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Oops, I accidentally finished the edit!

I’m working on a side project for my friend Cirina Catania who’s trying to get a series running called After Action Stories about what happens to servicemen once they return from service. The pilot stories have revolved around Furnishing Hope that we shot back in May. One interview edit has been on hold until we were able to shoot some B-roll of Furnishing Hope in action. (They transform an empty apartment or house into a home in 3 hours.)

For the first time ever in my life there was more b-roll than I could use. Between us, Cirina and I captured over 320 video shots and hundreds of stills. The footage spoke to me and called me to put it together into something that Furnishing Hope could use to attract sponsors. Then something odd happened.

The concept of the piece is simple: a short introduction about Furnishing Hope taken from the May interview followed by a music focused montage of the transformation. The piece finishes with the reveal to the family moving in, and Beth Phillips, founder and CEO of Furnishing Hope, sharing how important the work is to her.

As it turns out, I spent more time auditioning music than editing the first pass of 127 edits.

The right piece of music is crucial to this. I guess I auditioned some 50 or more candidates, some for longer than others, while tending to my balcony garden. Mostly they varied from “hell no” to “nice and boppy but not what I’m looking for”. I kept about my task when I found myself in tears as a response to the music. That I wasn’t consciously listening to.


Back up, start over. Same response. Take it seriously and listen to the music and think of how it would fit. Done.

Around 2pm yesterday I showed Greg my intro and first 3-4 edits on the music bed. I’d probably spent an hour cutting the music bed how I wanted and creating a video-friendly version of a very vertical logo.

I thought I’d keep going until I got frustrated with the edit, or bored. (One or other generally happens.) Except I didn’t. Skim, trim,  overlay, review. Repeat. The edit just flowed so smoothly, it was 5 pm and I’d pretty much finished my first pass at the montage (of about 100 shots in 3:45).

Since Greg was still working on something, I thought, why not add the return of the family and their response, plus the shots of the finished rooms. (Being a good storyteller, I’d only shown close ups, without revealing too much of the finished result.)

Before 6 pm my first pass edit was done. After dinner we reviewed and Greg reminded me that I wanted to put in Beth’s piece here as well. Quickly added in less than five minutes.

I had planned to take this edit with me while we’re on the East Coast next week to give me a hobby project. Oops.

I still, of course, have to do a color pass and no doubt will make some changes as I gain some distance, but the edit seems very quick to me. Maybe Final Cut Pro X is faster. 🙂

I did have one other advantage. My footage was logged as we went using Lumberjack.




One response to “Oops, I accidentally finished the edit!”

  1. Chris Wilby

    You rascal 🙂