Audio & Video Design

Audio & Video Design Module 7: Telling a Story II

Intro:

In the final week of my Audio & Video Design course, I shot and edited my mini-documentary. As always, my original plan turned out to be way too large for the allotted assignment and I had to leave a ton of footage, and story, on the cutting room floor.

Reading:

The book The Bare Bones Camera Course for Audio and Video was a super helpful textbook for this course and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is just starting out with audio and video design. My favorite aspect of the book was how the author would explain the true basics of a subject such as how sound is created or how to lens on a camera is similar to the lens of your eyeball. Learning about the basic mechanics of sound, sigh, microphones, your camera, film, and everything else gave me a deeper understanding of why to set up great shots, not just how.

I feel that I am far more comfortable now creating and editing film, and I really enjoyed needing to work within specific parameters for the assignments. One issue I always run into when creating video projects is having too large a scope of the production for what needs to be accomplished. Having these very specific parameters helped me adjust my project, often on the fly, to make succinct pieces.

Finally, I have realized that while I really enjoy the editing process, I do NOT like being in charge of the mechanical aspects of a video or audio shoot. I am comfortable directing, editing, and even in front of the camera but the intense focus needed to actually capture good film and audio is not for me. I’m thankful that I now have the basics down, but I hope to work with camera, sound, and lighting experts on future projects!

Research:

Because this is my last week finding video clips to demonstrate different types of editing, I will bring you two more from – yea… Wes Anderson. Finding these examples actually took a bit more looking than I had expected because much of Wes Anderson’s dialogue is shot head on with both actors in the screen.

The L-Cut

This scene shows Royal attending Margot Tenenbaum’s birthday party where the children perform her play. At 0:25 we see an L-cut from Royal talking to Margot’s face. This is a wonderful little cut because it enables the viewer to see how absolutely disgusted Margot is with her father’s comment.

The J-Cut

This montage from The Grand Budapest Hotel employs J-cuts when transitioning from shot to shot. The audio of each hotelier answer the phone cuts in while the lobby boy is still “taking over” from whatever task the hotelier was performing. These are very brief and the video catches up quickly.

Create

For this week’s assignment, I completed my mini-documentary titled Going Back: Returning to the Office Post-Pandemic. My original plan for this piece would be to interview three people who have experienced working through the pandemic differently over the course of the last 13 months.

As is often the case, my plan was too ambitious for the five minute time frame and I had to pivot to only using footage from one interview. I chose the interview with Barbara Vestergaard because speaking with her about the positive and negative aspects of working from home really resonated with me. We work in similar environments and hearing about the things she felt like she was missing out on made me realize that perhaps I was missing out on aspects of working in the office as well.

I also believe my interview with Barbara had the best three-point lighting and rule of thirds framing of my three interviews. I did run into some trouble with b-roll because I could not film on the campus of the school at which Barbara works due to their rules about visitation during Covid. I tried to find some photos online, but I know that this part of the project could have been better. I look forward to coming back to this documentary during my capstone project and either adding more b-roll to ease the transitions in Barbara’s commentary, or even expanding this into a longer piece in which I can use interviews from all three of my subjects.

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