Slow Brew Compilation Edit

Laury Dizengremel

Not exactly a key-word-rich title, but I kind of like it. Just came to mind as I sat down.

My wife is a sculptor who has worked on many prestigious projects and hobnobbed with some important people and celebrities over the years.

Occasionally I’ve been around and was able to get an interview or two on tape to add to a growing list of B roll shots I had been accumulating in the past few years.

Finally, with 3 interviews and some recent interesting footage with the Duchess of Rutland and Alan Titchmarch, I thought it was time to throw something together that didn’t require interviewing Laury. I’d just let these other people do the talking this time.

As I usually do, I edited the interviews to provide the narrative that would drive the video, then added appropriate B roll, titles and music. Pretty standard fare. For those interested, it was all done on the Sony HXR NX30–except a few rocky shots that were shot in China by someone else.

Something interesting happened though–of no great importance, but interesting just the same.

I had recently completed a corporate video. I spent quite some time searching for the right piece of music for it on Audio Jungle (my favorite music site) and finally found a piece that was not only perfect for the video, it was the perfect length. Double perfect. It was the only time I ever added music that I didn’t also have to edit to fit. It just fit perfect and, unbelievably, did all the right things in all the right places–just as if it were written for my video.

I really liked that piece of music and, in the back of my mind as I was editing Laury’s video I hoped I might be able to use the same piece of music–something I don’t normally do.

As I got the final length established (by the narrative along with beginning and end titles) I glanced down at the total length. Amazingly, it was the same length as that last corporate video I did, and amazingly that same piece of music dropped in on this video without any need of editing.

Quadruple perfect.

More Bang for the Buck

I thought I had covered this in the book Run ‘n Gun Videography–The Lone Shooter’s Survival Guide, but on quick review, it appears that I didn’t.

So here we go.

If you’ve read the book, you know how I go about shooting corporate videos. In short, I do an extensive interview or interviews with the relevant people and then I shoot a lot of B roll of their business. A lot. Then, as a result of being thoroughly indoctrinated into the business (by reason of the interviews–which are usually with the Managing Director, other executives and sometimes staff), I edit the interviews down to a final length of about 3 minutes to forward the marketing message in the best way possible and then cover up the dozens of edits with relevant B roll. The ‘script’ is created from the narrative.

Producing Multiple Videos For Different Purposes (from the same content)

Anyway, in most cases it is quite possible to create multiple videos from the material obtained on a one or two day shoot. They don’t always ask for it, but I always point out that this can be done because I make sure to obtain adequate footage during the shoot day(s) to facilitate multiple videos. I’d do it anyway, because it’s always good to have lots of B roll to choose from, but of course, not all of it will get used.

Probably half the time they think this is a good idea. They’re already spending the money, and it won’t be that much more to get multiple videos for different purposes out of the spend. And that’s good because it can double your income or more, depending on how much they want and what you can do. They’re essentially paying for additional editing time–and frankly, after the initial editing process, the creation of further videos goes much faster as much of the basic work has already been done.

Case in point and the reason for this post…

I recently posted a sample video from a shoot where I said 11 videos were produced. The purpose of that post was to give an example of the interview -style approach I just mentioned above. But this was also an example of the client realising the benefit of obtaining additional video content from the paid shoot days.

I did three different kinds of videos for this client.

1) From his interview I created several different narrative-driven videos about specific top selling products.

2) We created several more videos that were simple demos of these products.

3) I then created an ‘overall’ video for his Home Page or About US page which used music and graphics to get across all the things that they do.

As a note, for the first two types of video I created a template to massively speed up the editing process. When done with one edit, I could simply copy-paste it into a new project, change out the narrative bits, change the wording of the title or graphics, adjust a few shots if necessary and adjust the music to the length of the new video. Also, each of the narrative versions had the same ending (where he talks about branding and ‘UK made’). This is because those different products would never really be seen by the same audience. People will tend to watch the product they are looking for and won’t know several other videos have the same ending. And if they did watch other product videos, so what?

It might be a bit tedious, but I’m going to string all the videos out below. You don’t have to watch them all, but it might be of interest to watch a few to see what I mean about creating a template.

