Last week I'm in my kitchen creating one of my infamous Ramen dishes when I get a text from a fellow filmmaker friend. She asked if I would be interested in editing a simple 2 minute piece for a friend. I agreed and met up with my new client the very next day. The edit was for v93FM.com a Contemporary Hawaiian internet radio station that serves the Pacific Islander community. My client had shot footage of them at the radio station promoting an upcoming fundraiser they were going to have and wanted to cut a promo for them.
The finally cut turned into something very unique, the video ended up being a mini documentary of the radio station while promoting the event. When you watch the video you'll see what I mean. I will say this, the simple edit, turned into more than a simple edit.
As I entered my client's home she directed me to her editing bay. Immediately my eyes locked onto a small jungle of cables and external hard drives resting next to her laptop. Before I could ask she explained that her feature film was being edited and that she was having trouble with rendering. Each of those hard drives had a different piece of the movie. So she asked if I wouldn't touch any of the cables, less something might happen to her file on Final Cut Pro.
I agreed and starred at the six hard drives as they starred back at me. Each had its own character and quality, leaving no two alike for that.
She brought her camera to the editing bay and was ready to transfer the footage, I looked back at the laptop and noticed that all the outlets were being used. I explained that in order to do the transfer we would have to unplug one of the hard drives, but given the situation (the External Hard Drive Jungle) unplugging was not an option.
Luckily she had an old laptop and we were able to transfer the footage onto it. But, getting the footage to her main laptop still proposed a problem. At first I thought I could upload the footage online and download it to her laptop, but the footage ended up being to big to do so. Then the thought came, why not burn it onto a DVD and then rip the footage on the other laptop. Eureka, it would have to work!
As I burned the DVD it ended up taking a bit longer than expected. Now you might be thinking, if you transferred the footage onto the other laptop, why not edit it on that one? I asked myself the same question, unfortunately the laptop was an older model and right away I could tell it wouldn't have been able to handle a full on video edit. For those of you that are familiar with the trials of rendering and pre-rendering, you'll understand what I mean.
As the DVD finished burning I ripped the footage onto the other laptop, but when I added it onto final cut, it started getting choppy and there were glitches during playback. I tried a few tricks but to no avail we were still stuck at square one.
My client asked if we could use my computer to edit the project, I stood there and thought about it, suddenly the journey from Northern Pasadena to Eagle Rock began. We brought her older laptop and the DVD along for the ride. When we got to my editing bay right away we started having trouble with the footage. I sat there thinking, "really?"
Long story short I was able to get it to work and finish the project. My client loved it and so did her friends at the radio station. On a side note, this simple edit opened up the doors for an opportunity to work post production on her movie. Her editor, who was the architect of the "External Hard Drive Jungle", was unable to help her finish the film, so my client asked if I could come on board and complete the task at hand.
The movie is about Fashion and Culture and how the two commingle. Next week I began this new venture. This will be the first time I worked post production on a feature film. I can't wait to get my hands on it.
Through this experience it taught me a lot about troubleshooting, assessing a situation, patients, and most of all not giving up when things become to much. I have a feeling this simple edit was a step in preparing me for future edits that aren't so simple.
Keep up to date with my journey into the world of Filmmaking.