Complex Interview Editing Revealed

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    • #71257
      AvatarKevin Mc
      Member

      Hi All,

       

      I'm a huge fan of Videomaker, but don't think I've ever posted to these forums – so yippee for me!  I wanted to show off a piece of editing that might inspire some who are left with footage of a difficult interview. 

       

      I had to shoot two interviews for a final production. One of the interviewees became a nervous wreck when the red camera light came on. So on day-2 I covered the light with black tape and just started talking to him – problem solved. 

       

      The other interview was really the heart of the final production. The interviewee knew what parts he needed to get through (four main points), so I just let him talk. I then had him do the same thing three more times, so I had four decent takes of his voice and video from which to edit.  In editing I took the best of his four sessions and blended them together with photo and video overlays in Vegas Pro.

       

      We don't always see what goes on in the background of a video edit.  Here's a look at how this was edited together…

       

      If you wish to view the final production first, check it out here … "Tim" is the guy to keep an eye on:

       

      Here is the edited interview, with a split screen so you can see the edits taking place:

       

      I'd love to hear thoughts and comments on this.

       

      Thanks so much.

       

      –Kevin

    • #209168
      AvatarSuzanne
      Participant

      Excellent, Top quality work.

       

      You took a fast talking person who didn't look at the camera much but had a LOT of very succint and important information to convey and edited in a variety of shots from the actual installations to create a very smooth flowing and easy to watch and listen to commercial video.

       

      If I owned a hospital I would definately hire his company to do my upgrades and installations.

      I would also hire you to create films for my company. This is an outstanding piece of work showing your professional skills as a videographer, editor, talent manager, audio tech etc.

       

      I hoped you got paid a whole bunch of money to create this because you did a fantastic job pulling together a very professional and compelling advertising film for this company.

       

      Thanks for sharing. Loved the split screen to see the editing and flowing.

    • #209217
      AvatarCopperplate
      Member

      Thank you very much for posting this! Did you have to take any stills or videos of these working or finished projects, or did the company supply that material? What cameras did you use? Thanks!

       

      ~Adam

    • #209242
      Avatargary1947
      Participant

      Kevin, you did a great job editing this together. I'm surprised you were able to get the guy to go through his routine 4 times, though! I know you put a lot of time into editing the audio to get it just right.

       

      My only critique might be in reference to the "B" roll (which wasn't really the focus of your post). Every shot (almost) contained a pan or a zoom, and the video shots seemed to perhaps have been handheld. For my taste, there was too much camera motion, much of it unnecessary. For instance, at 3:08, we see a piece of metal being cut by a saw. As the shot ends, the camera moves to follow the saw away. The story would have been just as complete if the camera had been static and the saw had just been removed from the frame. I think a little variety, mixing good steady static shots with a few SLOW pans and zooms (they all seemed to be relatively fast) would have been good –  A slider or dolly would also have added some variety to shots that contained motion. The cuts between the handheld, motion-filled B roll and the rock steady interview shots were a little jarring.

    • #209264
      AvatarKevin Mc
      Member

      Wow – thanks to all three recent posters for your compliments and comments on this piece!

       

      @NashvilleImage – hehe – not a whole bunch of money, but indeed reasonable compensation for the work that was done (don't mind saying it was a few grand for this job – with a very tight shooting & editing schedule). The company needed the piece to impress another hospital for which they were bidding a job to replace operating room lights. They got the job – I'm pleased to say.

       

      @Copperplate – I'm shooting on a Panasonic AG-HMC70. By today's standards, this is a sub-consumer grade camera inside of a prosumer shoulder mount body. I got it a few years ago as clients love big cameras (seriously). It has worked to impress people and open a few doors for me, even though it's really a garbage camera. I am looking to upgrade soon. 100% of the video footage was shot on my Pani, and the company supplied the photos that are interspersed throughout the piece.

       

      @gary1947 – I agree with your comments about the motion. I come from shooting music vids of bands playing live and still have that "gotta move the camera to keep it interesting" mindset. I have a stellar fluid-head tripod that I simply could not fit into the construction zone – so handheld it was. I appreciate your input and will pay closer attention to movement in the future.  

    • #209267
      AvatarSuzanne
      Participant

      Kevin,

      You are very welcome.

      The newest Manfrotto Video Monopod that I can't yet justify buying for my work πŸ™‚ might be perfect for yours…ouch at 7+lbs on your shoulder for hours.

      Glad you made some $$$.

    • #209272
      AvatarCopperplate
      Member

      Hi Kevin,

       

      Thanks very much for the response. That's a good point about big cameras… LOL!

       

      ~Adam

    • #209273
      AvatarKevin Mc
      Member

      Hi Adam,

       

      I wasn't sure the "big camera" idea would pay off, but when shooting a TV commercial for our local fairgrounds, I had my Pani equiped with a 16" shotgun mic, a wireless receiver [antennas are always the sign of a pro camera πŸ™‚ ] and a 160 LED light – I was able to approach "staff only" gates and literally walk right through. Some of the footage shot (but not used) for the ad was done so in highly restricted areas. However, some of that footage was used in two other pieces we did for the fair. All three pieces won awards.  Big Camera Concept pays off πŸ™‚ … 

       

      If you're interested – check out the 30 second ad spot here:

       

       

      –Kevin

       

      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

      EDIT: a little side note / fun fact – the shot of the basketball going through the hoop in the ad took nearly 15 minutes to capture. The camera was on a tripod, aimed at the basket and left recording. Myself, my assistant, the actors and the guys running the game stood in front of the booth shooting over and over and over and no one could sink the shot. The bastket itself is so small – no one can win at this game. Finally, a guy working the game got up behind the backboard and dropped the ball down into the basket – even that took several drops before we landed the shot. All of that for a shot that lasts half a second πŸ™‚

    • #209286
      AvatarKevin Mc
      Member

      Hey Adam – Just used a simple motion blue. Since the father only made a slight movement, the blur didn't effect him and worked well on those running in and out of the scene.

