Jan 052017


Having spent a couple of hours on the wedding video over the weekend and sent a rough cut on to the client he came today and told me he loves it – such a relief. They want a couple more aerial shots put in from their drone they bought but that’s fine, in fact it will improve the transitions from prep to church to reception so I’m happy with these notes. I should be able to finish that off this week and then not have to think about it.

In my day job I finished one search for specific shots and started another. With only 2 weeks to go before we have to have over 20 episodes delivered we are now so busy that we have too many demands and have to say to some people that we will get around to their request later. Generally the reception to this is good; people understand the whole team are busy and are just thankful for anything we can do to help.


I’ve been given a new interstitial to cut for another programme that is lacking in light hearted and funny moments. Without these, the main stories are still the same but the tone of the overall show is too heavy for them to be appreciated. You have to have both ups and downs for a rollercoaster to be fun, similarly you have to have light hearted moments to allow the serious ones to have their poignancy. I was tasked with making something funny out of a couple of characters who weren’t particularly funny at all. This was made more difficult due to the mix of languages used in their discourse. Having trawled through it all and cut it down to a useable 30 minutes of footage I think I might get something from it. I then spoke to the editor about it and he gave me an idea as to how to improve it. His suggestion meant faking the scene a little – an interesting point in documentary.

In all documentaries there is always a certain degree of fakery; just making an edit in time means you are affecting the raw footage and therefore not merely documenting an event but representing it to meet one’s own agenda. The art of documentary making is to do this without adjusting the truth of the event. In this case a conversation was started in one area of the hospital then dropped but picked up on and explored in more depth when in another part of the hospital. By then, however, there was only one camera filming what was going on making editing it down extremely difficult. To work around this I have made it seem as though most of the conversation was held in the first location, continued slightly as they changed location and then ended when they reached the new area. Whilst this isn’t completely true to the event the main point of it – the conversation they held – is kept largely intact, albeit heavily edited down to the highlights.

I stayed for an hour or so after normal hours to work on the wedding video. Managed to polish off one of the two rough sequences. Just one more rough sequence to edit then I need to do a pass through the whole film before it’s done.


Another day, another next time tease. I was given a pretty good episode with some really good punchy bits and good drama as well as some really good light hearted and humourous sequences. As ever the difficulty was getting the tease down to time whilst managing to show enough of what happens to entice the viewer into watching next week. An interesting point I learnt a few weeks back was that whilst 24 Hours in A&E maintains an average of 1.6 million viewers* the returning number is far lower, meaning that most viewers will watch a couple of episodes out of a series and not necessarily consecutive ones. In this episode the big case involved a patient with an issue that they only ever refer to in technical jargon. In the fullness of the episode it is fully explained but to do so in less than 30 seconds and maintain the drama was almost impossible. I sent a version off to be seen by the producers, we’ll see what they think tomorrow. The afternoon was then spent back on finding possible interstitials. I hit a mental block, possibly related to the frustration of the earlier next time but more likely mood related. I faltered and became largely unproductive for the last hour or so and it made me wonder what others do in this situation.


Today I managed to create 3 sequences from the interstitial I hit a mental block on last night, so that made me happier. Even better, the editor and producer both like them and have given me notes to just fix some minor points. I then had to search through a load of chat about brexit which didn’t help my mood. This was because an episode that happens over the referendum result day might have to have a short piece removed for what someone says so I was looking for alternatives.


Due to a gig I’m going to tonight I am on a half day – woohoo! I started with some tricky notes on both the above interstitials and next time. The next time needed fixes within half an hour for an export so it could be seen by the channel which was a bit pressured but I was allowed to leave it with fixes needed for after the viewing so that eased it off a bit and I made the deadline. I was then emailed at 20:15 about what work needed doing first thing Monday morning, both on the interstitial and on another set of interstitials.


*C4 first broadcast alone. http://www.barb.co.uk

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.