Adventures in Editing?

For this project I was asked to make some edits to bring out the best visuals for the project. I have some very strong opinions on the changes and am feeling a bit out of sorts about them. The first video link is the before, the second is the after. The second video has all music removed, but this will be added back in when the final project is complete.

One of the challenges I came up against in this project was the Warp Stabilizer. I have used the Warp Stabilizer in previous projects with good results. I wanted to use it in my previous versions but it gave me an error about Nesting, which I thought was weird because I had only selected one clip. Why would I need to Nest if it was only one clip? So instead of looking into it further I left the scenes shaky. I have recently discovered that for whatever reason I had to “nest” the clip in order to use the Warp Stabilizer. I am much happier with several of the shots after using this. When I tried the Warp Stabilizer on the acceptance letter though, I was really not happy with the effect and ended up undoing it. I did brighten the image and the letter does appear whiter. One of the suggestions was to have Zephram introduce himself and then state that he is pursuing a career in acting. I eliminated all of the dorm scenes and the associated dialogue. Some of these cuts did help me to recognize some back and forth of scenes that were redundant. I used the shot of the teddy bear, senior t-shirt, and GCU bag to show in an image the transition from childhood to adulthood, but perhaps using a scene of Zeph driving away will provide that feeling more succinctly and less personally.

The only production sound on this video is the kitchen scene with the acceptance letter. All other sounds are from the Westar Sound Effects library. The audio from the outside performance was full of wind noise and the performance in the high school gym was not miked. I added the spit and body thuds and the effect was well received. The laughter was also from the library but I got it to line up pretty well and again that was well received. I found a sound effect of a person fidgeting in a chair and that worked well with the movement of the scaffolding. I also found a recording of a parking lot that had a honk of a horn that I included in the drive onto the GCU campus.

The story that I originally wanted to tell was the story of my son’s transition from home and high school to dorm and college. Part of that story was a drastic shift from wanting to pursue a degree in computer science and video game design, to pursuing a degree in drama and theater. As in the real world, what a videographer may be sent out to shoot may not be what is finally shown on the nightly news. My story morphed into a story about a kid pursuing his dream of acting and going to college to pursue it. My son stated that the video after the cuts seems “bland.” There were elements of symbolism that seemed to be lost on my audience that ended up being cut. The excitement about acting is present, but none of the trepidation about this milestone in my son’s life. I feel a bit distant from the project and that too much has been cut. I have learned a great deal and the quality of the video is improved from the original, but I no longer feel the story is engaging. Telling an effective story in two minutes is much like a headline. The audience can get the wrong idea, maybe that is what happened here. I changed the title to “In Pursuit of Acting,” because that seems to be the story now. I cut all connections to friends and family, I cut all elements of dorm and campus life. What is left is the headline, but I am not sure that is the point. I am really not sure where to go from here and I am feeling a bit lost.

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