Sunday, 5 July 2009

The Package: Editing

I edited my short film on a Mac based software program called Final Cut Express - a professional media product that has been used to edit major films such as King Kong. As it was my first time using and editing, I was a bit weary of the complex features that the program has to offer so stuck to the most basic tools to edit my film.

The first thing I decided to do is to alter the sound in my film. I lowered the recorded sound by highlighting all of the audio streams and setting all of their attributes to low: -2db. I did this because I needed to add an audio track to fit in with the comedic value of the film and the recorded audio would have been too loud and the sound would have become distorted. The song I chose was 'Running' by 'Chase & Status' as it connotes that people are 'running' to retrieve the package. The song also added extra humor value to the film as the story of my short film is very ridiculous.

Originally, the filming me and my group had done was around 2-3 minutes in length, whilst The Package had to be 1 minute long. This would have been seen as a major dilemma without an editing program but FCE allowed me to speed up certain scenes of the film and this is what I did. It was very easy to do so: I 'cut out' part of the clip I wanted to alter the speed and just used the 'Timing' tool to edit how fast I wanted it to be - I mainly used a percentage of 200-250% - double the speed of real time. There is also part of the clip in which I slow it down - where I drop the package - setting it at around 75% which is only a quarter slower than real time. These effects made my film 1 minute 8 seconds long, which was acceptable and didn't destroy any quality of the film and viewers can still clearly see what is occurring.

I used simple transitions between each scene to make my film run a lot smoother, rather than a quick change of scene it now dissolves into the next one. I also did this with the audio of my film - from scene to scene the recorded audio now faded in with each other, again to make my film smoother.

There's a part in the film where the music stops to allow the elderly lady to speak - I did this simply by 'cutting out' the audio in which the scene occurs and deleting it which was very simple and added a little extra humor to the film.

At the beginning of the film I added text entitling the name of my film in first few seconds. I did this by using the 'Text' effect and simply placing it over the part of the clip in which I wanted it to display. The text rolls out in a typewriter fashion, which was simply done by changing the effect to 'Typewriter'.

Finally, at the end of the film I added rolling credits and text stating 'The End' into the film. Like the text at the beginning, I added the effect by changing it to 'Rolling Credits'. This seemed most professional for a film and is conventional for most major box-office productions.

To conclude, Final Cut Express is a very user friendly piece of software, previously I had no film-editing knowledge and FCE has allowed me to learn the most basic skills. For my A2 coursework I am hoping to use the most complex skills of the program. Overall the software is a brilliant tool for film editing - user friendly and effective.

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