Editing Now! with Bill Davis
Editing Now! with Bill Davis
Review by Steve
are several books on the market that aspire to teaching the novice
filmmaker editing theory and techniques. Many are good while
some leave a lot to be desired. Start Editing Now, produced by
Videocraft Workshop has taken a new approach with this 2 DVD
disc tutorial set. Designed to get the new editor up and running
with the correct approach, Start Editing Now contains 4 basic
lessons covering straight cuts and cutaways, pacing of the video
and dialogue and the use of the B-roll footage to avoid jump
cuts, and affect scene pacing. These lessons, presented by the
very experienced and amiable Bill Davis, are all on Disc One,
which runs about 35 minutes. While the lessons given on Disc
One use Final Cut Pro as the demonstrating NLE, this DVD set
may be used with any editing solution on either Mac or PC.
The really unique aspect of this
tutorial can be found in the supplied media found on Disc Two.
This second disc contains all the media necessary to produce
3 separate scenes ranging from a single actor's attempts to make
a call for takeout food, another scene displaying two actors
on a first date, with an alternative third actor serving as the
waiter, and the final scene of one upping between two actors
on the golf links. It is certainly recommended that you copy
the media from the disc to your hard drive as it will play far
more smoothly that way and is best for importing into your NLE.
Dead serious or comedy,
how you switch between takes is up to you.
Each scene has multiple takes that you may choose from to create
very different approaches to the scene with results ranging from
the comedic to serious. It is having the option to vary the beginning,
middle and end results of each scene that enables you to apply
the lessons from disc one. With so many choices you just may
be at your editing bay for hours on end having tons of fun mixing
and adjusting. It is up to you. By having the scenes there for
you, with so many multiple and different takes, you are not limited
to the footage you may have shot on your own which might not
be varied enough to make as many pacing adjustments as you have
here. There are numerous scenes in these videos capturing two
people talking. What this tutorial helps you learn is how to
make it all interesting for the audience, how to use your master
shots and when to switch to B-roll in order to maintain consistency,
visual interest and pace. Just as important is Bill Davis's attention
to the pacing of the dialogue itself. One very important tip
affecting how we might use dialogue is one I use frequently myself,
and that is to turn away and just listen to what is on the timeline.
Listening can be just as important to the editor as seeing.
Included on Disc 2 of Start Editing Now
are PDF clip guides and Lesson Maps. The lesson maps are there
for each of the 3 major scenes and display the media's many scenes
and different takes for each scene. It is recommended that you
print each one up before actually beginning building your scenes.
It will keep you organized and aware of the multiple takes you
may take advantage of.
By utilizing and
varying different takes and camera positions, you will learn
how variety will affect the pacing and continuity of your film.
The clip guides provide both large and smaller thumbnails to
work from. Each will provide which clips are for what lesson,
scene and take.
My bottom line is that I have always been of the belief that,
like playing an instrument, you must have a feel and aptitude
for the art of editing. Learning to be an editor, while demanding
practice, continuing to learn new tricks, tips and techniques,
demands a feel for the pace and interest the editor seeks to
create. One can be technically savvy and yet never be able to
have a feel for a story in the editing bay. Using the Start Editing
Now DVDs may be just what the new or struggling editor needs
to bring his or her understanding and skills up to snuff.
Steve Douglas is
an underwater videographer and contributor to numerous film festivals
around the world. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater
Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater
Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International
Beneath the Sea Film Competition, Steve has also worked on the
feature film "The Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage
to the Seaworld parks for their Atlantis production, and is one
of the principal organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition.
Steve leads both underwater filming expeditions and African safaris
with upcoming filming excursions to Kenya, Bali & Komodo,
the Philippines, and the Red Sea. Feel free to contact him if
you are interested in joining Steve on any of these trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com
copyright © Steve
This article first
appeared on www.kenstone.net and is reprinted here
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