All posts in Editing

Standup Reminder

I rarely sit down from call time to wrap during film production. But when editing, the reverse is true, and I find that’s far worse for the body.

Here’s a reminder program I built to run in the corner of my desktop.

standup1

When the blue dial lights up (every 12 minutes), I drink water; the green dial (30 minutes), I stand up and stretch for a moment; yellow (55 minutes), I take a walk and look outside.

standup2

Times are adjustable. If you ignore a reminder and it goes around twice, it turns red. Click on the dial to reset.

It works!

The Standup Reminder uses a few simple UI elements in the graphical programing language Max. I was able to export it as a standalone Mac App for anyone who wants to give it a go, although it’s 73 MB for some reason (the price of using Max for something so simple). Download that here.

If you have Max, download the patch here.

Or copy and paste this into a patcher window:


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Digitizing Again

I’ve just digitized my 73 hour-long mini DV tapes from 1998… again. It’s footage for a documentary about English change ringing, shot on a Sony VX-1000 camera.

I had access to a Media-100 system for a few months when I returned to the States, beginning this project’s post production odyssey.

brdvtapes

That editing system had a massive 12-gigabyte hard drive array (one hour of DV footage is just over 13 gigs), so the initial round of digitizing was selective and very low resolution.

It was years before a personal editing system was affordable. Since then, I’ve made rough cuts of scenes in Final Cut Pro and Avid.

Now, a 2 TB drive is fairly cheap, so I just imported it all at DV resolution with Adobe Premiere. I’m not working with the footage just yet, but now I can backup multiple copies of the raw. Always a good thing.

New Yorker Sidewalk Projection

Andrew Baker and I created the visuals for the poetry segment of The New Yorker Presents pilot, by projecting archival video onto a sidewalk, stoop, and fence.

stoopshoot

The segment is an excerpt from Matthew Dickman’s poem “King”, which begins:

… So I put on my black-white
checkered Vans, the exact pair of shoes
my older brother wore when he was still a citizen in the world,
and I go out, I go out into the street
with my map of the dead and look for him…

The poem is recited by Andrew Garfield in a studio setting, intercut with home movie footage of a different young man and older brother who had passed away. Director Dave Snyder wanted to give the video a stylized treatment, so I suggested going out into the street, literally, as described in the text.

Here’s my projector rig booting up on the sidewalk:

And here’s a quick clip of the final product from the show’s trailer:

We shot the video with a 5DMkIII on a slider, with Zeiss and Canon lenses.

I also edited the final segment. The entire episode is streaming in the 2015 batch of Amazon Original Series pilots, which you can watch here. Watch the entire trailer and read more about The New Yorker Presents on the Jigsaw Productions website.

World of Jenks season 2

Season two of World of Jenks was just given an official air date on MTV — March 2, 2013, at 11:00 pm. Here’s the trailer:

World of Jenks¬†was a rewarding show to work on because all of the young people we followed are really out there, doing their thing. They didn’t show up to reality TV casting: the Jenks production team tracked them down. And everyone creating the show was on the same page, wanting to make good, inspiring, honest, and entertaining material.

In season one, each post-production producer / editor team was responsible for assembling a few full episodes, each standing alone as a mini documentary following a different person. The mandate from the network was just to make it as awesome as possible, so we never had to force any of the stories into a mold.

In season two the format changes. Instead of 10 unique half-hour episodes, it’s been expanded to an hour, and we follow three people throughout the entire season. In a way, it was almost more like cutting a season one show than season one, since we had the season-long story arcs to consider, on top of the individual episodes and acts. We also had to figure out how three different people’s stories would intercut, with Andrew Jenks as the common thread. As a result, we get much more in-depth with everyone. It turned out well.

This time, each producer/editor team was responsible for one of the people we followed throughout the season, and a fourth editor assembled these pieces into full episodes. I edited Kaylin. She’s amazing.

Here’s the Kaylin trailer for the show (the audio is messed up on the first voice-over, but stick with it).

Kaylin’s a 27-year-old fashion designer, who moved from San Francisco to New York City during the year when the show filmed. Her plans to pursue her career earlier was stopped by the diagnosis and treatment of not one, but two cancers. She’s fearless in sharing her story and cutting through bullshit, and I can’t wait for this to air.

Unfortunately, since the show wrapped, Kaylin’s initial cancer returned. She’s now in treatment at Sloan Kettering in New York, receiving the best care possible. World of Jenks has set up a Kaylin website, which includes a link to the blog she’s been keeping since day one: Cancer is Not Funny: Cancer is Hilarious.