    • #209314
      Avatarjanaj22
      Member

      Thanks for this side by side – very effective.

       

      Was your guy reading from a script? He keeps looking over to one side – That gave me the idea to post the script on an iPad just off camera or somewhere like a teleprompter so the dialogue could be repeated like this. 

       

      I take many takes too and cut and paste them into dialogue – but my interviewee sometimes forgets his naturally said lines . . . just wondering a way to work with that issue on a tiny budget and a one person crew.

       

      Excellent tutorial – keep more of these coming!! 

    • #209335
      AvatarKevin Mc
      Member

      @janaj22 – My interviewee had written some notes down in Word (visible to him on his computer screen) and others by hand (on his desk) – so you catch him glancing at both sets from time to time. There was no "script" for this section. He knew exactly what he wanted to say during a meeting, not an hour before we shot this.

       

      As for remembering what to script – it was on this very job that I started recording pre-production meetings with my H4n … just set it on the table and let it run. For this particular piece, Tim – the interviewee, started rambing off the four main points of the video, each with vivid detail. So we took the recording and played it back – that's when he jotted down notes in Word and on a notepad. I haven't found the perfect way to get an interviewee to remember what he said so fluidly and naturally before the camera was turned on, but recording them pre-production when the ideas are flowing seemed to help. The camera, as we know, is a game changer for most normal people.  If you watch the finished production you'll see that I made of point of cutting to him at the start of each of the main four points. I decided to do this while shooting, so I had to make sure I had him looking in the vacinity of the camera during those four key moments at least once (each) during the shoot. That's one reason why I had him do the interview four times – so I was assured to get him looking towards the camera on those four occasions.

       

      Thanks for the kind words πŸ™‚

    • #209340
      Avatarjsachanda
      Member

      Great stuff, thanks for sharing. My takeaway is how impoortant the B-Roll is for this type of work. Any tips on getting through all that footage and audio efficiently?

    • #209598
      AvatarDonald
      Participant

      Excellent work I am creating a digital magazine so these techniques will be very useful in our interviews and coverage of events

    • #209605
      AvatarKevin Mc
      Member

      @ John S. – Interesting question… I've seen so many techniques out there for sorting your material during a non linear shoot / edit, and have slowly developed my own system that works nicely. Since I am also the camera man, I place all of my footage on the timeline – in the order shot. As long as I remember how I shot the project, I'll know (generally) where to jump in to grab a clip I am seeking during an edit. First I audition most of the pieces. I don't necessarily watch each clip from beginning to end, but I do jump through them all to ensure there aren't any obvious problems. I move all of the auditioned clips down my timeline – say to a marker past 10 minutes or futher, whereby opening up the beginning of the timeline which will then be used for whatever piece I am editing. I slide the timeline over and start ordering my clips in order of appearance (helps if you have a script or a written plan ahead of time so you know in what order they should fall). Now theres a big enough space to both the left and right of the clips on the timeline, giving me room to move things around very liberally. Some people say, don't put a clip on the timeline till you're ready to use it. I say, throw 'em all down and get to editing.  When I audition three shots of the same thing I make immediate descitions as to which clip I want, and remove the others from the timeline. I also leave the gap between remaining clips. This acts as a quick visual marker that tells me a few things, 1) I've already been through those clips, and 2) Whatever remains is available for the final cut (however, I know that more cuts are forthcoming). I then start sliding the clips I want to use, in order, to the front of the timeline. As they are used, they leave big gaps in the footage further down the line. This gives me a visual cue of clips I decided to use and their surrounding clips (again, by their absense). When I find clips that would work together as B-roll, I'll cut them together on the spot, but leave them down the timeline and just place a marker at the start of the segment. The markers keep my place and tell me later that I have already done some editing at that marker, and I have intended purpose for those clips (even if I don't know where they're going yet).

       

      Once I have a few clips in place (for the final cut), I start working through audio: normalizing where needed, noise reduction, eq, compression and limiting. Always remember when recording audio, that too weak of a recorded signal can usually be fixed, but clipping (hot overdriven signal) cannot. So when in doubt, error on the side of recording audio lower (vs. higher) in the field. I record a lot of live bands playing, where I mic up the band and record 16 track audio which will be synced with the video later. As I am also the camera man, often with one or two other stationary cameras aimed at the event, I must error on the side of lower audio levels, as bands tend to peak their gain during a performance. I try to maintain constant perceived volume levels throughout the piece. 

       

      On really big projects (or really long projects) I tend to presort all clips into media bins (using Sony Vegas) ahead of time. 

       

      Hope that helps!

       

      ==============================

       

      @ Donald B. – I'd love to see what you're putting together and how my clip was used!

    • #209274
      AvatarCopperplate
      Member

      Nice work Kevin! How did you do the blurry, high speed, shnitzel-stealing effect? πŸ™‚

    • #209288
      AvatarCopperplate
      Member

      Okay, cool. I thought maybe you used a slow shutter effect in camera or something.

       

      Thanks Kevin for your response!

      ~Adam

    • #209619
      Avatarjsachanda
      Member

      Thanks for the detailed explanation. I am happy to hear some else works similar to me. My projects have been short enough for now that I too can work from the timeline. I will keep your method in mind on my next edit.

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