Diane's Diary #10: Time to Begin Editing
Updated: Sep 20
Note: This is Excerpt #10 in Diane’s Diary. If you would like to read previous excerpts, you can find Diane’s Diary 1-9 here.
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We have now captured film footage, I've hired an editor and we’re ready to go.
If you recall back in Diane’s Diary #4, I briefly mentioned that I learned a few basic filmmaking and post-production tips in the online film class I took. One of the tips was for the director to review all of the footage- ideally the same day it is filmed- and make notes about the good parts, soundbites etc.
So that’s what I did.
Some of the footage was not usable because it’s a documentary and it’s just not captured well. (No fault of the crew- it’s just that someone walks in front of the camera, or there’s a loud noise, or a million other reasons why portions aren’t usable.) But plenty of it was great.
I wanted to capture how the kids were experiencing the event. Chateau, my cameraman, had done a great job of capturing the students interacting with the animals, with each other, with the handlers (the people who bring their therapy animal), getting some closeups, some wide shots, and some B-roll. And we were able to capture interviews with Gloria, the program director, Steve, (of Steve and Henry fame- see Diane’s Diary #7 and #8) and some of the students.
I spent a few hours combing through the footage and making notes for my editor, Hannah. I listed which clips were worth looking at, which weren’t even worth her time opening, and specifically which soundbites or shots I liked and wanted her to use.
She then gathered up the footage and my notes and I didn’t hear from her for a couple of weeks while she worked on it.
Meanwhile, I needed music for the film. Originally, I was hoping to use music from a composer friend that he has in his library, but it got too complicated with licensing and we agreed that for this project that wouldn’t be the best arrangement.
Instead, I investigated music licensing companies-kind of like Getty Images or Shutterstock for music. I would comb through artists and genres of music and select a few tracks that I liked that could be suitable. The licensing is very affordable for this type of a small project and was a simple solution and I chose a company called Music Vine. They have been great to work with.
Hannah submitted her first cut to me in July 2019. I was so excited to see something done. There were elements that I liked and others that I didn’t but it really pays to work with people that have an eye for this type of work. I wouldn’t have even known where to begin, but she got it off to a great start. We went back and forth a few times with me giving her notes, and then she would respond with a new cut. She cut in a few of the tracks I had chosen and we picked one.
I showed it to Andy, my husband, who has been editing and producing movie trailers for the big film studios for over 30 years. Showing him a 3-minute cut was not terribly different from what he sees daily. He was incredibly helpful.
He heard things in the sound that I never would have heard and saw things in the video that I never would have noticed. I really don’t have the expertise or the language to ask for some of the technical changes, so he helped me explain them to Hannah. Hannah was able to refine many of his suggestions and it’s a much smoother video as a result. Thanks, hubby!
So now it was ready to go but there were a few reasons why we weren’t ready to release it.
Tune in next time to find out why!
If you haven’t yet had a chance to watch our first 3-minute mini-documentary, here’s a link: