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And last night, I exhaled!

My Video Editing class has come to an end and I am so relieved. Taking those classes at night and working full time in the day had me completely EXHAUSTED. I still have about a year and a half to go before I finish up all the classes for that Video Editing Certificate I talked about before, but at least this portion is over now. Anyway, the class is over and I’m not really sure how I did, but there are a few projects that I felt really proud about and I decided to share them here.

So let’s do this chronologically, to give you a sense of what the class was like.

We started out doing a basic overview of the Adobe Premiere Pro software before we actually did anything. It is a very cool program, with lots of great tools to make things a little simpler to navigate. Of course there are more technical aspects for the more advanced user, but I was mostly pleased with Premiere Pro though, especially after working on Windows Live Movie Maker, which is great but has lots of limitations.

Our first couple of projects consisted of us doing small projects with very very VERY amateur footage the Instructor provided us. Very simple stuff, just so that we could get more hands on experience using the software and understand different editing techniques. The next project was putting together a Music Video out of – again – very very VERY amateur footage. It was fun, even though the music was terrible and the “performers” gave us very uninspired stuff to work with. I’m obviously a big music person, so the idea of cutting a video was awesome.

Our midterm was a group project, and we were asked to edit a Movie (of the list she provided) of our choice into a 2 minute trailer. Me and my partner picked the classic musical “Singin’ in the Rain”. We decided what we wanted the flow of the trailer to be, and we decided that I’d do the first half and he’d do the second half. We worked well together, but unfortunately an issue with the different versions of Premiere Pro prevented me from presenting my half of the trailer. Luckily though, the next project was to refine that footage and make the trailer 1 minute and 30 seconds – and we could work by ourselves.

So here is MY “Singin’ in the Rain” trailer, which was really fun to put together. I love this movie, and my hope was to put something together that showed off more of the plot while keeping the viewers guessing about what they’d get when they saw the full movie. And here it is…

 

Our Final project was a tad confusing because of some miscommunication. At first, the Instructor told us the project could be “Anything”. So for pretty much all the semester I was thinking about what I could possibly put together. I wanted to do something challenging and creative and powerful to show my skills but the closer we got to the due date, the Instructor put more restrictions on the project. She gave us footage from different genres of things. There was documentary footage, there was random B-roll footage, and footage from a popular Crime series. She also said we could use the movies she provided for the Movie Trailer project, and we could use footage we shot ourselves.

Here’s what threw me off.

There were questions about why we had to stick to those specific restrictions, at first the Instructor said it was a copyright issue. Then another student asked if she could pull video from YouTube and use it, and the reason the Instructor gave for not doing that was because she wanted us to use HD quality stuff. Then my Movie Trailer partner (who sat right next to me) asked her in class if we could use HD footage of Movies or Videos we had in our personal libraries, and she sighed and said “sure”. So the next day, my partner was editing together footage from the movie “Para-Norman”. So I thought I was in the clear, because my first idea was to cut up Rihanna’s “We Found Love” video and make it look like it was a Movie trailer.

I changed my mind last minute and decided to use Beyonce’s video for “Superpower”, and I worked for three days on it. It was cool just pulling the images I wanted to use, and making a different sort of narrative of the video. My creative juices were definitely flowing. After a while, I felt it lacked a more powerful Audio message, so I went and searched for speeches about rebellion and revolution (because that’s what the video is all about) and I happened upon some great interviews with Angela Davis, a popular figure in the Black Power movement of the 70’s. The audio worked PERFECTLY with the imagery, and I thought that I was going to blow the class and the Instructor away with my project.

I was about 2/3 done with the project when I asked the Instructor to look over it for feedback. She watched it, and her first reaction was “this was supposed to be video I provided or video that you shot”, and I reminded her what she told my partner. She seems to have forgotten what she said, or misunderstood exactly what he was talking about. She said I could still use the footage, but she gave me a VERY lukewarm response to my footage. So I decided, one day before the project was due, to just scrap it and use some of the footage she gave us.

I moved on, but yesterday in our final class I completed the “Superpower” project because I wanted to share it. So here it is. What do you think?

 

What I turned in for my final, I’m really not that proud of. I was rushing obviously and I didn’t have those creative juices flowing, instead I had anxious last-minute fumes. I decided to do another Movie Trailer, and given the choices I picked Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator” because I love that Movie and had a vague idea of what I’d do. I focused mainly on the airplane aspect of the Movie, and this is what I came up with.

I think I suceeded in certain parts of the project, but failed at other parts. You notice how some parts are a lot slower than others, well I did that to stretch out the time to make the trailer it’s required 1 minute and 30 seconds. I was also having issues playing with the Title functions, I wanted to do something a little more creative with them but obviously time was an issue. I do feel like I succeeded in doing most of what I set out to do, which is mainly cutting the plane footage together and giving it a certain rhythm, which was one of the good critiques I got last night.

If given more time, I would have changed the title cards and probably used footage in the air for the backdrop instead of using just a black screen. I also would have switched up the music, because I really wanted to try to incorporate Rihanna’s “Get It Over With” (“it’s alright, we can float in the clouds”). It is what it is, and most of the feedback I got was good. So, I’ll pat myself on the back.

Overall, I enjoyed the class. Because it was during the Summer session, the entire class was more fast paced than the two classes I’ll be taking this Fall. The pace of the class was very tiring, but I got through it and learned some stuff. And I’m one step closer to be a certified Video Editor.

#PROGRESS

So… any Video Editors have any useful feedback for me? Leave it in the comments.

 

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