Recently, I’ve been dedicating a good chunk of my time to learning basic video editing. Despite the fact that after a few hours of devout screen time my eyes start to feel like swollen golf balls, trying to escape my head by bulging out through my facial orfices, it’s been pretty fun. I’m pleased to say that all of that relentless staring has yielded a noticeable improvement from the videos I was producing just a few months, and that’s only from seriously dedicating some attention. So that’s pretty cool. Just having a moment, right here.
“My precioussss (sleep schedule)…”
I’ve been working on a few little concepts, learning to gauge how lengthy and engrossing different edits might be. Shorter clips using my own time-lapses or sourced footage can come together in a matter of hours, whereas my lengthier, more involved videos have taken up to 4-days, by the end of which I am ready for a cold compress to the forehead. Keep in mind that this is for a 90s video, with some green curtain work (Yes, curtain. I am using a lime green curtain that I found upstairs in lieu of a proper screen, to varied success).
When I first got started, I was working with iMovie (with the desire of getting accustomed to the timeline layout (although I kind of already was from working with Sonar for sound production when I was younger). I have a bad habit of over-complicating things and running full-tilt off the bulkhead before remembering that I’m not particularly buoyant, so I thought to myself “no, you’re going to start with something free and basic to get a handle on it. If you like it, then you can upgrade”. Wowowowow. Who are you? So sensible and mature and it only took 29 years.
Admittedly, this was not a bad idea and did give me some time to determine if I was truly interested in serving up some edits or if I was just seeing sparkles (so many sparkles). It didn’t take long to start noticing some limitations with splicing and timing clips precisely, layering multiple overlays.. So I decided that it was time to graduate to Premiere. It did cross my mind and for some reason worry me that it was going to be more user un-friendly (you mean I’m going to have to put in effort to learn something?), but I was shocked when I felt like how I imagine a duck in the bath might, just having myself a grand old time.
I fully accept that I am no cinematographer.. and honestly I find all of those epic drone footage montages set over edm tracks that I keep seeing everywhere devoid of.. well, a few things. It doesn’t take long for all of them to kind of start looking and feeling the same. I couldn’t point to one and go “oh, that’s so-and-so’s work”. Yeah, so cheers for the technical savoir-faire and captured aesthetic appeal, but for me something is missing. I feel myself longing for something more than just a quick flex. But this constructive criticism and consideration goes two ways, urging me to challenge myself and take the time to consider my motivations. I want to make sure to focus on developing both the idea behind each concept as well as the dialogue around it because.. I’ll get back to you on that one.
So if the experiments as of late have revealed anything to me, it’s that I find myself quite interested in artistic direction over cinematics (that and just generally enjoying myself whilst being creative). At least for right now, I feel like that is where I need to be focused, while working with the equipment that I have (I’m not knocking my little Sony because it’s proven to be an effective beast in battle and I have a few things to learn about lighting and exposure). I guess for now the goal is to fully grasp the technicalities of the tools and develop to the point of out-growing the camera? One day, I will have that upgrade. For now, it’s working with what’s in my hands. Oh, there I go! Being so sensible again.