After a nice day out of the office it was back sitting down in front of the computer all day! I started by showing Russ what I started for the trailer edit for The Mirror, after some feedback I did a little more rearranging of clips, still desperately trying to gleam some kind of storyline from it! To have a bit of a bit of a break from this I did some of the more admin side of the company by helping Karen with some quoting of jobs to clients for jobs around the world. This also meant I had to try and organise some camera crews in various countries such as Shang Hai and Switzerland. I had to search for for a company that looked professional and at the same level as RedShark in terms of size so that the quote would not be too large for the client. This required an element of organisation I am not used to as a lot of them responded quite promptly with e-mails or phone calls so I had to keep track of what I had told each company so that I could obtain the correct information from them and effectively get a quote.
Whilst I was waiting for replies from them I organised the call sheet for a shoot we were doing tomorrow for Deloitte. Deloitte are the biggest client of RedShark, giving them over 50% of there jobs in year, Deloitte are one of those companies that you never really hear about but are behind some of the biggest companies in the world. They manage the accounts and consult many of the worlds biggest companies so are a very important client to RedShark. A call sheet is a sheet for a shoot that has the details for everyone involved and the schedule for the shoot so that on the day everything goes smoothly. Whilst I was doing this we had received an e-mail from Deloitte saying that the international shoots that I had been organising earlier were to be cancelled. This meant that anyone who had got back to me then had to be informed that the client was no longer going ahead with the shoot but they would be kept on record in case they could help with any further shoots.
Today was my first experience of a shoot with RedShark. When I got to the location, which was near The Ritz and Mayfair, my first thought was, wow, I hope I don’t smash anything. The building contained many an expensive painting and chandelier reflecting the wealth of the area. When I got there they had already started setting up and it was just a matter of connecting the correct cables the the sound mixer and making sure that the cables were out of the way and taped down. After a quick coffee run the first debates were ready to begin, the first debate we were filming was between the school national champions of England Vs the school national champions from Scotland. For the schools debates my role was to operate the boom during the audience questions sections at the end of the debates where the audience make comments on what has been said and ask questions to be addressed in their summary speeches. My main aim here was to not hit the expensive chandeliers hanging precariously on the ceiling, unfortunately I was concentrating so hard on this I forgot to take into account the small boy sitting behind me, who I may have hit in the face…but I dealt with this in a very professional manor apologising to him as soon as the debate ended. After some posh sandwiches and tea it was time for the university finals. For this debate I was given the responsibility monitoring the levels of each of the microphones at the front making sure that everyone is heard correctly. This was a relatively easy task but one that if done wrong would be a huge problem at the editing stage. Once the university finals were done we had just one more thing to do, do a couple of interviews with various members of the ESU to get a little background on the event and what they do to help the event.
This whole day was great as an experience of a professional shoot and dealing with client requirements in a proper and professional way. I saw how they set up cameras properly and how they back up the footage to ensure it is always available. Any problems were dealt with as they could be at the time in a quick and efficient way, when we were unsure what the client wanted at any point we would clarify it before going any further so that they are getting exactly what they want. This also taught me that even on a long day where the content is not as exciting as other things you have to keep you attention focussed!
Today was a very different day because I had the place to myself as Karen doesn’t come in on Thursdays and Fridays and Russ was working from home. This meant I had to manage myself and find things to do on my own, when I got in I knew I had to finish uploading the IATE videos I had been editing. The next thing on my to do list was to watch the film The Mirror and think about what to include in a trailer for it that I had been asked to make. The Mirror was a film that was made by a friend of Russ’ and RedShark had helped in the post production effects, now the only way I can think of describing this film is… erm interesting. There was quite a few problems with watching the film due to a dodgy file type that didn’t have the right codec for a MAC, luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it) I had a copy of the DVD that Russ had given to me earlier that week to test on my computer so watched it that way. Whilst watching the film I took notes of time-codes at points where I thought that it would look good in the trailer.
