In-camera transitions can give your project plenty of style without costing you a dime.
A good transition can add a lot of flair and production value to your project. Of course, you can try your hand at designing one in post, an endeavor made easier if you have at least some experience working with Premiere Pro, After Effects, or some other NLE. However, in-camera transitions are often faster, easier, and more fun to pull off—and you’ll spend considerably less time editing in a dark room (which is always good). In this quick video, the team over at Mango Street shows you how to do six different in-camera transitions that are sure to make your next project sexy as hell.
Through the door: Dolly in until the door fills the frame. Open the door and continue to dolly in.
Back in and out: Dolly in until your subject fills the frame. Then, dolly out from the same spot.
Whip tilt up and down: Tilt up until the sky fills the frame. Tilt down from a different patch of sky to reveal a new location.
Below ground: Crane down until a curb (or something) fills the frame. Use a similar object to fill the frame in the next shot and then crane down.
Straffe blocking: Use a column or other object to fill the frame as your subject walks behind it. In the next shot, have your subject walk out from behind a similar object.
Prism Wipe: Swipe a prism in the opposite direction that your subject is walking once they reach the other side of the frame. Do the same thing in the next shot, but earlier.
Steven Spielberg and the folks at Industrial Light and Magic have never been afraid of pushing the entire filmmaking industry into new and experimental paths. So it should come as no surprise that, in creating their very expensive VR movie Ready Player One, they used some very expensive VR in pre-production.
Ready Player One premiered at this year’s SXSW before going on to earn $581 million worldwide. In the film, when the creator of a mega-popular virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will transfer his considerable fortune to the finder.
Learn how to recreate the camera rotation transition from the Atlanta Season 2 Trailer. This transition is created in Adobe Premiere Pro and a fun green-screen setup.
Ever since the on-screen introduction of Jurassic Park back in 1993, the franchise’s main attraction has been those pesky dinosaurs and the hijinx they get up to on that island where nothing could possibly go wrong.
But as this video from Michael Tucker and Lessons from the Screenplay illustrates, what’s more important are the way the filmmakers create “interesting characters who are used to explore an important modern theme,” presenting what’s ultimately more than a typical rollercoaster theme park summer movie.
Best-edited movie of the year, ‘Baby driver’ snubbed!
Lee Smith’s editing of Dunkirk and Tatiana S. Riegel’s cut of I, Tonya topped the feature competition at the 68th annual American Cinema Editors’ Eddie Awards, winning trophies in the categories of best edited dramatic feature and best edited comedy feature, respectively.
Both editors are also nominated for the Academy Award in film editing, along with editor Sidney Wolinsky for The Shape of Water, who was also nominated for an Eddie in the dramatic feature category; and editors Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss for Baby Driver and John Gregory for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, who were nominated for the Eddie in the comedy feature competition.
In 10 of the last 15 years, the winner of the best edited dramatic feature category went on to win the Oscar for film editing. In 2003, Chicago, the winner of the Eddie for best edited musical or comedy, won the Academy Award in the category.
1. The earlier, the better
Whether you’re asking colleagues to be a part of your film for full scale or no compensation at all, you still need to find your post-production team as early as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute, especially if you don’t have a budget. It may take time for someone to say yes or even find the opportunity to work with you.
If your budget is thin, believe in the story you’re telling. If you believe it, they’ll believe it too. Simon Taufique suggests to even send your script to post houses. Citing one such experience, a post house got behind a project and donated their services based solely on the script. “We thought we’d only get a lunch break with their colorist, but we got days of free coloring for this film simply because they loved the script!”
2. How to choose the people around you
Even if it’s easier to employ your close friends willing to work for cheap, it’s better to step outside your comfort zone. Building valuable relationships takes time, so start early. Ask yourself if you want to learn every aspect of filmmaking or only specific parts of production while making your project.
Alternatively, Raj Trivedi notes that making something yourself (and learning it on your own) allows you to figure out what aspects you enjoy. If you find you don’t like editing, then that’s a role you need to find [for] someone [else]. He also says every editor should read Walter Murch’s In a Blink of an Eye.
3. Identify your obstacles and overcome them
Simon Taufique: Imperium was up against a very tight budget and deadline from Lionsgate. Due to thinning funds, the team cut the film in the editor’s home. Rather than rent, they built their own computer to edit on and afterward sold it on eBay to recoup some of the cost. They even went as far as convincing the owner of the post company to be an investor on the film!
Mridu Chandra: While working on The Dissection of Thanksgiving, a film set in the 1980s featuring 1980s pop music, the filmmakers ran into a possible music licensing issue. How did they overcome it? Rather than shoot scenes with the desired music playing in the background, they chose to add it later in post, effectively avoiding any workaround issues they’d face if unable to obtain certain song rights.
It’s always good practice to remove any clearance hurdles during production, such as music, trademarks, and third-party footage beforehand. If you can’t, try to keep them out of frame for your final edit. If you need music in the scene, use a temp track of the same beat with a frequency that can be tuned out in post. It’s much easier to replace than a music track.
Robert Wilson: Never give up on your footage during editing. If you happen to be in production and are able to film a two shot and one over-the-shoulder (OTS) while it begins to rain, you can’t go back. Just because you don’t have the reverse OTS doesn’t mean you can’t find something in the two shot. In a project Wilson edited, he was able to find a look in a two shot and flip it to give it the appearance of the reverse OTS.
4. Backup, Backup, Backup
Create an effective backup system that won’t leave you high and dry. The panel suggests higher-rated hard drives with at least 7200 RPM so that you’re not waiting for files to transfer on set. Backing up memory cards to two different drives is good practice. For short films, back up daily footage before backing up everything else. On feature films, a daily and weekly backup is best. Place each backup storage device in separate locations in case there’s a fire or a theft.
If you’re shooting high resolution footage in 4K, you can transcode to a lower proxy like ProRes LT. That way, you’re not bogging down your machine while editing. After you’ve completed the cut, you can then conform the high resolution footage back in (along with the finished audio).
Try to predict where the finished project will end up. If you’re planning to go on the festival circuit, be sure to check their site for any technical data. Mridu Chandra suggests you at least make an export of the completed film with all text and graphics in both 5.1 sound and stereo sound. Besides any frame rate exports, you should also export a textless version with both 5.1 sound and stereo sound and one without subtitles with both 5.1 sound and stereo sound. While budgeting with the editor, it’s also good to include at least three DCP (Digital Cinema Package) and Blu Ray versions.