MA project: Video editing part 2

It feels long overdue, but I have finally completed editing the main portion of both the flat and 360º videos.

This is an important milestone to celebrate – not only can I continue with progressing the coded format, but I have discovered, acted on, and learned from some difficulties I wasn’t expecting to encounter.

Two of my preferred filming locations for pieces to camera (PTC) were outside the Houses of Parliament, or one of the intelligence agency headquarters. However I decided to film in the middle of a local park – not just for convenience, but to give the impression of isolation. There wasn’t a single other person in view from both cameras, or signs of civilisation. For a film about privacy and security, it seems appropriate.

As I ruled out gathering video from a third interview, I filmed pieces to camera for the start and end. The video’s content is simple, and isn’t going into much detail, so these were relatively short. Filming was quite easy too, once some local dog walkers had moved along out of sight.

The pieces fit perfectly onto the timeline in Final Cut Pro X (FCPX), and with the sequencing shots filmed with Sir David Omand, most of the video appeared to be completed. The only issue I found was that by not filming such footage with Francis Clarke, I had a bit of a gap. This wouldn’t normally be an issue as abstract footage could be filmed and inserted over the voiceover already recorded, however it wasn’t easily translatable into 360º. For wanting to create as close to the same video as possible in both formats, I decided against this.

By this point, I had already spent a few hours working on how to present the flat sequencing shots of Sir Omand in 360º, and settled on placing it at the front and back of the video with an abstract background. I’m not sure how I could have presented these with the 360º camera – and when looking back at BBC’s Click, can see that their presentation of the Arctic video wouldn’t have worked at the location I was in.

Without wanting to return to this presentation, I decided to film another PTC. This isn’t normal practice for news video; quickly realising that already I’ve had to scrap normal practice almost entirely for many different elements of production. The park location was even more convenient than first thought, and returning to the spot was easy. Knowing that I wouldn’t find the exact same spot as I used before, I went to a different location in the park. Instead of standing in the middle of an open field, I took to a bench amongst some trees. The effect was similar, and it had some consistency with the other footage. By filming a piece to camera, I had necessary footage to link the interviews in both formats.

Once I was back in FCPX, it took only minutes to import the new footage, drop it in place, and export.

On both videos.

The ability to playback video in FCPX is a lifesaver, and helped me check the flat video through and through. However checking the 360º video for a realistic idea on how it appears needed additional steps. For every change I made for presentation, I needed to export the video and use the Spatial Metadata Injector tool before uploading to YouTube privately. A link had to be shared to my mobile device to then allow me to watch the video within the YouTube app, so I could see how it looked.

And to my relief, it’s not bad.

Having these two videos will allow me to concentrate on creating the different introduction pieces, and also the interactive elements through my own code and Thinglink. While the video quality may not be as I desired, in terms of length and depth, it has given me a useful insight into production techniques for the project’s written evaluation.

The next task is to create ‘additional content’ out of the interviews, and to put together some additional videos to sit alongside the ones I’ve exported today. I’ll then look at the Thinglink interactive video first, before concentrating on my own coded version.