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    December 13th, 2011 @ 10:54 pm by admin

    For those of you who don’t know a lot about the film making process, I thought I’d write a periodic series of blog posts to “pull back the veil” on what it takes to make a film.

    For starters, you may already know that there are three basic stages to creating a film:

    1) Pre-production: This includes every aspect of development up until the cameras roll, from generation of the initial concept to creation of key artwork, outlines, scripting, scouting, etc.

    2) Production: This is the stage most people think of when they think about movie-making. This is boots on the ground, cameras rolling as you capture the images and sounds that will form the content of your film.

    3) Post-production: This is everything that happens after you’ve wrapped production, from logging and editing your footage to creating the final cut of the film.

    Right now, Hellbound? is in the early stages of post-production. Since we wrapped up our final shoot on November 11, I’ve been hard at work going through each interview and selecting which pieces we may potentially use in the final cut. Seeing as we shot over 50 interviews, with an average running time of 60 minutes each, this is a laborious, time-consuming process. And then there’s all of the non-interview footage we shot, most of which I haven’t even touched yet.

    In terms of process, here’s how I approach each interview: Using an editing program called Final Cut Pro, I load up an interview clip and watch it through, keeping an ear out for sound bytes that make a clear and concise point about a particular topic. Once I find something I like, I mark an “in” and “out” point and save a sub-clip under a new name.

    Seeing as we’re not generating transcripts from the footage, developing an effective naming system is key. Otherwise we’ll have mountains of footage with no way to quickly put our hands on the pieces we can actually use. I don’t know if there’s some broadly accepted way of doing this; I just go with what works. So here’s the system I’ve developed. The name of each sub-clip has three parts:

    • The last name of the interview subject
    • A one or two letter code indicating the main subject addressed
    • And then a quote or a summary of what the person actually says.

    For example, I just logged a clip from a guy named Chad Holtz, where he says, “Let’s be honest, fear works. It does motivate us as humans. It works on my kids when I want them to obey. But that doesn’t make it the best motivator.” Could be useful when discussing the relative effectiveness of hell as something that motivates us to behave. So I logged that quote as follows: Holtz – H – “Fear works, but not best motivator.” (The “H” stands for “hell.”)

    So that gets filed away in a bin labeled “Chad Holtz.” But it also gets cross-referenced in another bin labeled “Hell.” I’ll do the same thing for each sub-clip I select from Chad’s interview, whether he’s addressing hell, Universalism, the Bible, justice and so on. That way, all of the clips in his bin automatically sort themselves according to subject. And then within each subject bin, they are automatically sorted alphabetically according to interview subjects’ last name.

    After hearing all that, I know what you’re thinking: This sounds SO gosh darn exciting you can’t understand why YOU didn’t think of going into the movie business. And you’re right, what I’m doing right now is a long way from the glitz and glam of a red carpet premiere. But getting to that red carpet takes thousands of tiny baby steps just like the ones I’m taking right now.

    So if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to get back to Chad…

leave a comment on this post (One Comment)

  1. Being a wedding videographer, I’m very familiar with all you’re doing. I use Sony Vegas Pro and love it. Final Cut sounds very familiar with handling subclips. Doing weddings I have to categorize my clips as well. I usually don’t like a shot to hang more 2-4 seconds, and so I have LOTS AND LOTS of clips.

    Getting them organized is key to making the process flow so I can turn it around in a descent time.

    Thanks for that post.

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