Director's Blog

December Production Teaser: AMG

CarNecks_Mercedes_AMG_Badge

Started pre-production planning for our next original CarNecks video. Thought that I'd share with our community a small teaser as to what you all may expect to see in a month or so. I'll be sure to keep everyone posted as we get closer to the production date (early December). Keep checking the Director's blog -- I'll try and post some production pictures and keep everyone up to date on our progress. We're very excited to bring you all the next CarNecks video!

Be sure to check our recently released BMW M5 Video in the meantime

Editing by the Numbers

Premiere Pro decided to crash on me a few times last night so I thought I'd use my free time while uploading and reloading the program to update you all on the complexity of video editing. People generally think that you grab a camera, hit the record button and then after cutting it up and slapping a song on in post-production that you're essentially done within 30 minutes. Unfortunately, it's not that easy.

First, let me provide you all with some context around the scope of work, for the BMW M5 Comparison shoot I have over 132GB of hard drive space being taken up by HD video, audio, Premiere encoding and preview files. This accounts for nearly 1,500 different files that I have to work with and edit JUST for this video. There are over 6 hours of footage and 4 hours of audio that need to be sifted through. So you're probably thinking, "well what's the big deal...only 6 hours? You can sit down and do it in a day." Well, here's the funny part, to find a good 20-30 second clip you need to be able to scrub the 6 hours, find your clip, scrub it again, see if there is a better one and then keep scrubbing. So finding a small clip to use can actually take anywhere from 20-30 minutes. That's where organization comes into play.

Second, organization of footage is key. I literally spent the first week after filming just moving all of those vague, automatically named files into meaningful folders...so instead of having one folder of videos, I have an E39 Exterior Stationary shot folder that has all of the videos relevant to that shot, causing all 20 clips that are named "Video1, Video2, Video3" to suddenly have more context. Once the footage is organized it becomes a little easier to navigate and pull clips.

The third thing that is difficult is post-production audio syncing. We strive for the best quality videos and one of the ways to achieve that is to capture audio on a separate track to ensure optimal audio (hence the great exhaust sounds). The downside to recording audio on a separate track is that it acts independently of the video and as a result must be synced. Tracking and documenting of shot counts and duration is key when filming so that in post-production you aren't listening to hours upon hours of audio just trying to figure out what video shot it coincides with. Still not an easy thing to do, but certainly is worth it when you hear good audio vs. bad audio!

That's it for now, back to editing!

Rough Edit: Roughly Complete

We break down the editing into three primary phases. Rough Edit, Lean Edit and Final Edit. I'm sure you can figure out what occurs in each phase but if you just picture a funnel, where at the start it's very wide and towards the bottom it gets very narrow and focused, you'll essentially capture our three phases. At the start of post-production you have way more content then you really need and by the time you get to the final product you're really left with only 5-10minutes, down from the original 10-15 hours of footage.

Obviously, it would make sense that as a result, the most difficult part would be the rough edit and that is preciously so as you need to sift through hours of footage and build the "story." We've been building that story for some time now, although I can confidently say that the rough edit is nearly 80% complete as of today. The Lean and Final edits should go by much more quickly. As we continue to work over the next two weeks here is a shot of my workspace and Andrey's goofy smile to keep you interested

Car Necks WIP Andrey

Hopefully the sneak preview doesn't give too much away. You can see my dozen or so folders on the left hand navigation where I have over 200 clips cleanly organized. Not fun to do. Trust me. You can also see some of the "rough" edits down in the timeline. Some good stuff going on there.

M5 Shoot Over -- Post-Production Time

Nearly a month after our M5 Shoot I've finally starting to get into some solid editing routines. The pessimism left me the 2nd day of our shoot once I started to preview the raw footage. The HD quality of two beautiful cars speeding across the screen was spectacular. I've spent the past month primarily organizing dozens of GBs of HD footage and planning the editing and alignment of footage to the script and story that Andrey prepared. Work on the trailer is nearly complete and the rough edit is very close to being complete.

I'm heading out of town for vacation the first two weeks of June but I hope to get this done by early July so we can go and film our next car.

Second Day -- Ready to Throw the Towel in

I woke up at 6am today thinking to myself how much I didn't want to continue. Since Saturday was basically ruined we had to push our planned 1-day shoot to a 2-day shoot. We were very fortunate that all of our crew members except for my assistant cameraman could film on Sunday as well.

I was reluctant to continue, but something prompted me to get up and get to it. We started off slow but our spirits rose with a beautiful morning and renewed rest. I struggled to get into the "filming" groove but once I heard the E60 exhaust tear up the peaceful countryside I knew what I had to do. The fire was rekindled and I knew that no matter what, we were going to finish our production as best as we could with our limited crew and equipment and we were going to produce one of the best M5 car reviews to date.

Igor managed to capture a shot of us filming Andrey during his "E60 Styling" dialogue segment.

CarNecks Filming E60 BMW M5 Andrey

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