All our shots have been filmed, so now we move on to the most fun part of the process, capturing the footage from tape. Now this takes place in real time and we shot about four hours of footage over the production of Awake. So I spent a lot of time waiting in front of my editing station. Fast forward a few hours and all the footage is in the Avid workstation in front of me. That’s my queue to start cutting.
The editing process on Awake was definitely more involved than anything we have done before. Now the way I went about doing this was to first cut the footage into sequence without any regard to sound mixing or color. After countless hours of cutting and trimming we whittled down hours of footage to a much more manageable eight minutes.
Awake relies heavily on visual storytelling so the color of the film really had to help set the mood. During production I shot as flat as possible in order to give me as much latitude in post-production. This helps retain as much information as possible, as well as give a more neutral profile before color grading. Now many times people confuse the difference between color correction and color grading. Color correction is used to fix and white balance issues as well as match color between shots. Color grading refers to changing the overall look of the film by pushing the colors. Awake required a moderate color grade to help set the mood of the film. In the pictures below you can really see the difference in raw footage and the finished product.
So now that we have our color right, our last step is sound mixing. My favorite part. That was sarcasm. I will say I probably dislike this part the most because to me this is the hardest part. Editing sound is something that requires a very good ear, and I’m not sure how good mine is right now. Thankfully we are lucky to know some very nice people in the industry that have offered to help with our final sound mix.
We currently have a first cut of the film finished. Running time is still around eight minutes, with credits. Now this is a little longer than expected because the screenplay was five pages. But this was an action heavy film so the one minute per page rule doesn’t quite apply since dialogue tends to play faster than action from page to screen.
The film is being screened to a handful of different people, both general public and industry professionals, to help gauge our audience reaction and to see if any other changes need to be made before submitting to film festivals.
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