28 December - Video Blog thru Learning Final Cut Pro, Professional Video Editing Software

My favorite part of my journalism classes in college was broadcast photojournalism – taking the shots and editing them into a story. In shooting b-roll footage, I could visualize how I would build the story come edit time. Sitting at the edit bays, selecting footage and transitions, writing the intro and out, then filling in the interview bytes…. The finished product, something tangible of a story, was my greatest joy.

I was excited to resurrect the art of building a story visually through a video blog and learning Final Cut Pro, a professional high-end video editing software. The same dreamy ease of putting a story together would come back like riding a bike (which does not come easy for me, btw.) What was I thinking? I ask. Truly, what was I thinking? Learning iMovie on the Mac was doable within in an hour. This…not so much. So completely over my head.

My dear friends, husband and wife Mel and Joel helped me with this goal. I’m sorry, saved me. Mel, my joyful gem of a woman, friend since I was a teenager. Mel is an resident artist at RedLine in Milwaukee, jeweler and heads an environmental grassroots organization, “Healthy Communities Projects.” She spent the day filming the Hunger Task Force food drive at La Merenda (see July 27 entry) so I would have workable footage. I followed Executive Chef Peter Sandroni for the day. What a patient sweetheart.

Joel creates extraordinary photo montages and wedding documentaries that are incredibly moving. There is no wonder why people in Europe recommend his services; why he leads seminars on software and technique; why Hollywood celebrities have sought him out; and why I sobbed uncontrollably watching a random bridal couple’s video. True talent. And heart. I don’t know where this couple came from, as in love as the first day and as kind and unjaded as children.

I didn’t realize how difficult it is to start with a clean canvas. Mine was too clean. I didn’t even know where to begin. It took me weeks of camping out at their home to even pare the footage down from a 12-hour day into 20 minutes. Then building a story. There was so much to include, not cut. I had to constantly remind myself to stick to the bare bones objective - the schedule of the day, not Peter's plethora of "can't do without" utensils, not how he got into the business, not how Peter met and proposed to his wife.

I’ve always respected Joel, but to work side-by-side and understand how he thinks, his process and the elements he considers, jumping into a project he was not involved in shooting...he is a master. And to think he does Same-Day Films for brides to show at their reception. WHAT?! Watching him quick key and maneuver audio, trim the clips, organize and re-organize footage, using title cards to break up long footage...all in a mere 15 minutes. He showed me little techniques to keep the story moving visually and audibly when shots or bytes are unavailable. Subtle audio and visual cues for the viewer and miniscule details that could ruin the viewing moment. I gladly handed this over to him to work his mojo. In between the 30 other video projects he had to complete.

Here is the summation of the day, but understand there were so many shots on the “edit floor” that could have captured the backstory or details. I wanted them all in...Peter's sense of humor, respect and camaraderie with his staff; his background at the famous "Lettuce Entertain You", "KDK" restaurant groups and Rambutan, a Filipino restaurant; his integrity and how he supports so many local farms, but does not promote this to avoid sounding elitist or self-promoting. I will create another video stream of outtakes to add to this post.

"Our Craving, Their Hunger” started as a simple task of learning about an executive chef's day at my favorite tapas restaurant. Then Peter suggested I come up with a menu of Filipino signature dishes, since food is a meaningful part of the culture. From there, we added the food drive for Hunger Task Force.

It feels good to push a bit, hit a roadblock, research and figure a way around by learning more. It also felt great for my husband and me to look back five months ago, at an event filled with our friends from all walks of life...under one roof. Very blessed. Very grateful.

For more information on Joel, please visit www.weddingfilms.com.
For more information on Mel, please visit www.healthycommunitiesproject.org.
For amazing global tapas, please see Peter at www.lamerenda125.com.

1 comment:

  1. So sorry I missed it by a few days. I'll have to try LaMerenda next time I'm in town. Hungry for some Filipino food now! :)

    Great job on the video.