Today I decided to tackle the final scene and edit into something closely resembling a First Edit of the scene, so that I could create what will actually count as my overall First Edit.

Editing the 2007 Scene

I steadily realised that editing the 2007 scene was going to be a highly frustrating experience. I decided to abandon the ‘master plan’ for editing that I had used for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 scenes, as I thought that each shot would have to be analysed, given the problematic footage. I had planned to use an alternative editing method anyway, as this is the opening scene, and I personally regard it as the most important. I decided to take the ‘shot-by-shot’ approach I had used for the 2008 scene, as I imagine they would have the same problems because they were filmed at the same time, and especially as there were more customers (and therefore more background noise) when I was filming this scene than the 2008 scene.

Problems

During editing, three main problems arose:

  • Sound. Background sound was more noticeable on this footage than on any other footage. It was particularly bad on the Wide shot of the table, because the camera (and therefore its internal microphone) was further away from my actresses and picked up more background noise than the dialogue
  • Continuity. I did not recognise it during filming but, each of ym actresses says their lines whilst sitting in a different position and gesticulating differently. This makes continuity virtually impossible to match up
  • Script. The scripts on the table are particularly noticeable in this scene, and it is obvious that my actresses are looking down at them at some points.

An example shot of the infamous script problem

If only one or two of these problems are present in footage, it can be covered up relatively easily, with only a few mistakes. However, the fact that all three of these problems are present means it is virtually impossible to edit this scene successfully. Nevertheless, I had to persevere, and even though the scene had many problems as I worked through it, I tried my best to cover the problems, but sometimes to no avail. Below are some of the key problem spots.

I had planned to try a little postmodern effect with this scene and always show the reaction to whatever was being said, rather than the camera being on who was saying it. However, when looking through the clips it became evident that tis would not be possible, as often my actresses would look at their scripts whenever someone else was reading a line, as they thought that they would not be in shot at this time. Therefore, I had to edit this scene in the conventional way.

Problem Spot #1: Establishing Shot

I had originally planned for my establishing shot to be a wide shot of the table, so that the location, characters, situation and concept could all be introduced to the audience at the same time. However, it proved difficult mostly because the background noise is particularly loud at the beginning of the wide shot of the table. I initially spent quite a long time on this, as I thought, just with other editing problems I had come across before, I would be able to come up with a solution. I later learned whilst editing this scene that if a solution was not obvious, then it was best to cover up problems by whatever mean necessary, or else the editing process would simply be too long.

  1. I had to change the establishing shot to an over-the-shoulder shot, simply because the sound is of better quality
  2. I decided it was best not to use the over-the-shoulder shot of Ellen, as it would seem quite odd, just one girl seemingly alone at a table.
  3. I decided on the over-the-shoulder shot of Louise and Miranda, as it is more obvious to the audience from this shot that the characters are having a discussion at a cafe table

I think it solved the problem relatively well. On a plus side, I think it actually improves the way the characters are introduced. It allows the audience to familiarise themselves with each character and the concept rather than having to do so with all at once

The opening scene now starts off with an over-the-shoulder shot of Louise and Miranda...

... then cuts to the wide shot...

... then finally a shot of Ellen

Problem Spot #2 : ‘You’ll have to break it off in a year…’

The other problem I came to was with Miranda’s longest line in the scene: ‘Shutup! No, but seriously, I don’t want some moody, hormonal boy hanging around me all the time. Besides, it’s pointless, you’ll have to break it off in a year when we go to uni’. The largest problem here was continuity. Lydia read the line sitting in a different position and gesticulating in a different way in each of the three angles. I originally thought that I could disguise this by throwing in my planned postmodern reversed effect, and show Ellen’s distressed reaction to what is being said. Howeer, unfortunately, Hayley was reading her script at this time, making it unusable. The only way to overcome this problem was breaking down Miranda’s line, and using whatever shot said each part of the line the best, whilst always trying to maintain continuity. I eventually broke the line into the horrendously unequal parts of ‘Shutup!’ and the rest of the line.

  • I had originally planned for the wide shot to be present here, because I wanted as many shots as possible in this scene to be wide shots so that the audience could familiarise themselves with the characters and get used to seeing them as a trio
  • However, after editing the scene many times, and breaking the line up into many different parts, the wide shot clip of this line was largely unusable due to the sound and the continuity issues created by Lydia playing with her hair whilst reading the line, something she is not doing in any of the other shots of this line

    Throughout the process of editing this line, it was broken up into many shots

  • I eventually had to resort to just using the over-the-shoulder shot of Louise and Miranda. Although it does not have the effect intended, the sound is good and the script problem is not massively noticeable.

Finishing the Scene

These spots were particularly problematic and difficult to edit, and a s result, still have continuity issues which will probably be unavoidable even when drafting the Final Cut. The rest of the footage was just as problematic, it was simply that it took a long time to time out sections and keep all three key problems under control.

Nevertheless, this now means that the 2007 is in a resemblance of a rough cut, even though it is not as smooth and successful as the other scenes. This is especially unfortunate given that it is the opening scene, and I’d rather that it be one of my best scenes. Nevertheless, I shall have to persevere and hope that I can make some significant improvements when drafting the Final Cut.

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