Today I began editing the footage I shot last night. I thought I would start with the 2009 scene as this comes first chronologically. Also, it has the most shots, so technically it should be the most difficult scene to edit.

Editing the 2009 Scene

I started off by organising the footage roughly in order, without particularly focusing on length of shots. I also was careful to not pay too much attention to continuity issues at this stage. It ran through quite well actually, especially considering the amount of shots it has. From this rough organising of the footage, I could see that the most difficult parts of the scene to edit were going to be when Louise enters the cafe and the subsequent conversation between her and Ellen

There were numerous out-takes of the conversation between Louise and Ellen, meaning this part would likely take a long while to edit, especially when trying to upkeep continuity

Once the footage was organised, I trimmed down each shot so that I could see how long the scene was going to be when the conversation was flowing at a plausible pace. Unfortunately it came to around 1:34. This mean I had to further trim down various shots until I was happy with the length.

I then considered the quality of the footage. For example, I looked to see if there were any camera shakes, or distracting background items. I also looked to see if the acting in various clips interacted better with other clips in terms of tone and pacing within the conversation, I swapped these clips as appropriate.

I then considered sound. I edited the sound of some clips slightly due to the background sound of some, however, it turns out that the cafe was indeed quite quiet and very little background sound was present on the clips, especially when these clips were compared to the old ones captured in The Lounge.

The most difficult task with sound was blending the sound clips together, so that it sounded like one long stream of sound. This proved particularly difficult with the clip when Louise enters the cafe. We were filming at the back of the cafe, which was relatively quiet. However, obviously, there were more customers at the front of the cafe near to the door, meaning the clip where Louise enters is significantly louder than the shots of just Miranda and Ellen. Although quieting the clip was relatively easy, I had to be careful not to quieten the clip too much, or else the audience would not be able to hear the door open and close, and the clip would not look and sound right without these sounds. Furthermore, the clip couldn’t be too quiet as this would be unrealistic of a cafe. Although I eventually found the balance, I may have to re-consider and edit the sound further when I return to editing the clip for a second time.

The above shows an example of the numerous sound transitions overlaying this section of the scene

Other than this, sound was relatively easy to edit, and mostly required a fading effect between sound clips. Nearly every fading effect had to be of a different length in order to blend the clips smoothly but not cut off any dialogue. Again, when I come back to editing this clip, I will have to see if the sound clips still sound okay after I have not heard them for a while.

I then began to consider continuity. I considered myself quite lucky that my film mostly consists of people sitting around a table, as most of my actresses movements, intentional or not, were quite slight, meaning they could be easily linked together across clips. However, on the other hand, because so little action is happening, there is a greater focus on the little action that is present. Actions such as the stance of my actresses and the way they were facing were proving to be the most difficult continuity issues. For example, two clips may go together well in terms of pace and tone, but if a character is facing one way in one clip, and another in the next, the clips cannot be put together. Luckily, this was not a particularly noticeable problem to the amateur eye, especially in these clips, where there is a lot of movement, so therefore less focus on the finer details.

One thing I did notice in terms of continuity issues is that when Louise approaches the table, she is closest the door, with Ellen closest to the back wall, however, during their conversation, they swap positions. In order to overcome this problem, I inserted a clip of Miranda looking at Louise concerned. The length of this clip would give Louise and Ellen enough time to stand in their respective positions. Whilst this is still a highly noticeable continuity problem to me, I am unsure if this problem is noticeable to my audience, and I may have to put it up in a poll or questionnaire to discover how truly problematic it could be.

In this shot, even though she is sitting down, Ellen is closest to the door...

... yet in the next shot is farthest from it

After this, the editing was fairly problem free. Admittedly it did take quite a while to edit, but this was because there were so many takes of the conversation between Louise and Ellen, and trying to establish were parts of conversation were within the clips and which clips went best together proved difficult.

This editing means I have been able to create a sort of rough cut (as opposed to a first edit) of the 2009 scene. It comes to a length of 1:19

Strengths of the scene so far:

  • All shots are fine in terms of clarity. Lighting is fine and background noise is low. All lines have been filmed from numerous angles and all can be heard clearly.
  • All shots have been ordered correctly and all have been placed in the correct order and all the correct angles have been selected
  • I am now in a position to easy change or tweak any part of the scene as necessary

Weaknesses of the scene so far:

  • Continuity is by no means watertight
  • I am the only person to have seen the scene so far – others may pick up on mistakes I am overlooking for any reason
  • Sound is not yet as clear and smooth as I would like.

Next Steps

I may consider conducting audience research in regards to the problems with 2009 so far, although I am unsure if it would be best to conduct audience research after I have re-visited the scene, and have tried to come up with some solutions of my own.  As it stands, I am relatively happy with the scene, but if I change my mind, I shall conduct some form of audience research.

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