The Fall semester is over, and I got all A’s in my classes so YAY for me. While I have some time off, I wanted to really get into both Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro, using what I learned for some fun personal projects. The thing with me is that I normally have to play around with new things to really understand how it works and how it can be useful to me and my ideas. So I wanted to use the rest of the year, before the Winter semester starts, to play around with the programs. And that’s exactly what I’m going to talk about today. Because, you see, I decided to use Beyonce in a video editing project.
Being the big Beyonce fan I am, of course I bought the Platinum Edition of her self-titled 5th album. I loved the live performance DVD in the set, and her performance of “Blow” was one of my favorites. I loved so many moments in the performance that I decided to use that as my source for a new editing project. The idea was to mix up the live performance from the DVD, the original music video of the song and pieces of her MTV VMA Performance. I didn’t want to JUST edit it though, I wanted to try to work with different effects, and my initial idea was to drain the vibrancy of the video and make it look almost like an old VHS recording. I guess I was inspired by the look of Beyonce in her solo head shots in the music video, because it feels like an homage to 1970’s Porn, and that idea was what I was going for in my first draft. Which you can watch below.
Now, I’m MOSTLY happy with this edit. I’ll get into my favorite bits in a minute when I talk about the FINAL version of my edit. Ultimately though, the effects I put on here are not giving me the look I wanted. It looks grainy and off balance, but not in the specific way I wanted it. I actually didn’t mind how blurry the footage with her and her dancers on the roller skates look, but the live performance stuff didn’t translate well to YouTube. I had a few other editing things I wanted to change, so once I started working on those changes I decided to take off all the effects to make it look cleaner. I still don’t like the fact that I couldn’t master what I wanted style wise, but I’m still learning. And messing with the effects on the first draft is going to be helpful in the future.
So, here’s the FINAL edit.
And now we’ll get into my favorite bits of this Editing journey. I have to say that overall I really enjoy my edit. I feel like it got the best bits of each performance, yet it doesn’t sacrifice a good flow. Nothing, to me, seems really awkward or off putting, and everything definitely moves with the rhythm of the song. (Of course, I changed the pitch just to avoid a copyright issue!) I love that I was able to do at least two thirds of what I set out to do. And even though I spent days and hours on this, it was mostly really fun and I enjoy that feeling because you should have some fun in your future career. Now let’s get into my favorite bits.
I got through most of my Editing fine, but once I was about 70% done I was looking for different techniques to fill the thing up. There were some transitions that I didn’t like, and there were some blank spaces that I didn’t know how to fill. So this next technique happened almost on accident but became a life saver, AND became some of my favorite parts of the whole edit. What happened was, I was trying to fill up a certain blank spot, so I thought “HEY! I’ll just post the clip twice”. There was a head shot of Beyonce moaning, I posted it back to back because it was really super short, and I ended up loving the effect. So for some of the clips that were so small that you might blink and not see them, and for the clips that weren’t transitioning into other clips well, I used this double time technique. I especially love it on the portion screen-capped below.
It’s a VERY small portion of the edit, but I love the clip and I love highlighting it by putting it up twice. There are also some parts on the “CHERRY” half that I really love. So that’s one technique mastered. (I shouldn’t say MASTERED, but you get the point)
I guess my other favorite moment relates to that technique, but it wasn’t an accidental idea. Right before Beyonce starts her verse on the “Cherry” half of “BLOW”, there is this beautiful vocal effect she does that has always been a favorite part of the song for me. I was wondering how I could highlight that part, and I thought of syncing a clip with that effect and having the footage kind of stutter with the sounds. (Does that make sense?)
I ended up having to tweak that bit a little more on the Final edit, but I just love it. I think the first time we see it, it’s flawless. There is something OFF about the second time though and I can’t really figure out what it is. And I might be imagining it to be honest. Either way, I ‘m so glad I thought of it and was able to execute it.
Another thing (I feel this blog post getting boring), one of my favorite bits of the original music video is when Beyonce says “I kiss you and you lick your lips”, and I knew I was going to keep that entire clip untouched in the edit. But as I played it back (countless times), I felt that was a tad boring so I had to think of a way to fix it. I thought of highlighting the actual licking of the lips, so after some playing around I was able to mess with the Offset effect. I put the same clip on top of each other 3 times and off set them and messed with opacity to give you the sort of triple time lick lip that I LOVE! I think it sets this Edit up for what comes later on, and I think it’s flawlessly done even though I was just playing around.
The last thing I really messed with, just to spice the footage up, was the idea of reversing clips. I actually didn’t do it too much. I did it on the “Cherry” portion screen-capped below, and I did it very quickly on a piece of footage from the VMA’s. I LOVE the “Cherry” in reverse though, I think it goes along with the rhythm and definitely accentuates the sexiness of her and her dancers hip sway.
So in closing, I Love what I did here, there’s hardly anything I cringe at (there’s two quick bits I wish I could have changed, but it’s done now). I’m glad I was able to let go and just do what I felt, because editing (and anything creative) is about putting your own style into it and I believe I achieved that.
PLEASE give me some feedback. Like I say… I like it, but when I’m finished with my Video Editing certificate and looking for jobs… it’s not like I can hire and pay myself. So I need some outside opinions.
Next up! I am finally going to attempt a Trailer for “Brave”. I also have an idea for a quick trailer for “The Wolf of Wall Street”. I want to try to do something similar to this “Blow” edit, because I really do think I’d be a great music video editor, but I can’t decide what I want to use. I’m also wanting to work with some footage of Prince, I want to do that but I fear it might be a waste because as soon as I upload him and his team are probably gonna pull it. I’m also working on Photoshop with different ideas, maybe that’ll be a different post.
For now, go check out my “BLOW” edit and leave some comments! I want to know how I’m doing.