Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

It All Depends on the Sherpa

My Video Editing Class professor told us that whenever a Director asks her for the Moon, she signs her return correspondence "Tenzing Norgay," after the Sherpa guide that perhaps set foot on the peak of Mt. Everest before Sir Edmund Hilary did, a little dig to the bossman that he's not going to reach the summit without a lot of help from his friendly neighborhood editor.

What a difference a week makes! I'm attending concurrently a Beginning Video Production class (8-mm digital video tape) and a Cinematography class (16-mm spring-driven Bolex film cameras, film transfered to digital media for editing). In each of my classes, a teammate has stepped forward and said "I have Adobe Premiere on my home computer; I'll do the editing!"

The week before last, my Film class editor claimed (after ignoring texts and phone calls for a week) that he'd gotten the video back late and would try to have it ready by the end of the class period where all the other teams were premiering their handiwork. I asserted that he must get documentation from the transfer company that it was their fault for the tardy return (there was evidence that the company had problems moving to a new location), but as the end of class rolled around, no video, no editor -- stressed-out team members! When I finally got home from class, I got a call from you-know-whom, stating he'd finally put together the rough cut and that he was ready for me to help him with the sound editing and dialog! Oh, well, we could patch this thing together in a week and, with documentation from the transfer company, save our grade from the tardiness penalty! Fortunately, I cajoled a copy of the AVI file from him so I could show it off to Jon while I was up in Phoenix for the Big Match.

T'was a good thing, because at the time of next week's class, our editor was nowhere to be seen in class; turns out he was up in the library on his laptop struggling with burning a self-executing DVD! After his "be down in 5 minutes" turned into an hour, I went up to light a fire under his ass. Before class was dismissed, I got the DVD, but for some reason, the editor never came into class. On top of that, he'd claimed he couldn't get any documentation from the transfer company to explain their tardiness (I began to wonder if he hadn't just developed the film in his basement.) As the class viewed the premiere of our first film, I no longer wondered why. It was hardly changed from the rough cut, there was almost no audio, and he left in the nasty-looking flash-frames as we'd run out of film at the end. What an embarrassing viewing! Even the Professor looked uncomfortable!

The Professor was nice enough to let the remaining team members (Nick, the director and I, the writer) salvage the project, but since our editor disappeared with the film, transfer tape, and shot log, all I had to work with were the audio files on my laptop (where they were recorded), the rough-cut AVI, and my meager knowledge of Final Cut Pro. That gets handed in tomorrow -- we'll be lucky to squeak out a C, IMHO. Beats a D, I guess.

Contrast that experience with my Video Production partner and esteemed editor Jesus, who kept in constant contact with me throughout post-production (we were a two-man team) and posted rough cuts to YouTube so I could offer direction and help find mistakes. At our premiere today, we were the undisputed top Sports Action video aired in class! This was out of a college baseball game, two softball games, one high school volleyball game, a high school girls tennis match, two guys playing a bad game of pool, one roller derby event, and an Afro-Brazilian martial arts class. Oh, yeah, our video? The March ACTS Match based on the 1986 Miami FBI Shootout!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lh4OIKxJHTY

I'm the Director Guy with the shortage of vowels in his name. I ran into the Professor (same one) between classes and he restated how impressed he was with our video. Jesus (Latino pronunciation) is my Co-pilot and my Sherpa.

It looks even better on the big screen. I'll meet you in the balcony... bring the popcorn and Milk Duds.

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1 Comments:

  • At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Marcus said…

    Dude, that sucks. I ran into a similar problem once in grad school when working in a group project. Most of the group projects went well, but there was one time with a particularly lazy douchebag that almost sank all of us.

    Sigh... memories.

     

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