After watching the film I had to try and make sense of it all so that I could make a trailer that made sense, now this is much harder than it may sound due to the fact that the film didn’t really have any coherent storyline that was obvious to the viewer. In the blurb it advertised itself as a “Psychological Faerytale” and no, I don’t know why fairytale was spelt like that, nevertheless I had been asked to make a trailer for it and so I had to do that! Once all the file problems had been sorted out with a bit of conversion I could get down to the editing, first of all I pulled out all the clips I had noted down as interesting from the film and put them in some kind of order. All the problems with the conversion the finishing of the uploads meant that this was all I had time to do so that was it until sunday when I would be helping them with the filming of the English Speaking Union debate finals.
I started today by simply going over and refining the IATE videos, trimming the ends, making sure the audio levels were consistent and that sort of riveting stuff! whilst I was doing this we were discussing the plans for Sunday when we would be filming the English Speaking Unions Debate competition finals. They also realised that they required a few things such as boxes and tape so sent me on a little errand to obtain these. Unfortunately the moment I stepped outside the heavens opened soaking me! but nevertheless I was successful in my mission and found a box that would fit all the radio mics in it and all the other bits and bobs needed. When I got back I got the fun task of cutting the foam so everything would sit in the box nice and securely which I probably had far too much fun doing!
Today I used another new programme, Adobe After Effects, I have had a little mess around with it before but nothing serious so this was definitely a good experience. The task was to create a title for each of the IATE videos using children’s building blocks to spell out the titles. First of all I had to find a picture of some toy blocks to use as a base, to do this I went on the stock photo website, iStock, where I found the perfect picture of every letter as a building block meaning I wouldn’t have to make every single letter individually. I then used After Effects to separate each letter and make it its own composition so that I could simply create any word I wanted to. This took sometime as I had to draw around each block for each letter of the alphabet and sometimes the mouse could be a little temperamental about where I needed to click to do what I wanted but I eventually got there.
Once I had a composition for every letter I then had to use them to spell out the title of each video by putting them on a still from one of videos. At first this was simply a matter of spelling out then words which even as a media student I have the ability to do! but then too make it look a bit more interesting i added some camera movement. This is done by moving a a camera and the objects within 3D space to give the still image the appearance of being in a 3D space and the illusion of an actual camera. I had a lot of fun being creative with this putting letters further back and bringing them forward into the foreground to give the image depth. After I had finished all of the titles I simply had to export them all and add some music from a free music website and put them on their respective videos.
I learnt a lot more about after effects which will be useful during future projects to make them look and feel a lot more professional. I also know the usefulness of websites that provide stock images for a small fee and royalty free music which is very useful especially for a poor student such as myself!
RedShark are a London based production company that have been running for 10 years and produce mostly corprate videos for clients all around the world. Here is a link to their website with some examples of the work they have done: http://redshark.tv/
So today I began my two weeks of work with them and was straight on with some editing for a client, the IATE (the Institute for Art in Therapy and Education). The videos were of two child psychologists, Denise and Margot, demonstrating different techniques to use when playing with small children to help their development. Some of the videos had been partly edited already so my job was to finish these and start editing the rest of them, overall there was 17 2-3 minute videos to be made. With each one I had to intercut the video of one of the psychologists talking about a technique with videos of them demonstrating the techniques with the children. This was a very good start to the experience for me as I am quite comfortable with editing software although I had never really used Final Cut that much as I have only ever owned Adobe Premiere Pro. This was quite a simple task of essentially cutting and moving of the clips with the challenge being in the selection of the clips to use and when.
I feel developed my editing skills well and got a good experience of using Final Cut which is much more widely used within the professional media world than other programmes I have used before. When people ask me what I want to be when I leave uni I often say an editor because it is something that I have enjoyed quite a lot during my various projects, this experience showed me what it would actually be like to be a professional editor, long and tedious! When it comes to editing videos of the less exciting type the editing process can become very long and repetitive meaning your interest can fade during the day but nevertheless I still enjoyed it and it definitely hasn’t deterred me from considering it as a career option.