After three weekends of filming Zombie Casserole on multiple days using multiple cameras, John and I have found ourselves with the daunting task of sifting through all the footage to correlate it to the scenes in the script. Given that the files all have obfuscated names like MOV37345_1.MOV or are in folders called things like 19077765_1, this is a highly distasteful task.
Since this is an extremely small-scale project, we more or less remember which scenes were shot on which days – however we still need to review the clips to make sure we have the right ones. Fortunately, we invested in a production slate so we can look at the video and determine the scene and take number from the slate. That’s of course assuming that the slate was actually fully in frame when we were using it. Otherwise we have to listen to the audio.
For the most part, though, we’re pretty much able to find the slates and piece things together from there. It could be worse though. The audio was recorded onto the video while we were filming. Otherwise we would need to sift through a bunch of sound files, determine which files matched which video and then sync the audio track to the video file using the clapperboard on the production slate. It’s something we may take on in another effort, but we’re not ready to take on that task in our first major effort.
As it turned out, in the first scene I worked on, I decided I wanted to use footage that was recorded on two different cameras. We had two cameras recording the same scene from different angles and I wanted to use the different angles to make it visually more interesting. The audio on one video file was significantly different from the other – given that on the main camera we were using a boom and a higher quality mic. In that case, note the comment I made above about manually syncing sound? Using the editor, I pulled the audio track from camera A, removed the audio track from camera B and then synced the audio to the video on camera B using the clapperboard. Now I have two video tracks with matching audio. Much easier to play with.
At this point, John and I have decided that the best tack to take is to just blast through the footage, edit all the scenes together, more or less as we have them in the script, then put them all together and look at what we have. This cut will be *extremely* raw. The audio won’t be leveled, won’t be cleaned up and there will be no music. Once we have that produced, we’ll look at the film, decide what we like and what we don’t like and then recut it from there to get to our final version, which we’ll then hand over for audio work and music.
It’s a lot of work – but as each piece is completed – it’s very satisfying to watch our vision come to life.