Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What I Did With My Summer Vacation

Well, the 12-week run of the Frugal Traveler's road trip is at the half way point. Here are the Frugal Traveler episodes I've edited this summer, so far...
Frugal Traveler: American Road Trip
(Week 1: Maryland and North Carolina) 3:07
May 23, 2007

Frugal Traveler: American Road Trip
(Week 2: Armuchee, Georgia) 4:14
May 30, 2007

Frugal Traveler: American Road Trip
(Week 3: Nashville, Tennessee) 4:39
June 6, 2007

Frugal Traveler: American Road Trip
(Week 4: Columbus, Indiana) 4:28
June 13, 2007

Frugal Traveler: American Road Trip
(Week 5: West Lima, Wisconsin) 4:36
June 20, 2007

Frugal Traveler: American Road Trip
(Week 6: South Dakota & Nebraska) 5:04
June 27, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

In Process

Started shooting a new summer documentary project this week, though it will be a while before it takes focus....

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

FT: Week 5

If it's Wednesday, this must be West Lima, Wisconsin.

Among the ideas learned in this week's "Frugal Traveler" edit: the importance of 500 Hz. The audio on the original interviews was quite problematic (I'm not certain if there was a problem with the camera or a setting or that's just the nature of that camera under certain conditions) with little or no bass in the voices. I used a three-band equalizer on these, but it turned out my first instinct -- boosting the 80 Hz frequency -- had little effect. After a lot of trial and error, boosting 500 Hz as far as it would go returned the voices to a more normal sound.

As always, with only one day (less really) to edit a 4:36 piece, there are some things I see now that I'd like to go back and refine. First draft of the cut was over five minutes, so the last part of the process was trimming down about 30 seconds of material. With enough time and coffee, probably another 15 seconds could be taken out, and there are a few edit points that could be made more precise.

I've always loved the way Walter Murch describes standing while he edits, and hitting certain by edit points "by feel" until he hits the same point repeatedly, then deciding that must be the right instant. Over time, of course, I've come to realize that's terrible advice, sort of like some great baseball batter advising one to swing at the right time....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Frugal Cutting, Week 4

It's Wednesday, so here is the next episode of the Frugal Traveler. Week 4 is "Columbus, Indiana."

In the end it is a straightforward cut, but in the process there were some interesting editing questions. For example, there is a shot of a kid on a rope swing. He starts from standing, jumps up on the rope, swings toward us, then away. The end of the shot went out of focus and wasn't usable, so the cut is based on screen position -- when he hits a point that puts him in relatively the same position as where you would look in the next shot, I cut.

Does that work, or not? The old editing maxim was "motion to motion, still to still" so in a traditional view it doesn't -- he should finish the swing, then we can cut to the next non-motion shot, or the next shot should be motion also. Of course, with documentary materials this is the type of problem that comes up all the time, since there is often only one take available -- and it's needed for the story....

Friday, June 08, 2007

Last Night of "Truth Be Told"

Bowery Scenes by Tina Grapenthin

A Flower for Lisa by Tijana Petrovic

Lee Feldman, Lee Feldman by Maya Mumma

Getting Back by Anthony Weeks

Florent by Laura van Schendel

There was a reception after, then the After Party at Fiddlesticks and then on to Art Bar. Art Bar makes a good Negroni (1 oz Gin, 1 oz Campari, 3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth).

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Third Night of "Truth Be Told"

Notebook on Santas and Elves by Ted Fisher

Met Pool by Meredith L. Patten

Moving House by Andrea Nugent

820 Classon by Nihal Ataman

Best question I received at the Question-and-Answer session: Why is the film in the "Second Person"? I answered, but thought of a better answer until later: "Because you think it should be."

After Party: Spain, but I didn't get to go. Rushed home to edit....

Second Night of "Truth Be Told"

Woman With Cats by Erin Clarke

Reinventing Ellen by Elisabeth Walter

These Simple Acts by Courtney Coulson

Double the Pleasure...Eight Times the Therapy by Linda Goldman

After Party: White Horse Tavern.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Frugal Traveler goes to Nashville

New Frugal Traveler posted.

I edited until 6 p.m., then ran to the screening of my film (will post about that soon) then back home to finalize the edit and post it.

Monday, June 04, 2007

First Night of "Truth Be Told"

Krumbs by Margaret Galbraith

Shadows of Guilt by Dana Bartle

Hearts Suspended by Meghna Damani

in/sight by Jennifer Jones

Nice Question-and-Answer session with the subjects of the films. Most importantly: after party was at Il Buco.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Truth Be Told Documentary Film Festival

Truth Be Told: Documentary Film Festival
Sunday–Wednesday, June 3–6, 7:00-9:00 p.m. screenings.
The New School, Tishman Auditorium, 66 West 12th Street, ground floor. Admission: Free. Reception following screening on Wednesday, June 6.

The New School’s Documentary Media Studies Program presents four evenings of short documentaries. The inaugural class’s final work from the program, these films are the product of a year of intensive work in documentary production, history, and theory.

Sunday, June 3—Truth Be Told: Against the Odds
Whether starting a baked-goods business on a street corner in Brooklyn or starting a new life outside of the walls of maximum-security prison, the individuals profiled in tonight’s films have overcome or are facing tremendous challenge.

Monday, June 4—Truth Be Told: Who Are You?
How does your identity form when you are born as a twin? How do your profession, your daily rituals, or your hobbies contribute to who you are? These films address the basic, profound question of human identity.

Tuesday, June 5—Truth Be Told: Citywide
From Williamsburg to Queens to the Upper West Side, New York inhabitants explored.

Wednesday, June 6—Truth Be Told: The Journey
A man is on a difficult path to recovery. A neighborhood changes. Careers and businesses rise and fall. We are all on a journey.