Close To The Edit

Whew, finally got that finished! I've been kind of busy lately, and while I've had the Final Cut Studio update since shortly after its release the discs were just sitting on the corner of the desk. But I was determined to try my hand at filming in SL with this event (previously, BlakOpal had done all the in-world filming), and so last week spent many hours on a clean install.

To record the video from SL, BlakOpal has been using iShowU HD Pro with great success. I found the app a little frustrating, but functional. I've been toying around lately with a program called ScreenFlow, which not only feels better to work with, but seems to have a better frame rate (the process of capturing and recording your screen adds some overhead, which in turn bogs down your SL performance a bit). While you can also do screen recording with Quicktime in Snow Leopard, I've found that to be really basic stuff, it's much more suited to creating a software demo or application tutorial than it is for virtual movie-making.

The Sunday event went really well, I managed to get some great shots along with lots and lots of bad footage (due to my own inexperience), and all-in-all I came away extremely excited for Tuesday. Both shows were special and had great outfits in them, but Tuesday was the main event as far as I was concerned.

Sadly, the show had some hiccups that were really heartbreaking as a designer. But a number of the outfits came together extremely well, and armed with what I'd learned on Sunday I managed to get a few really good shots. After giving myself a little time to get over what hadn't worked out about the show, I was in the right space to focus on the things that did go well. Incredible outfits. Better shots. Higher resolution (I was actually able to shoot in HD). Great music (I"ve been a fan of The Prodigy for years, and Future Funk Squad's not only an incredible producer but a friend as well).

The edit came together really quickly. So quickly, in fact, that I spent a fair amount of time contemplating playing around with some fancy effects and titling in Motion. I've been dying to get into using that program, but in the end opted against making the project over-complicated. As a rule of thumb, you want to get close to the edit (so that you know the material you're working with and can deliver a great cut), but not too close. I could see myself easily getting caught up in working out some clever effect or transition, only to find that months later I'm still not finished.

Fortunately I had the good sense to know when to leave well enough alone, and I'll save my experiments with Motion for another project. Meanwhile, you can check out the VLFW Sunday video here, and the Tuesday show highlights here.