FMP Post Production
My post-production process was carried out in my home studio setup using premiere pro 2020. The process took around 4 days of solid editing and then I have been spending multiple days since changing small things and cutting down areas of the edit.
Putting the main edit together took time but it was easy enough to do, the main challenge for me was trying to keep the program interesting, there was loads of footage I wanted to have in the edit however it was just not possible since the edit became too long and borning. I cut down the program many times after feedback from family and tutors on the subject.
When cutting and organizing interview sections it was also essential that I was making sure the clips then made sense and the interviews flowed smoothly. I mainly did this by just moving things and then relistening multiple times.
Because I was working with a mixture of 4k and 1080p footage the timeline was set to 1080p so I could scale around the 4k footage to later export in HD. I had it set to 25fps as there was no need for me to have it any lower or higher.
As I was working with 4k collectively myself and other students working with the equipment looked into using proxy files for the footage which would reduce the load on the editing computer otherwise you can cause lag and crashing. Using a proxy creates a lower quality version of the clips which allows the software to run a lot better.
Proxys however do take a while to create and can get confusing when working with many clips, recently I have upgraded my computer to an i7 chip which is built for rendering and media which allowed me to run the full quality files the majority of the time, when I did encounter issues normally caused by a heavy scene or background computer processes I also made use of the preview quality option on the preview window to allow me to view it less intently.
I had even for this edit created a custom premiere workspace layout to maximize productivity. I am running a dual monitor setup so I was able to have a dedicated preview window.
The intro sequence was one of my favorite parts of the edit, the into was important to me because it’s what really started the documentary and made it feel the way it did. When putting it together I was working off the voice over which I had already written and got recorded. The footage is a mix of new and old which I will talk more about in my evaluation.
I was truly inspired by the previous documentaries I had studied and was trying to live up to that style. I had the clips with a voice-over which then lead into the title screen and I wanted this to pop. I managed to get a version of the college logo but it was gray which did not work with the background so I played around with shapes and effects until I got what I wanted. I did not want to change the logo colour since I wanted to stay on-brand with the college scheme and even if I had I don’t think it would have looked great.
Then I was able to acquire a drone shot that the college had done as part of their marketing videos which was perfect to fit the style I was going for, they would always cut to a drone shot before showing the main content. I would have done this shot myself, however, I don’t have a good enough drone or the licenses and permission to fly it in that area so it was a restriction I had to work with and overcome and in this case use pre-done footage created by the college itself.
Tims’s interview turned out to be quite long when reviewing the footage, no way was this a bad thing at all, it gave me plenty to work with. The main process was syncing clips with audio and then deciding what sections I wanted to show and what camera I wanted to show it on, since I had 2 angles to choose from.
I added the hallway walking shot to show the transition rather than just a straight cut since I thought that it would break up the interview slightly and be more interesting for the viewer.
The second section of the interview was a similar process but I added in graphics and extra footage along the way to keep things interesting rather than just switching camera angles constantly. This was the first section I edited so it was a bit of a learning process for me and I came back to it multiple times to refine it. This was one of the areas I found myself cutting a lot out of just because the subject was maybe not as interesting as other sections and not much was happening.
I wanted this section at the start however since it was to explain the construction on the main reception which you see in the opening shots.
Harleys FMP once again was quite a straightforward but time-consuming edit, The interview started off as one 6 min take which I cut down and refined multiple times like everything else. As with Tims’s interview, I made sure to include plenty of behind-the-scenes footage of the shoot from inside and outside to give the viewer a look into the story and experience. Harley’s personality allowed the footage to be funny and interesting anyway however I had to find the balance and not overdo that. I decided that speed ramps were the best way to show some of the content as it allowed me to show more in a shorter space of time and avoid dead space. I did however also include some normal speed shorter clips.
I am very happy how I made use of this energy and the ending of the interview, not cutting out the final part but making use of the voice acting/narration to make it more interactive and funny.
Bens footage I had to work with a little more since it was more active and mobile. I had one issue at the start in the fact that for the first interview clip I don’t think the audio had recorded properly due to a fault with the SD Card/Recorder so I had to use the audio for the inbuilt camera mic. This did need rescuing as it was not great quality and still isn’t ideal but it is better than it was, I used multiple audio effects to try and save it, including pulling the right to the left channel, denoising, and boosting the bass. Like I said it’s still not great but I was able to make it sound ok and then it merges quite nicely into the next clip.
I had to do some other adjustments on the auto due to a bit of peaking as we were moving around. Again I cut some of the bits around and added and removed sections, I knew the main bits I wanted were the interview at the start and the darkroom footage which I was really pleased with.
With the darkroom, I had to cut and overlay clips to fill the time as there was a lot of dead time within the footage where not much was happening. I am also happy with the transition at the end which links into the creepy darkness of the darkroom while also providing a smooth transition to the music section. I could have just left it black in the middle but I wanted something on-screen so I got some footage and colour graded it red for effect, paired with the voice-over.
This section was a bit longer than some of the others because I felt like it was the flagship of the content as In I had the most content for it and it was interesting and mobile rather than just a static interview so I wanted the audience to see and be engaged by what he was doing. This is something you may not regularly get to see.
Riley’s piece was probably one of the easier bits of the edit to do, I had to do the usual arranging of the interview at the start with some clips overlayed followed by a quick behind-the-scenes sequence showing a soundcheck paired with some narration. The music video at the end I actually edited in person with ryley in the college editing suites. We had 3/4 cameras to work with on that edit so we synced them all up to the audio and then it was a simple process of cutting on the beat and choosing what camera we wanted to cut to with some basic adjustments. Since we had already edited and exported this, when it came to editing my project I was able to just pull the rendered clip in which saved a lot of time.
The outro changed a couple of times, the credits themselves stayed the same, I made these myself using basic positioning keyframes. It was the background that changed originally I had it set as a png of the college but then decided to change it to the actual video of the song that was playing out since it’s what I had in mind originally and just livened up the scene a bit more. The other thing was that the png was mid day and I wanted the show to flow as day to night so it broke that a bit whereas the band is in a dark room. I put a camera blur onto the sequence and darkened the picture so that the focus was on the credits and you could see them better.
Demo version only containing the intro for demonstration purposes.
First full render of the program.
Second render containing adjustments and further cut down of the footage. Also contains warp stabilization for some clips.
The final version of the program containing more b-roll, a further cut down of photography and film sections. New outro style. Other minor adjustments.
Using Adobe Photoshop I wanted to create a thumbnail/banner for the episode. I started out by clipping each one of the cast and organizing them by order in the image. I added a coloured overlay to once again follow the brand and signify staff or student position. I added the white divider to separate the images and blurred the original shots to allow the foreground to be clearer.
It was also important that I included the logo as this was a big part of the brand and show.
I then added some more decorations such as the red corner triangles to add more detail and then came up with a combination of designs I liked. These combinations were put to my friends for us to decide which one was better.
After getting some feedback it was clear that everyone liked number 3. I also liked number 1 however the white took up too much of the background space. I also liked 3 but I didn’t like the fact the logo blended so I added a glow and a shadow which took it out from the background.
I also experimented with colours and the amount of glow and shadow on the logo and triangles until I got my final result that I was happy with.