Smoke Damage (smokedamage) wrote,
Smoke Damage

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I remember : video editing

i remember...

we, 5tephe, davidjohnstubbs were about eight pints down, sitting in the Ancient Briton in Glebe, a way point for a number of nights out as it was their local at them time. I had put out the "Tonight, we drink" call, as i was trying to drink rachelsoma out of my head.

It was one of those rare nights where we had forsaken the sacred Australian tradition of the shout, and were barflying and had our money on the table and the barmaid was refilling our pints of Guinness as we emptied them. Some point along the way 5tephe got a call from then girlfriend fayr with a distressed Marc. We had helped Marc make a film for a school project a couple of weeks earlier, and even though we had offered to take it to our editor, he declined and was going to get a flatmate to do it. Of course, that had fallen through and he was distressed as it had to be completed by Monday. This was about 2200 hours Saturday night.

He wanted to know if we knew an editor who could do it tonight. I am not sure if we called our first choice, because we called him in at short notice once, and he was drinking cocktails in a beachhouse in Jamaica or somewhere improbable.

Dodgy Adam was about as cockney as they come, and one of the the most delightfully shifty people i had ever met. He would have fit in nicely amongst the characters of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. He'd run credit card scams, replaced computer equipment for returns, and all manner of shifty things.

He lived down near Bondi Beach, above an excellent Thai restaurant, and becaue he liked us and was as mad as a hatter, he'd edit for nothing if we brought up food from downstairs, and brought beer with us. He occassionally sent 5tephe to the 'Cross to get weed for him, which is a whole other story.

Anyway, somewhere along the way we decide, fuck it, we'd do it. I had seen Dodgy Adam do it and other people on a variety of different platforms. How hard could it be? This has been another one of those philosophies that has constantly got us into trouble.

fayr agrees to come get us, even though she had a fair idea of what state we are in. davidjohnstubbs insists on coming with us, and we know better than to split the party.

We need a firewire cable, so i call a nearby Mac geek, and ask to borrow his. He's about to go out but agrees to go out but agrees to wait so we can pick it up from him. While waiting for fayr we have another couple of pints.

She gets to us just over an hour later, by which time Mac geek has called a bunch of times getting grumpier and grumpier because we're holding him up from going out. Eventually we get to his place and he has legged it but left the cable with his brother.

So with the party assembled we engage the Excitement! Adventure! machine.

fayr is nervously driving us, Marc is in the front passenger seat cradling his camera like a newborn baby, and the three of us are poured into the back of the car. It must have been an interesting trip, i really don't recall, but i do remember making fayr stop for KFC, which was closed, but we did get a case of Cascade, a nice little Tasmanian drop.

Technically, we weren't supposed to be in the building after hours, and we certainly shouldn't have had beers, and we had been warned to make sure we avoided the security guards, but the three of us drunkenly commandoed up the stairs and into the heart of the building, amid the shushing.

We made it to te lab and fired up the machine. I'm a windows user and pretty much never had touched a mac before, so i did the sensible thing and read the help file for the program, while 5tephe distracted Marc by getting him to work on his shot list. davidjohnstubbs fell asleep on a table and fayr looked on anxiously, probably wondering if this was still a good idea, and the clock slowly ticked it's way to midnight.

Forty five minutes later, i am reasonably confident that i know how to get the camera connected, i can get the footage we want, cut it, render and get it back on the camera.

We needed to be out of there by 0600 and 5tephe and i had agreed that we wanted the edit done two hours ahead of our exit time. So that we had a window for emergencies, because they always happen.

I get the shots off the camera and go over with Marc what story he is trying to tell, and start to sequence a rough cut so we can all get an idea of what it looks like and see if i am going in the right direction - i had never looked at the full script when it was being shot as i had never needed too.

Marc fusses over shots, and what looks good, which neither 5tephe and i wholly agreed with, and i gleefully removed one of the shots featuring rachelsoma and some sleazy guy that was trying to hit on her during one of the scenes, partially because i am evil like that and partially because we couldn't afford the time. Sometime during the process she calls and i hand the phone away refusing to talk to her, claiming that i am "in the zone".

A couple of hours later 5tephe says the magic words to me, "bully the director". So i gently but firmly guide Marc's choices, force him to make decisions, and politely bully him to get on with it.

By a quarter to four, i think we are ready, we got sidetracked for a while over a shot of fayr talking to the camera saying her name "Dawn". Which was probably only hysterically funny because it was four a.m., but was funny enough for davidjohnstubbs to giggle himself back to sleep with and use on fayr for the next few months, to her constant annoyance.

The part we have dreaded most arrived, rendering and putting it back on the camera. This has taken us hours in the past and since is a constant nightmare, a tirade or swearing, sweating, pleading and outright hate, and the proclamation that all computers are evil and why can't we all live a nice pastoral existence. Because computers are inherently evil. Anything that can't count to two is never going to be up to any good.

To our utter amazement, it takes about ten minutes and not the two hours we had held in reserve. Rejoicing our good fortune, we leave, forcing fayr to stop at McDonalds, and Marc to buy us breakfast. At this point he was so relieved that he would have bought us lobsters if we had asked.

Epilogue: Six months later 5tephe and i had drven down the south coast to find Marc and borrow his camera. We're sitting on a beach and 5tephe is telling one of his tales again, amid much expressive arm waving and facial expressions, punctuating his point by pointing a prawn cutlet at us. That is, until a seagull comes out of the sun diving like a Stuka and snatches it mid-gesticulation.

A grown man chasing and swearing at seagulls down a beach is an amusing sight.

Oh, and when we asked Marc how the assignment went?
"Oh, sorry. Didn't i tell you guys? I got an "A".
Tags: ea!, filmmaking, friends, good+times, memories, video+editing
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