Cutting with Purpose

Today I finished the first Video Board cut for Cursor and I had some problems with it at first because the movie will have more cuts than any of my previous movies before. I spent a lot of time moving scenes around in and nothing really satisfied me when I started to remember from some making-of videos and some tutorials that each cut needs to have a purpose. Why do you cut to that specific angle, what do you want to tell by showing the audience this and not that angle?

The moment I started to edit with that thought in my mind it got a lot easier. So that’s what I take away from today, always cut with a purpose.

As for the actual cut itself, I’m quite happy with it, I might tinker with it after I let it be for a day or two and look at it with fresh eyes. But I’m quite happy with the result and it gave me an easy shotlist for when I shoot it for real.

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First thoughts on VideoBoards

I did start on making videoboards with my iPhone and then editing them on the iPhone itself with Adobe Rush or sync it to my Mac and edit it there. It’s still a pain to film myself and not really know if I’m in the shot or not, BUT then I adjust the angle and reshoot it quickly. There’s no need to set focus because I shot everything in autofocus. Acting and continuation are also not that important. I even shot some stuff handheld. So all that makes it easy to get quick results and impressions on what works and what doesn’t. But it’s still something that I want to improve upon over time.

So what does this mean for Cursor? Since I’m rather busy during the weekdays this week, I hope to finish the videoboards this weekend and then shoot the real thing the weekend after. All this should make it possible to release it this August.

Making VideoBoards with an iPhone

In yesterdays post I talked about how I realize what shots I need once I cut something together. Today I found the song I want to use for Cursor and that changes the mood and the tempo of the movie so I need to rethink how I shoot and cut it together even more.

So instead of imagining how it looks in my head and then shoot it for real, why not make quick videoboards with my iPhone and cut it together with Adobe Rush to get a sense of how it would actually look like.

It’s quick, fast and easy to do directly on an iPhone. I think this could be my way of previsualizing scenes before actually shooting it plus it will also function as a shot list which is always handy.

Progress on Cursor

I thought it would be a good idea to share some progress updates on Cursor, my next micro-film. I’ve shot some material last Sunday with the help of a friend, and I’m currently trying to cut it together. During that process, I realized that I need to reshoot certain scenes. (that’s the beauty of shooting it almost all alone, I can plan them whenever I have time for that)

Of course, it’s not ideal to reshoot scenes for every film I do once I cut it together, but that’s the learning process I’m currently in I guess. And sooner than later I hope I think of things when I’m actually shooting and not editing it. Plus doing it all alone can be tedious and time-consuming, so certain things get forgotten or overlooked.

So the idea is to cut it together with what I have and then reshoot those scenes that need to be reshoot with a much clearer vision.

On the plus side, I’m also working on my next micro-film which will be more on the personal side. There’s an idea which needs to be fleshed out a bit more and I even plan on writing a screenplay and draw storyboards, I need to be better prepared when shooting movies.

Starting small with Bad Milk

I’m not sure this qualifies as a short or microfilm but that’s not important. The goal here was to get back into the game of shooting videos, making movies and for that, I was happy with anything. I could have inserted some close-ups to spice things up but I wanted to keep it simple because this is only one of two videos I’m currently working on.

Bad Milk Light Setup
One key light with a diffusion

The setup was rather easy, but because of shadows, the light had to come from above otherwise the stitching together of the two scenes wouldn’t have worked. So I had one key light from above with diffusion in between to soften it.

Everything was shot in three takes, the first one was ruined by my cat who thought she had to star in this movie as well. It had to work with two takes because I didn’t want to eat that many bowls of cornflakes.

Outtake with Grissu wanting to be a part of it

I did slow down my first take on the right at one point to match it with the spitting on the left. I knew that beforehand so I tried to keep still to make it easier without anyone noticing it.

I re-recorded all the sounds afterward because I was running out of tripods to mount the microphone above the table. But it was a good experience. I picked the first song from the YouTube Music Library because it fitted perfectly for the mood and had the perfect length. I did extend the beat at the end a bit for dramatic purposes.

As for color correction. I played around with quite a few different looks, but the Black and White with some grain fitted quite nicely to the mood.

So I’m happy to finally release a new video, even though it’s a rather easy one. But I hope this puts me back on track to shoot more small videos again. Plus it shows that those videos can be easy too, but maybe not THAT easy again for the next ones.

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