he scratch. Not ideal i know, but was the best option available considering the other option would have set the film back a week at least.

Apart from that we now look set to continue with color application, and finalize the sound and soundtrack! then ladies and gents, we may have finished with a bit of luck! fingers crossed!