As a note, all 11 edits were approved as submitted with no changes required.

The ‘Interview-driven’ series

 

The ‘Product Demo’ series

 

The ‘Overall’ graphics/music driven summary of the business

Chapter 12 and 16 Supplement

This video is a good example for various aspects of corporate video production in the style described on the book Run ‘n Gun Videography–specifically the use of an interview to produce the narrative script and the selection and editing of stock music to make it appear more as if it was specifically scored for your video.

This was a case study, so was longer than the usual video–meant as part of an information package along with other videos and case studies for PTA UK.

The original interview in this case was 70 minutes long. From that I produced this 6 minute version and another 9 minute version, the difference being the longer one started off talking specifically about how the student body was transformed from incorrigible and low grades to one of the most productive student bodies in all of England.

Because there was a lot of history it required some documentation to be able to cover edits in the interview. All I had for this was a small collection of low quality photographs given to me by the school. I was able to make them work to fit my holes. As to the quality, that will be forgiven by most viewers–if not all– because it is obvious that they are old snap shots documenting parts of the history of the school.

The rest of the many edits done to produce this narrative were covered by my own B roll. Notice how the use of ‘walking shots’ B roll can be used to cover just about anything compared with other B roll shots that were more relevant to what was being said.

This was also one of a very few videos where I used two completely different pieces of music, the first covering the beginning of the video in which the ‘problem’ is discussed, and the second more upbeat piece covering the 2nd half of the video which covers the ‘solution’.

This was shot on the Sony PXW X70 in AVCHD mode and can be watched in 1080 HD.

Corporate Video Sample

This is another sample of utilizing royalty-free music in such a way that it appears to be scored specifically for the video as covered in Chapter 16 Notes on Music.

It is also an example of a different utilization of interview narrative by an end-user (testimonial) covered in Chapter 12 Corporate Shoot-outs. In this case I had 45 minutes of interview which could have been cut into a full description of the production line and all its benefits with further descriptions of how the contractor set up this massive production line while the facility was still in full production on the old line–an impressive feat.

That edit, however, would have been anywhere between 5 and 7 minutes–far longer than needed to get the marketing message across. So I opted to use the narrative as a book-end to the video (a good beginning piece and a good ending piece) with the full production line featured for most of the video using descriptive graphics suggested by me and then modified slightly by the client who loved the approach.

That gave us a 3 minute video which still accomplished it’s purpose for anyone who might be looking to invest in the automation of a large plant.

Notice that it is the choice of music and how it was used in the edit that makes it all work. This was shot on the Sony PXW X70 in AVCHD mode. It is also the first time I used the LED light panels that I will be doing a review on shortly.

The following video was directed and produced by Leapfrog Marketing (Alan Myers – 0116 278 7788) in association with The Video Whisperer.

Chapter 12, Corporate Shootouts–Supplement

Chapter 12 covers various aspects of producing an interview-driven video. Specifically it covers a method of producing a corporate video without prior scripting.  For that to work, Chapter 12 puts a lot of attention on a workable approach to conducting interviews.

Good interview content, edited properly, can give you a much more sincere (and believable) narrative than any ‘scripted’ attempt because ‘scripts’ are best carried off by professional actors and presenters. The only problem there is that most people can spot them a mile away, so it’s a two-edged sword: Local talent are terrible at pulling off scripts and professional talent betray themselves as professional presenters reading script.

On this page I’m going to use an example of my latest corporate video done for a company called Axiom which was subcontracted by another company (Logistex) which was coordinating a number of construction activities on the Superdrug distribution site.

You will notice that no person from Axiom appears in the video. This is, in fact, a testimonial-type video whereby the end user (Superdrug) and the prime contractor (Logistex) are giving testimony on Axiom’s behalf.

For those interested, this is a training exercise, so is therefore presented as a case study for the corporate video model laid out in Chapter 12 of Run ‘n Gun Videography.

I will first link to the video itself so that you can watch it and then follow up with some screen shots of the editing timeline to illustrate a few points along with some additional comments.

