Task 4 – Documentary Post Production log

In this task I will create a log diary that supports my post production work and by keeping a day to day diary of; the roles I have carried out; the problems I encountered; my solutions to fixing them and what I have learned through the experience it should provide evidence of my project. I will also be taking screen shots of my editing process of key parts which I want to discuss.

Monday 14th January

Today was my first day on editing with the soundtrack. I had previously made an EDL and wasn’t feeling extremely confident until today’s process. The reason for this was because I feared I did not have enough footage and if I could create the meaning I was searching for: There wasn’t enough close ups of myself and the people on the dance floor which I knew when edited together would give the notion that the two are connected. In fact this was one of the main aims of my planning; to show an environment where DJs and their audience’s were connected and apart of the same foundation.
All this changed when I received my audio! The soundtrack was given to me by a close friend who has been a producer for many years. He was keen for the idea and I knew when I came into this course that our interests may collaborate. It has been an excellent experience as my documentary supports the idea for a electronic soundtrack and this joint effort has made me passionate to look for other producers and music makers that are keen to do the same thing.
Editing with the new soundtrack in place made all my worries fade away. I now had rhythm; a beat and a style to work with. The choice of music comes from a genre by the name ‘Glitch-hop’. It is a 100bmp and has an extremely funky and heavy style which can be seen to have splices of electronic basslines and rhythmic instruments mixed into it.
The speed and the style of the music was perfect. It gave room for both 50fps slow mo takes and 25fps (normal speed) shots which I mixed together. The Electric guitar and mid range bpm set the tone and gave off a cool atmosphere for what I felt my topic was all about.
My initial plan was for the opening scene to be a non liner effect where the rave or club had already started and the audience sees a sort of flash forward effect where it shows what the video is intending to build up to. When I heard the soundtrack I knew that this effect would be at its optimal as it starts with a slow and steady electric guitar introduction. With the use of fades and black outs I created a montage of a flash forward with key opponents like the DJs record box that were due to be included into the topic.
After the intro and before the track drops we see a hand reaching for the headphones which to me gives the idea like something or someone was about to begin. I not only used this image as a starting point but I spliced it into a separate image of a turntable to create a more intense style for what the music was telling.

After the drop I incorporated my footage that I obtained from a separate day to the original day of filming. I knew that I was lacking a beginning to my story so I decided to film my friends reenacting a scene from outside a club. They were to stand in a line and pretend they were waiting to get into a club. I made cuts from them cueing, to close ups and shots of them talking to one an other. I feel this worked well as to me it gave an impression that a group of individuals were about to begin their story to the documentary. Here my choice of editing still remained gradual. In other words I made sure I wasn’t fast cutting and showing short images so that when I needed to I could progress making the lengthy footage seemed more relaxed and act against what would come next.
It was good practice for me to get an experience of contrast in my editing and I feel this effect can be used for me in the future where the same narrative issues approaches and demands me to create contrast between two scenes. Such similar examples where change is due to the soundtrack can be seen in music videos. One example that comes to mind is ‘Prodigy – No Good’ where we see a man walking into an underground rave to a slow mo effect. He has no idea to what he is about to see but our audience know to expect a contrast due to the style of the artist and slow footage to a seemingly fast piece of music.
My idea is to keep this in mind and by reminding myself to take note of these effects seen in other people’s work can I give room to improve this technique and have it mastered for other opportunities. Critically speaking I feel that my contrast between the two scenes could have stand better chance if the intro was longer or if I shot more 50fps footage that I could put in at the start and really start at the bare bones of a beginning. Prodigy’s No Good showing a man walking through an environment may be a good tip to try in the future.

As I continued to edit my start to the documentary was making it’s self clear and my next job was to choose through my EDL of which shots would go in what order; which was a process of elimination. It sometimes took me hours just to cut and pick a piece of footage that would only last two seconds. It was an extremely rewarding process and I found that once making a change it was better to accept it rather than to worry if the last piece was better or not. I got into the frame of mind that if I decided to make a change there was definitely something wrong and going back and forth would be a slow and draining process. I have never thought this way about editing and I am naturally cautious but to me this was definitely a skill I had learn in today’s experience and one I intend to use again until another or separate technique makes it self known.

Tuesday 15th January

From yesterday’s experience I felt confident on editing which placed me in a positive mood. There was still much to do but I knew what ever it was it would feel fresh and original. I had the enjoyable experience of creating a full on rave with many continuous shots that were filmed on the first day of shooting. As I got into my edit and found new and insightful ways of making a clean edit a problem emerged. I found myself unsure on what to do with the amount of still footage that was left. It was right in the moment where the edit and soundtrack was at it’s peek and cutting back to a stationary vinyl was not an option. It would derive from the rhythm and completely ruin the beat. I once more but my hope into the soundtrack and it came through for me.
There are many parts in the music were the beat would go off and uncontrolled which is the nature in many glitch hop tracks. I decided this was a good way of solving my still imagery problem and decided to cut appropriate bits of footage (footage that made sense to the narrative arc) to come in when the track would corrupt and spin out of control.
Here was another chance to make my story seem more bold. I decided to take pieces from the DJ’s perspective; “what he sees, what he feels”:- and impose it onto the dance floor experience for what the other people were experiencing. This worked well and showed the connected for which was an aim I had set. Critacally speaking I intended to show this relationship through medium close ups of individuals of the audience to the DJ performing but this did not come through. If I did, I imagine the effect through editing would have portrayed them as possibly being in the same situation which was an intention.
Either way the cut out shots filled in a piece to the puzzle and did show a recognisable relationship only the focus was on the equipment and technique of the DJ rather than him him self.

Wednesday 16th January

Today I was unsure if my idea needed further editing. There was still a length of soundtrack available and even more footage I could have used but I found myself stuck and pleased with a final image that I had stopped on. It is as if I stopped because the rhythem could not obtain any sense of a next chapter; I had my beginning, middle and now I was convinced that this image gave enough of an impression to the end of my story.
The image showed a vinyl in rotation and where as I could have gone to really strengthen the ending like the filtration of people leaving the club or a DJ packing up I felt like this all most an untold ending that showed a stronger message and meaning. All most like the story did not have to end, it was ongoing and would happen again, which for me is true. People will never stop partying and music will always go on. So maybe this short story with out a massive effort for an end actually gave better meaning to the purpose of my idea that I could have hoped for.

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