I edited a video!

Back in February, Reliquary had a photo shoot to update our ridiculously-outdated studio stills, and thought, hey, we’ll be in a photo studio, with a backdrop and lighting and stuff. We should do a video! And we did. And then I took the raw footage from three inexpensive HD cameras* and smooshed it together to create this :

I am kinda proud of this, which is my first ever try at non-linear editing, even though the end result is not exactly what I wanted it to be.

The important thing is that I learned a whole bunch, and I can’t wait to apply everything I learned to another video. I would, though, do a lot of stuff differently, especially in the shooting. We didn’t think we had the time to go back and re-shoot**, so I worked with what I had.

Things that will be better next time around:

  • Better lighting. So not kidding about this. I would much rather decrease the brightness in my editor than try to crank up levels. It did not work out well.
  • Better shot composition. I didn’t think anyone would object to the edges of the backdrop being in the shots, but someone did =) That meant I had to zoom in to get rid of the edges, which blew out the picture even more and resulted in some weird framing that I was powerless to correct.
  • More b-roll. We didn’t have a story for this video — more a theme, and a fairly vague one, at that — having gone with a fairly simple performance-based thing, but I still wish we’d shot a ton more extra footage. I could have used it. Speaking of themes …
  • A stronger theme. “… and then we can roll ourselves up in the tulle and lace we’ll be using as photo props!” It sounded simple and brilliant at the time, I assure you. Sadly, the best footage was the stuff we couldn’t use because of the aforementioned crappy framing, so you don’t get to see much of us enveloped by our funereal shrouds.
  • Better workflow. I understand the process so much better that it won’t take me two days just to set up the footage for editing, and the editing process itself will go much faster and much more smoothly.

I’ve been asked why we went the DIY/on-the-cheap route here (and why our label didn’t pay for it), to which I say: everything we can do ourselves is one less thing we have to wait for, or surrender control over, or pay for, up front or in the end — because every expense comes out first, before we start getting paid. Also, have you seen some of the crap videos out there? Yeah, this isn’t Oscar material, but I don’t think it sucks too hard, and the more I learn, the better the next ones will be.

Plus? It’s a whole lot of fun.

* In case you’re curious: a Flip Mino HD, a Kodak Playsport Zx3, and my new compact still camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 with the beautiful Leica glass. I wish I had five just like it.
** Our projected release date was in March, but that got pushed back by forces out of our control, so … I guess we could have re-shot, but … we didn’t. You’ll have to take it as you find it, and hope for better things in the future =)