January 10, 2010 at 10:28 am (Uncategorized)

Editing in Final Cut Express

Editing in Final Cut Express

After uploading my rushes onto iMovie and then importing it into Final Cut Express, I was ready to start editing. Once the rushes were uploaded, I created a folder to keep them all organised. I then had everything I had filmed in the same place. I systematically went through all the different shots, putting the unsuccessful shots into on one side and the successful ones that I would use in my finished production. By double clinking on the shot, it appears in a window where I can watch through it and use the arrows keys to select exactly where I want the shot to start and end. I can mark the beginning and end by pressing ‘i’ and ‘o’, and then drag it into ‘overwrite’. It is now on the timeline of what will be my finished Opening Sequence. Here, I can cut the shot down further if needed and add any effects wanted. 

I chose which shots to use by watching them all through, and picking the most successful. From previous exprerience I know it is important to film the same shot more than once. I therefore watched all the possible shots to judge which was the best in terms of Lighting, Camera Movement, Timing and Acting.


Some of the interior shots proved to be a challenge lighting adequately

There are a few shots that I am not completely happy about in relation to lighting, mainly the shots filmed within the house. We had some lighting issues on location, but we thought we’d managed to sort it all out using lights and opening curtains for natural lighting. However, there are still a couple of shots where the actor blocks out some of the lighting. This is only a problem on 1 or 2 shots though, and the lighting isn’t so bad you can’t see anything. Overall I am happy with lighting.

Camera Movement

Nearly all the shots were fine with camera movement, as the majority of the shots just use still camera. However, one shot involves the camera breaking the 180-degree rule by moving from one side of the couple, behind the male subject and to a close up on the other side. This is the shot where the abusive male subject pushes the female subject against the wall. I filmed this shot quite a few times, as I was aware that the camera movement had to be right or the shot would be unsuccessful. I watched through all the shots I filmed of it, and picked the most successful for smooth camera movement and also for the acting of the female subject and lighting. 


Because my music was already composed, I had to make sure that at least it section on my Opening Sequence took the same amount of time as on my animatic. Also, because the cuts are made on the beat, every shot except the last 6 and first 2 had to be and 2, 4 or occassionally 6 seconds long. This created some problems, mainly in the first section where the male subject is walking through the house. I was 2 seconds over the limit, but managed to cut down one shot from 4 seconds to 2 seconds. The timing of each individual shot does not always match the animatic, but I’ve kept each section correct to the timings on the animatic.


A shot where I had concerns about the quality of acting

The quality of the acting in my production is mostly really good, because the people I asked to act all go to or have gone to LMA Stage School with me, and act on a regular basis. I was familiar with their acting skills, and knew they would be professional. The only place where the acting is questionable is in the scene where the male subject is threatening the female subject. This was understandably a slightly awkward situation, as although the two people acting are fine with each other, they were recently in a relationship together. The subject matter is also very serious, so there were a few laughs during the first 2 or 3 takes. I think I managed to capture the best parts of their acting though, although there is the hint of a grin on the female subjects face, even though she is about to be hit by her boyfriend.

Live Type


My first 2 shots and several throughout the Opening Sequence include titles and names. For this I used the programme Live Type. Here I can create titles and change the font, colour, size, position and add effects. After saving the titles I then imported them into Final Cut and added them over my footage.



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