Edit Me In Customizer

Edit Me In Customizer

Edit Me In Customizer

Edit Me In Customizer

Edit Me In Customizer

Edit Me In Customizer

Edit Me In Customizer

Edit Me In Customizer

Factual Friday

first_imgThis image was originally published Friday, July 19, 2013 on the Military Families Learning Network blog, a part of eXtension.last_img

5 Tips to Create Better Work By Maintaining a Fresh Perspective

first_imgOften those closest to a problem fail to see the solution because they’ve lost perspective. These tips are applicable to any creative professional – video editors, photographers and designers – and will help you produce inspired work.Being able to keep a fresh perspective on your own creative work is critical to being able to evaluate what is working and what really isn’t. Often this is a problem for ”one-man-band” outfits where one person is doing every job on a project. The director who also shot, wrote, edited, scored and sold the film may not have done the best job of critiquing things.  Or as the case might be with video editing, you simply can’t bring yourself to cut out those bits that you love, that took hours of love and time to create, but are ultimately hurting the overall project. This post was inspired by the excellent discussion on the latest episode of That Post Show hosted by Kanen Flowers, in which one of the editors said that he ‘flopped‘ the entire film, just to see it from a new angle.1.  Take a BreakIn this fast paced digital world where everything happens instantaneously there is often precious little time to stop and think, to ponder, consider, ruminate, pontificate and mull over.  As a result I think a lot of creative work comes out being less than it could have been. So next time you hit a brick wall, take a break. Get up and go for a walk – outside and not just to the coffee pot. Think about something else, do something else. If you can, sleep on it.  Getting away from the problem means you’ll tackle it in a whole new way next time you approach it. As they say in the Mark Walberg movie Shooter ”Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.”2.  See It Through Another Person’s EyesI find this especially true of film editing. Whenever I sit in with someone else watching what I’ve made I immediately see all the things that are wrong with it. I take on what I imagine to be their more critical perspective.  Things that don’t make sense, jokes that don’t work, bits that drag – all these things becoming increasingly more clear. Putting your work in front of a fresh set of eyes, ones unconnected from the project in any way (preferably no emotional or financial investment in it!) helps you see it as if for the first time.  That is worth any price of pain or embarrassment.  Photo by bogenfreund.3.  Talk About It With OthersOften a fast way to problem solve is just to discuss it with someone else. They’ll hopefully ask questions you’ve never thought of or give you great ideas (for free).  Even more simply, they may help you come to your own solutions because you’ve had to articulate and explain the problem to someone else. The best way to get good information is to talk to those who will be brutally honest with you, without being opinionated for opinons sake. You also need to ask targeted questions that aren’t leading questions. Don’t ask – ”Did you notice this specific problem?”  Instead ask ”Did anything not work for you?” or “Was there anything you’d like to change?” The thing to avoid is people just reinforcing your own views because of the way you’ve gone about seeking the answers.4.  Take It Somewhere NewBecause of digital technology everything is portable. In the days of analog film taking a whole feature home to view on your sofa rather than in the cutting room would have been cumbersome, if not impossible.  These days you can take a sample of your work home and watch it in a different environment. Heck, even sitting in a different chair helps me see things differently. Take your work and put it somewhere new. What does your new context reveal about your work that you couldn’t otherwise see?5.  What would happen if….I have a friend who runs a successful creative agency that is quite new. Currently a lot of their work comes from one or two main clients. Recently he’s started writing a business plan based on the question ”What would happen if they disappeared?” I think this is an excellent question to ask. What would happen if the main part of your project was taken out. What if a scene came out, what if the colour changed. What if…what if…Often trying things that would normally seem absurd can shift your perspective on what is really necessary and what is just filler.  If you’re in need of a fresh perspective – experiment.How do you keep your creativity fresh?Share your thoughts/comments/advice in the comments below!last_img read more

