I am consistently amazed by how drastically the painting experience can change by simply increasing or decreasing the size of the canvas. This goes the same way with editing. For a bigger screen, camera shakiness, for example, becomes much more prominent and any imperfection is magnified. I have not edited as much for a big screen, mainly for the computer/Internet, so I notice these differences significantly and how they affect my overall editing experience.
When Aaron Lyons commissioned me to edit a 30-second piece for the Venture Labs Investment Competition (VLIC), to be displayed on the Nasdaq Tower in Time Square, I jumped at the opportunity. Time Square!!! But, I was met with some big challenges.
First challenge: the screen is not only gigantic and oddly shaped, but also covered with windows.
My first method of attack was to look at other Nasdaq videos and learn how the space can be utilized. I first noticed that anything with movement looks incredible on such a large and narrow space – especially vertical movement. The more stagnant the picture, the more uninteresting the film appears. One of my favorite videos is simply a man running up a hill. No quick editing, just one long take and the effect is spectacular. Movement helps to mitigate the jarring look of the window holes on the screen.
Second challenge: Having access to only existing footage, filmed by someone else and editing to zero music
I love post-production. In fact, I still do 90% of the editing for most of Moth to Flame’s projects. Experience has taught me, however, that I strongly prefer post-production when I am in control of the footage because I know exactly what shots are available and how I can utilize them to my advantage. Unfortunately, this was not the case for the project. What was even more challenging is the fact that the footage had been filmed for an entirely difference audience in mind… an audience who would want to re-watch the VLIC event again as if they had attended the conference. This translates into filmmaking terms as: 3 completely stagnant cameras… minimal movement, except for the occasional zoom and pan. A. Nightmare.
I combated this problem with some clever editing… I used a lot of text and as many panning shots as possible for movement. I also noticed that because the competitors were against a dark background, they seemed to almost fade into black space, which made for a cool effect if I stuck with a black background.
Final challenge: I psyched myself out. I put the project on a pedestal.
Editing for such a big venue does not come often. Not yet at least. So the idea of having my work so prominently displayed for one of the busiest places in the world scared the sh*t out of me. A little bit of fear can be good, but I find that most fear is paralyzing. It is hard to count how many days I spent staring at my computer screen with zero ideas. I knew I wanted to include certain elements in the edit, but I could not figure how to do it for the life of me. Nothing. Finally, it took extreme time crunch and lack of sleep to force the final idea out of me. I find that the less I care, the better the ideas flow, which seems completely contradictory since I care so much about every project I touch. They are ALL my little babies! The best way to induce this state (for me) is with sleep deprivation. I went to bed late, got up EXTREMELY early (4-5 AM) and it finally hit me.
The final video will be displayed this Thursday in Time Square and can also be watched live from the link provided. The details are listed below. I would love if anyone in NY would go and take a video of it playing on the tower for me. That would be awesome. Let me know how I did!
Watch the event live at: http://www.NASDAQ.com/about/marketsitetowervideo.asx
Date: Thursday, July 26, 2012
Time: 3:45 pm – 4:00 pm E.T.
Location (if you are in NY!) – Nasdaq Marketsite – 4 Times Square – 43rd & Broadway – Broadcast Studio