Let me start off with a comment about something you will notice in the first 15 seconds of the video: You will notice that you’ll hear the narrative content (voice) a full 15 seconds before you ever hear the person talking. That’s longer than I would normally do, but in this case the specific reason you don’t see the person is that the first 15 seconds of narrative had 8 edits in it–mainly cutting out ‘ums’, ‘ahhs’ and longer than desirable pauses. That was necessary to build an introduction from the interview material available.

Here’s a screen shot of the beginning of the timeline showing the 8 edits in the first 15 seconds.

Narrative edit sample 1 (1)

The real key to seamless editing of interviews is to do it in such a way that no one would know there were any edits there by listening. It should sound to the listener as if that’s exactly how it was spoken live in the first place.

Here’s the video:

As described in the chapter, the first step after importing the full interview content is to mix the audio if necessary. That’s because you’re about to cut it up into a lot of pieces. If you mix the audio afterwards, you’re going to have to apply the mix to all the individual pieces, so this is an elementary time-saving step. In the case of this video, there were two interviews totaling about 25 minutes of material.

(for some reason I notice that the audio of the second person sounds very sibilant on this upload–something I’m going to have to look into when I get home)

After mixing the sound on the two interviews I then went through each and cut out all of the extraneous and unusable or irrelevant material (such as all my questions and bantering) leaving only the material that I would be drawing from to construct the narrative.

While I did each interview in separate projects, I’ve combined them here on the same timeline for ease of illustration. That’s the 17 minutes of material I would be working with to create the narrative.

interview bites

The next series of steps are a process of moving those pieces around into an order that will tell the story you want to tell. For example, you’ll find certain things suitable for possible beginning bits and others for possible ending bits. You just shuffle them around roughly in this fashion.

Once you’ve got things more or less in order, now start deciding what the best and most relevant material is and what the worst or least relevant material is. Once you’re certain you won’t be using certain bits, start deleting them.

Now you may find your 17 minutes of material is down to 9 minutes. But you’re going for a 3 minute video, so there’s lot’s more to do.

In this fashion, you start building your narrative out of the most relevant pieces. At this point you’re not concerned with any flaws in delivery such as um’s and ahs or other peculiarities such as always starting a sentence with ‘yeah…’ or any number of other quirks. You just was to see if you can put together a cohesive story that gets the point across. In other words, you’re concerned with message.

Sometimes you will find the same thing was said in two different ways at different times. Take the best of the two and delete the other.

Keep paring it down and clarifying the message.

Finally, when you’ve got your content down to the right length for your video (there’s no hard and fast rule except that the content should maintain interest for the prospective target viewer–in this case, someone looking for an industrial sortation system), now you can start fine-tuning it.

If you haven’t already, decide where you want to guy to absolutely appear on camera. The rest of the interview is fair game for editing. Now you can start slicing and dicing to remove the unwanted pauses, the self-corrections (happens a lot–they’ll start talking and then start over repeating what they just said, they’ll say a word wrong and correct themselves, etc.). You can freely trim all that stuff out and pace it all nicely together (even if you have to add small gaps in the narrative when things seem to run together too quickly).

By the time you’re done with that, you’ve probably cut out another 10, 15, or 20 seconds or more. You haven’t changed the content, but you’ve cleaned it up and clarified it.

Naturally when you get to the step of covering up all those edits with B roll, you will have to have some relevant B roll to cover those points so that it too is contributing to the flow of the story.

In this video you can probably tell that the first person who speaks was at ease with the process and interested in telling the story. The second person was more self-conscious and required more editing to smooth out his narrative. You can see it in the following screen grab from the timeline:

Narrative edit sample 2 (1)

Incidentally you can also see a place where I added in a small gap in the narrative for reasons I can’t remember, but which improved the overall narrative. You’ll also notice at the very bottom a piece of track in there which overlaps the gap. That’s room ambience that I recorded (which contained the factory noise in the background) so that the gap wouldn’t suddenly go ‘quiet’ and betray itself.

And while the subject of a different chapter in the book, you can also see where I extended the music track by finding a phrase of music that I could repeat at this point in the video so the music ending would correspond with the end of the video.

There’s nothing particularly novel or revolutionary about this approach. Editors have been doing this for a long time, but for those of you working on your chops, I hope you will have found this to be useful.

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