Bonus #2 -Project Breakdown-

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  • John Cranman

    Loved it. Thanks for the transparency again, because it can be intimidating thinking that other filmakers have it all figured out while you dont haha. These experiences must just be universal, because I cant tell you how many times I’ve had numerous takes and just got “lucky”, and how many times I’ve shot b-roll thinking it was going to be good but ended up not feeling it or using it at all. Or how many times I’ve pushed the comfort level of volunteers while on a shoot lol. But I’d much rather over-shoot things and have more than I’ll need rather than not enough footage.

    Question, on the Ronin, were you using the C100 as well? That shot was so good, it set up the vibe for the video so well. I usually have issues with gowing from low to high on the Ronin to where it looks rushed. (Just need to practice it more, but I’ve since gotten a Zhyiun lol) But your timing was spot on by the time the officer got to the door. I also really dug how you started the interview with no music. That was so raw, and I plan on stealing that technique at some point lol.

    • Thanks John! If anyone tells you they’ve got it all figured out, they’re lying to you! haha

      We used the C100mkII for the entire project and when it was on the Ronin-M when I was shooting the reenactments I was using the Canon 17-55 2.8 lens with IS. Unless I’m working for a director that insists on using certain lenses, I only ever use my Ronin when also using lenses with IS (image stabilization). I find that I always need the extra help in making the shot smoother.

      For that particular shot in the film it was literally my 18th take of trying similar shots out, so by the time I got that shot that made it into the film, I had tried it many times and had watched several of them to see what I needed to do differently to make it work. I think by the time I got to that take I had decided that the opening would me more intriguing if the audience didn’t know it was a police officer until the very end so that’s why I ended up starting on a close up of his feet and not lifting up to reveal his gun and patch until the very end. And to be honest, now that I think of it, I bet the first couple times I tried that shot I wasn’t even thinking about revealing his gun or police patch, I was probably just trying to come up to show his hand about to knock on the door. It probably wasn’t until playing it back and watching it that I realized that I was also perfectly revealing his identity as a police officer at the same time – again, probably recognizing a happy accident out on the shoot and then seizing on the opportunity.

  • Rico Molden

    Loved seeing all the thought and process here and maturity in deciding what visuals are right for the final edit. Way to go on not trying to force the reenactment footage that took effort to get and looks awesome but would have ended up taking some of the wind out of the sail. I’d like to think I would have done the same but I’ve seen my stubborn self falling in love with a clip and try to force it into the video; I’ll take this as a reminder to do what’s right for the edit.

    I do have a question, was the music scored specifically for this video? It feels sooooo spot on! Love how it hangs in moments where the interviewee pauses and then picks up with the right energy as needed. If so, what is that process like?

    • Thanks Rico!

      If memory serves me correctly, I found a track on Musicbed that I really liked and used it as a temp track when I was creating my first cut. It worked really good for the first minute or so, but then got a little too dramatic (with cinema strings, etc.) for the piece, so I commissioned my composer (TJ Hill….also a Musicbed artist) to make an original score to better match the piece. Also, by the time I was ready to have the music composed, I had the edit locked, so I knew exactly where I wanted it to hang during the quiet moments, where I wanted it to add emotion, and where I wanted it to start change tones from drama to celebration and then back to still, subtle introspection. TJ always does a great job of catching the vision and has great instincts on how to follow the feeling of the edit. Usually we only have to go back and forth 1 or 2 rounds before we get everything to fit just right.

      Usually when building an edit, I’ll just use an ambient temp track that doesn’t change much (no builds, or crescendos, etc.) to help me feel more emotionally connected to the content & then that helps me make good, content based decisions on where to put what. Then once I do that, I have a much better feeling for which parts of the edit needs what type of music & then depending on the project I commission TJ to make something original or I start searching Musicbed (or Soundstripe) to find a song (or two or three) that I can piece together to hit all of the movements that I want the soundtrack to have.