Shooting and Editing Abstract Video

Click here for the link to the video.

The shoot

The shoot was difficult for me to achieve, because I wasn’t quite sure of what was expected, nor did I have the time to properly experiment. My biggest issue was trying to achieve good white balance. In this sense, I experienced great technical difficulty in my attempt to capture a well color balanced image. However, because of previous chances to use the Z5, I had little problem setting up the camera in other aspects.

I also had problems capturing abstract footage. It was further impeded by the fact that I had to leave early in order to do filming for another subject, and also due to the aforementioned white balance issue. I only had about 10 minutes in the end to choose and shoot some footage, most of which was around the vicinity of the classroom. However, looking at some of the footage from other classmates, I could see how I also boxed myself into thinking only about camera angles closer to my eye level, and mostly wide shots which would include lots of different movement within the frame; some of the other groups used close-up shots, or extremely low angle shots, which only captures one small movement, and not try to have a dozen things happening at once.

The edit

Editing abstractly is a new process for me which included more lateral thinking. It was helpful to have a framework of haiku to work with, however I found it easier to create an abstract meaning between the images and other images and sound. For example when the climber is seen climbing, I overlaid text about Climb Mount Fuji, and images of the traffic being stuck at the lights are juxtaposed with free flowing water through a grate. In this way, I allowed the relationship between the images, that is, the closure created by the viewer, to tell the narrative instead of forcing a story onto them. This way of storytelling also allowed me to use the individual parts to tell their own stories with the clips and audio around them, rather than the entire part telling just one story.

Video pw: industrialmedia

(Please note: At time of publishing this post, I was having an issue with Vimeo where it shows I was still uploading the video despite having begun uploading it 2 days prior. I am aiming to try re-uploading the video when I am on campus again on Wednesday. I’m not quite sure why this was happening as when I was uploading from uni, it said upload complete, and therefore I’d left it as done and dusted. I apologize, and I hope you don’t consider it a late submission.)

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Media Objects Edited Sequence

For my edited sequence, I chose the theme Impact. I approached Impact in both the sense of the moment of impact, as well as the editing style, which featured sharp, distinct visuals and quick tempo audio.

I am extremely attracted to the idea of non-linear editing as outlined by William Burroughs in 1964. Burroughs would cut up or fold together pieces from entirely different narratives, put them together, and create a completely new and interesting narrative from the mix (Packer & Jordan, 2001:277). I attempted to emulate this style in my work, in that there is no immediate discernible continuity, and yet the narrative is formed via human inference and closure between non-sequitur elements juxtaposed against one another. I find it fascinating that the human brain can create a narrative by finding a relation between two different visuals, or two different audio, or a mix of both.

For that reason, I chose to rarely use the accompany audio in the video clips that I found from the Internet, instead mixing it with the sounds that I recorded for the audio assessment. For example, juxtaposing gunfire with dog barking and car honking invokes the narrative of a disruptive neighbourhood, or other such negative imagery, even though the context within which all three elements originally existed were all controlled and peaceful.

Then, the non-linear introduction and re-introduction of the thief from the single-shot assignment bookends the example above, and coupled with a scream that’s entirely removed from the visual, would then move the viewer to a different narrative.

My editing does not intend to create one meaning only, rather creating a context wherein many different means are meant to be inferred, and countless segments of narratives formed and reformed depending on the viewer themselves. However, I do purposely introduce and reintroduce similar elements – the barking; the bookended sirens; the before-and-after of crashes – to place these different narratives within certain confines.

I also chose to edit together short, sharp segments, as the feeling of Impact can also be created from the quick introduction of new elements, such as a new visual, or new sounds. As a result, the video was rather short, as I did not want to overload the viewer with too many elements.

As this was my first time editing with moving images, and my first foray into a non-linear narrative form, I feel that the piece lacked technical sophistication. While I experimented with transitions between materials and clips, and attempted to mix the audio in a more subtle and sophisticated way, I still could not achieve the sort of effects that I wanted, such as panning sirens, or smash cut transitions.

Working with different formats was also a challenge: I only learned the basics of encoding files to be the same format on the same medium, and could not fix the difference in aspect ratio, resulting in the black bars around the frame.

References:

Packer, K. and Jordan, K., (eds.) Multimedia: From Wagner to virtual reality. New York: Norton, 2001. Pg 275 – 278

Videos:

Drone POV Crash in Highlands Bowl by Vital Films, under a Creative Commons Attribution license http://vimeo.com/96320135

Extreme Snowboarding Crash in Switzerland TRT 1:50 by Fusion TV, Inc., under a Creative Commons Attribution license http://vimeo.com/95322091

Request to Blow Up a Company Logo for Marketing by Ryan Morris, under a Creative Commons Attribution license http://vimeo.com/93104412

Test Firing an Heckler & Koch MP7 PDW at Lock and Load in Miami by Dan V, under a Creative Commons Attribution license http://vimeo.com/78314176

Audio:

Sirens‘ by Trinity101 is available at FreeSound.org, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0

Smoke Alarm Piep Piep‘ by Jan18101997 is available at FreeSound.org, under aCreative Commons Public Domain 1.0

Car Breaking Skid‘ by Iberian_Runa is available at FreeSound.org under aCreative Commons Attribution 3.0