Action. { EDITORIAL }

Some names you should remember:
Stacy Sakamoto.
Dick Marshall.
Now, Stacy’s the producer and writer of this story. Dick is the photographer, employing not only an XDCam, but a GoPro, a Canon Powershot, and an iPhone.
And right now, this very minute, you’re looking at the story of which I am most proud.
A lot of that, of course, has to do with the work Stacy and Dick did in the field, as well as the script Stacy subsequently produced.
But there’s also this: a story like this, for this client, usually has to be told with
1) a total running time of  31/2 minutes… ish, and
2) 12-16 hours of editing.
But due to circumstances beyond our control, this story would be told with
1) a total running time of 51/2 minutes, and
2) 8.5 hours of editing.
That’s right: more content… and less time to cut it.
What was I thinking?
Oh sure: Maybe…
Is what I was thinking.
Maybe I can do this.
Maybe it’ll be great.
Or maybe I’ll simply crash and burn.
Whatever.
Had it been 12-16 hours of editing, I’d’ve been inclined to pass the edit along to a friend of mine.
But 81/2? Yeah. I just had to do this.
Some highlights of the edit:
Okay, Dick gave me tons of great stuff. I actually took the time to skip through every clip he gave me, tagging as I went. Unfortunately, I soon discovered, the GoPro footage was AWOL. No kidding. It went missing and (Thank God) Stacy took it upon herself to hunt it down.
As scripted, the story’s open was initially a mix of the actual fight night and practice bouts. I chose instead to lean hard into the fight night; it was so loaded with energy.
But there was also built into the script some very deep, emotional moments two of the boxers experienced. In the end, it was an opportunity to get out of the way as an editor and let the moments play for all they were worth. And they were worth plenty.
Finally, I misjudged the amount of time it would take to cut the two fight sequences, and actually cut around them in case I had to hand the edit over to another editor.
But, turns out the magic number was 30.
Thirty minutes. Go figure.
The story on the photograph that ends this piece is that by the time the team assembled for a group shot, Stacy and Dick had already packed up their gear. So with no time to unpack anything, they used an iPhone to capture this final moment and, at the end of the edit, Stacy emailed it to me from her phone.
And that was that.
Magic.
🙂

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Sometimes, You’ve Gotta Punt (Part 2) { EDITORIAL }

It comes up waaaaaay more often than you’d expect (or wish against): you’re given a script, recorded VO, talking heads, and a minimal amount of B-roll. Add it all up, and it makes for not quite enough coverage to satisfy the producer’s vision. Or perhaps maybe the producer’s faith.
In this case, there was a fascinating story about an undercover CIA agent… with scant coverage for any of the stories he was telling. And how could there be? He was undercover.
Still, though, the lack of footage created a kind of black hole where interesting should’ve been. So I conjured a little (okay a lot) in order to add some mystery and intrigue.
Stock footage, satellite imagery, sound effects, motion graphics… it was all a juggling act that helped the story find its way to a local Emmy award.
The producer of this piece is Diane Duthweiler. And, of course, she loved the way it turned out.
🙂

Culture. { Editorial }

One of the best things is when you look at the footage… and everything’s there.
Everything you need…
Is there.
Don’t need graphics.
Don’t need music.
Don’t need to make stuff up.
Oh sure, there’s VO you’ve gotta cover. But the footage shot, and everything that’s going on in those shots, goes well beyond the written word.
And you get to play a little.
Of course, you don’t want to overstay your welcome, but you do want to create an immersive experience; one made possible not only by the visuals… but by the sound of actually being there.
In this case, there was dance, there were musicians, and there was a race.
Each of those elements had plenty of coverage, plenty of sound. And it was fun to play with the pieces, figuring out what was enough to give that sense of immediacy; of feeling just what it was like to be right there on the banks of the river.
Or in the boat.
Or dancing in the crowd.
Special thanks to Eric Jensen for spectacular coverage of this village race in Assam, India.
🙂