MA project: Video editing part 1

In my previous blog post, I described the production of two interviews; with Sir David Omand and Francis Clarke.

I’ve now reached a point where all interview footage, flat and 360º, have been imported in Final Cut Pro X ready for editing. With other commitments, I haven’t spent as much time editing these as I’d originally hoped, however I have reviewed all the footage collected and started to note time-codes of interest.

While I haven’t worked on the coded side of my project this week, I have spent time thinking about the overall presentation of the project. To make the most of the three, or four, different formats I’m using, I am going to need to tailor the video to each of them – in both content and presentation.

This is something I picked up on at the very start of the episode of Click I wrote about in an earlier blog post where Spencer Kelly offers a guide on ‘how to view this video’ for the viewer, giving instruction on rotating a mobile device or using ‘click and drag’ controls on a computer.

Thinking about the format I am working on in CodePen, it may not be immediately obvious that the viewer can see additional content. This prompted the idea, similar to what Spencer Kelly did, where by I give an explanation into what the buttons below the main video player do. Including this introduction into the video would make no sense to anybody watching on Thinglink, in virtual reality, or a flat video without interactivity – and vice-versa. Already, I have established a need for four alternate introductions.

In order to have four alternate introductions, I would need to film and produce four individual intro pieces, with different language and style that is appropriate for the platform it’s being used for. This in turn means the video will be exported four times.

Due to the disappointing results of the 360º camera, I have been hesitant about producing the fourth video for virtual reality. The hesitation is the quality, and positioning, but my inclination to continue with it is based on the need for experimentation and a product to analyse – rather than basing my research on a format that was only half explored. If I was to continue, however, this would mean spending a significant amount of time preparing content, filming, and producing graphics, so that it can be viewed comfortably in 360º.

With all this in mind, I have referred back to the shooting script to make sure I make the most of the different elements I am hoping to use. Where a typical shooting script would consist of script, video, audio, and duration, I have instead needed to separate my script into four different versions, for each format. The interactive formats now include a column for interactivity, with details of what element will appear and for how long.

One of the difficulties here is that I am still yet to create a working ‘show/hide’ function on my own coded version where the buttons appear at a set video playback time. I am taking a small gamble by continuing with the script, and interactive plan, that links to a video with a level of interactivity I have not yet produced. If I do not succeed with producing the code as it needs to be, I may have to go back and re-film an introduction sequence, or any voiceovers, in order to give the correct context. This is a risk I am willing to take, as once I have edited the interview clips, I can not continue without this content.

As for the 360º video, there would not be the same type of interaction: Thinglink offer the interactivity I am already using as a feature on 360º video for premium users on a higher plan to what I am already a member of. Without subscribing to the extended features, I am limited to just the video on its own without buttons. In a test 360º video I have found that on-screen graphics, and the overall presentation, will need some additional attention to what I’m used to with flat video, and so I have begun scripting other content to reflect this. What was interesting in Click, was how Spencer Kelly walked around the camera, emphasising the 360º format. This is something I may explore in the introduction of the fourth format, and any PTC filmed specifically for it.

In the meantime, I will continue to pursue further interviews and will begin to arrange studio bookings to film over the next few days.