Video Editing Advice and Screening Your Work

On Saturday, June 10, 2017, there was the first public screening of "Albert," which is a music video I've been working on for quite some time. The video features a song by singer-songwriter Aaron Bissell (www.facebook.com/TheSIgnificanceOfSimon/) and stars Jackson Bartelme and Lacie De Souza.

 Here's me being very nervous and not making eye contact with anyone in the audience.

Here's me being very nervous and not making eye contact with anyone in the audience.


Publicly showing the video was a mix of emotions for me. This is a project I've been working on for almost a year now, and it's... thematically ambitious. Aaron let me have complete creative control over the visuals and so naturally I immediately wanted to have multiple bank robberies, a car chase, and a shootout. This was the first test of whether our ideas actually worked for an audience, and I think I'm happy with how it played. The best piece of video editing advice I've ever run across (I think Vinny Caravella said this on a podcast at one point) is to listen to your gut when you're showing your work. In a corporate setting, you'll be playing through a cut for your producer and there will be moments when you'll want to jump in and explain why this shot is here, why you cut away from the interview there, why the music cuts out suddenly, etc., and you should make notes of those points before your boss even begins to give you her input. It's really easy to mentally skip over those moments of tension while you're alone editing, especially if there are several points in the video you're excited about and you think work really well. I know I've edited plenty of videos that have two or three moments that I'm really jazzed about, but drag in other areas. Audiences will be affected by the highs, but the lows will break the spell. With discipline and practice, an editor can watch through a cut by themselves and start to recognize the moments of tension that need to ironed out that would otherwise interfere with the flow of the piece. With a passion project like this music video, I don't really have a producer that will give me notes. Screenings at events like the one on Saturday are great opportunities for me to watch how I'm feeling as it plays, and then consider making the appropriate changes.

Two other quick pieces of news: (1) A short film I was DP for last year is coming out online soon, hopefully in the next month. I'll post a link when it's available. (2) I started a podcast with my good friend Ben! I'll embed the episode in this post. We talk about screening the music video, Q&A sessions at these sorts of events, and the role of an artist in how their work is interpreted.