For March's competition I got a little confused and started shooting video and stills for a song called Emotional Weather Report. At the eleventh hour, I remembered that the chosen song was actually Nighthawk Postcards so I had to lengthen to footage substantially and it had a very negative effect on the project.
Without the soundtrack/lyrics - and after some re-editing on the fly - it just looks like a very amateur mish-mash with a messed up soundtrack.
I did however take some learnings from this which I thought I should add to my blog.
- The combination of moving and still images can work well but the frames need to be planning carefully and fit together smoothly - the narrative is as important as ever
- The pacing is crucial
- There needs to be a strong beginning and ending. And, ideally, a middle...
- Matching colour frame to frame is surprisingly easy in FCPX and quite exciting!
- A dirty lens will ruin at least half of your shots
- Some very cool footage can come from very ordinary things - I love the reflections of car lights on the tarmac and the shop lights in the puddles
- The image quality is pretty poor (shot on a Fuji compact) - this works more for some of the images than others
- It is definitely always worth recording atmos and having some interesting soundscapes to use for still image montages
- The coming out of the bar onto the street segment could have been repeated to good effect
- I deliberately blurred some of the shots and I think they work well in this context
- I like the trees and special effects at the end - a dreamy abstract feel
Overall, I am not satisfied with the final outcome of this experiment, although I am heartened by knowing that I could have got a better result (even with the irrelevant footage I had) if I'd devoted much more time to the editing. A montage really can be much greater than the sum of its parts. This is something I will take with me into the rest of my photography study - even when I am finished with this "silly film course" as Clive teasingly calls it.
Next time, I can plan and execute more effectively so it has been a useful process, and there are elements I really like. Plus I was flattered that a friend commented that the film had an Edward Hopper atmosphere (which was of course one of my aims) - he even created this image to illustrate his observation:
Here is a version of the sequence (with the Waits soundtrack removed and some of the clips re-edited):
Down and out in Berlin from Helen Rosemier on Vimeo.
Edit: I have just read this post from WeAreOCA which mentions Tom Waits and Hopper...