5 Ways Music Is Misused In Films (and How to Do Better)

first_imgMusic can drive your story and enhance the message of your film, but the process of marrying the two is often underestimated.Music can literally make or break any narrative film, commercial project or documentary purely by the way that it’s used. The specific way in which music is creatively tied to a film can evoke powerful emotions in the viewer, and as such music’s role in the editorial process has grown immensely over the years. Many years ago, it was common for an offline editor to complete the entire picture edit with no music at all, but it’s become quite common for editors to work with existing music cues or temp tracks. This can be an extremely efficient way to work if you know what you’re doing.Unfortunately, many editors fall into traps, and ultimately don’t make the most out of their ability to cut to music. There’s Wall to Wall MusicIn some rare cases, films can benefit from having a musical score playing from wall to wall. That said, the vast majority of times this is a terrible idea and it makes for one of the most common music related faux pas found in indie films – particularly in short form content. Like any other creative element, music needs to be balanced in a way that allows for contrast. When there is a constant stream of music playing, there’s no breathing room to allow the viewer to sink into a different mood and then appreciate the musical score when it comes back in again. Instead, the music simply becomes background noise and any potential emotion that may have been evoked as a result of the score becomes diminished by its over-usage.The Cues Don’t Match Each OtherIt’s truly incredible that editors today have access to vast music libraries that allow them to pull beautifully composed scores into their project files with a few clicks of the mouse. The issue however, is that some editors don’t take enough time with the music selection process and end up choosing cues that independently of each other work well, but together don’t seem to gel at all. If you’re an editor and you are going to be purchasing or licensing music online, you need to think like a music supervisor. Don’t simply purchase tracks like you’re making a mixtape, but rather curate them like you’re creating an album. It’s completely fine to mix and match different genres and styles, but you always need to find some sort of common thread (whether it be the instrumentation, style, mood, etc.) that binds them all together. If not, your final piece may feel unfocused, and uninspired.The Music Contrasts the Pacing of the SceneBeing a good editor in large part comes down to understanding pacing. This is true not only of the pacing of edits within a scene or sequence, but the pacing of the music as well. It’s always surprising to see how many editors have a great understanding of pacing (and place a huge emphasis on it during their picture editing process), but don’t take that same level of care when it comes to the music. Nothing irks me more than watching a beautifully edited scene get destroyed when a music cue comes in that completely contrasts the pacing of the scene. In some cases, it can be a strong stylistic choice to create a contrasting musical effect where for instance, an extremely slow paced cue might underscore a fast paced action sequence, but in the vast majority of scenarios it just doesn’t work.The Length of the Cue Isn’t RightWhen working with pre-existing cues, it’s common for an editor to pick a cue purely based on the overall sound, but not at all consider the length of the cue itself. The fact that a cue might sound right for any given scene is a great starting point, but there are many other considerations that come into play to ensure that it will work for the scene…the biggest of which is the duration. Having a cue that’s too long isn’t typically a huge issue as it can be faded in or out as needed to compensate for length, but having a cue that is too short can become problematic. One ofOne of two things will happen when editing to a music cue that is just a bit too short: 1. The cue won’t cover the entire scene and may drop off at the wrong point, or 2. The editor may be tempted to shorten the entire scene to match the cue. Both of these scenarios can be hugely problematic, so it’s critical that you always ensure the duration of your track is sufficient above all else.The Musical Theme is Too RepetitiveThe final issue common amongst films with soundtracks (from licensed cues to full blown composed scores) is the repetition of a theme. While it can be a nice technique to have a recurring theme in a film (musically speaking) and have it drift in and out during different moments of the film to help anchor things, it really only works well in certain instances. More specifically, in order for this technique to really be effective there is a definitive limit to how often the same cue can be used. So many indie films make the mistake of using the same cue over and over again, which inevitably makes it feel really tired, really fast. The other consideration is that even films that use a repeated musical theme well will typically change that theme slightly each time it comes in. They might change up the instrumentation, key, tempo, or other variables to ensure that the musical theme feels fresh each time it’s used.Need music for your own film projects? Give our curated production music library a listen.last_img read more