Monthly Archives: March 2014

On the Merits of Director’s Cuts and Learning Software


The truth is sometimes you have to go with what you got. Especially when learning new software. Ok, let me roll back and tell you what happened.

In December, I got this excellent Daryl Funko Pop Figure. Yay gift cards, yay Daryl! Immediately I thought I should try some stop-motion with him, he doesn’t have lots of articulated parts, so it might be fun to move him around see what he gets up to. I also wanted to try out some eerie lighting, since I had also found the cool ‘kevins’, aka those wobble lights, that you can set anywhere and they just light up. Plus I wanted to try low light and see how the iPhone camera did with just ambient light. I thought a Daryl / X-Files kind of thing might be in order. So I broke out some other toys, settled on the spaceship, set up a scene and told Brandon he should come work the camera.

This was pretty impromptu, born out of an extra day off. THIS IS IMPORTANT! It’s important because the impromptu nature meant we didn’t do any of the new things we are trying to do like, a shot list, a storyboard, etc. All the preparation stuff. We shot the video, tried some other stills etc, had a chat and some fun. It went well, despite the unprepared state. It’s funny, one of us will usually have a good picture of the project in mind. A sort of director’s cut if you will.

A few days later, we had a Plaid Play day. (These are fun days, when we hang out and do art, discussion, learnin’ and play) I spent a couple hours of the day editing the snazzy new video. It was great! The video posted here is not it! See we are new to video editing software. It’s important to learn it, but has a steep learning curve. Probably would be easier to take a class and learn, but we are using the webs. ‘Cause it’s cheaper and less time consuming in a full work schedule. Somewhere between finishing the edit and saving the project, something got lost, button-pressed or misplaced; I’m not sure what exactly. But the nice edit was gone and in it’s place was all the clips I had been working from.

So now I did’t have any cheat sheets of preparation to go by, I didn’t have any notes I made during editing and I was back at square one. And I couldn’t quite get the magic back. I had done something that made that video great, but when I did it over again, I got only good results. So lessons learned: Prepare! Take Notes! Ambient light is interesting!

See you next time.