Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Finding the story in the footage, part of Creative DSLR Video Techniques.
Alright, after some work, I now have a story. I have a cut of this piece that is told mostly by Stephen's interview. Before I got anywhere near the interview, though, I went ahead and edited the car chase, what I'm calling the car chase, see, but it's not actually a chase. But this is the bit where Stephen and his sister are in the backseat, his dad's driving and his mom is dragging her foot outside the car. We had three different angles on it and so I cut those together into a, a somewhat cinematic looking performance.
It was difficult work because each time he gave a performance, it was slightly different. So things didn't necessarily cut perfectly evenly but that all cut together and then I realized that's my opening. I like that as my opening, but now it's time to start cutting the interview. So, I just had to listen to it. I listened to the interview all the way through several times and it's a lot of footage. It's about an hour of interview that I was needing to really cut down. To make notes to myself I used the marker facility in Premiere which is very nice. I can set a marker on a point and then type text on it, leave little comments and things. But I was listening for particular things, I knew that I needed a bit after, that car chase sequence and when I watched the car chase, what I was left with was anyone who's watching this for the first time is going to go, okay, what's going on? I needed some explanation.
I needed an introduction to the characters involved to his mother, to his father and to him and so, I went through the interview listening for that type of material and marking it. Then I went back through and listened through it again because once I had the idea that that would be the next segment, I thought, and after that's going to come simply a description of what his show is. And I would listen to these segments and I would start dropping them onto the timeline cutting it together. And then I realized, well after that I want to talk about his rehearsal process and so on and so forth. And I just felt my way through it. At one point passing through one of the listening's I heard what I knew was the ending, I heard a perfect bit to end with so I marked that as such.
And by listening to it multiple times I was able to start to gather up material and get it in order and get it cut together. So I'm going to let you watch this cut right now. There are no cut aways, there's jump cuts of the interview, it's a real chaotic kind of mess right now but there is a story there and it's got these beats in it. I don't know that the timing is right on them but I'm going to let you watch it and then we're going to come back in the next movie and talk a little bit more about exactly how I made the decisions for how to cut each different sentiment. >> My parents were having a fight, and dad is just driving fast to get home and mom's opening the door of the car.
They're having a fight. She's saying, stop the car, Gene, stop the car right now. She opens the door and drag her foot a little bit Stop this car Gene Garron. Stop the car right now. And dad's like, seeing that and going and her little white Ked tennis shoes just like all over the black paved streets of Mission Viejo.
And dad is just, and we did that all the way home. All the way down the bottom of the hill into Dardania, up into our driveway, until and we got out. And I always thought oh, well this is just what all families do. Mom, she was from Jersey City, New Jersey. She was like a little hoodlum. My mom shoplifted right up 'til the end of her life. When she had cancer, mom was like knocking things aspirin into her purse at the supermarket.
My father, fighting in two wars, World War II and Korea, prepared him for marriage with my mother. The one sentence description for my show, it's called Inside Out. It's sort of true stories of an unbelievable family. Stories of how I grew up and what happened as a result of our family basically spinning out of control over a series of years. Once I decided to do the show, I sat down at the computer and I started to write it out on the computer in a linear way.
First about my mom, and then I thought no, it has to be about my, journey through this and that only came from taking Post-it notes and starting to track it visually. I started to stand back from it and say, oh that happened. So that's sort of, how the process evolved. Because of the way I work you know, if it's more Pollockesque you know, that I had to like just Throw some stuff up on the wall and literally see if it stuck and then go, oh yeah. That's right.
Dad had a hallucination where he thought there was a beaver under the kitchen table that I'd snuck in from outside. You know, stuff like that. The beaver story. The staging is bare bones. Lights will come up, I will have a microphone. I just want it stripped down. It's sort of one of the big stories. Is that we were homeless, for awhile. My mother had a nervous breakdown and ran away, and Dad was living in his office at the time after the divorce and was sleeping next to a blueprint machine with a 22 pistol in the filing cabinet next to him.
So we woke up one morning. Sheila and I woke up because Lisa had already run away. I was 12, Sheila was 14 and a half and we, we got up one morning, our mom was gone, and so my sister Lisa, picked us up, in a car and we went on the road and we ended up in Canada. We ended up at a, at a youth hostel. We ate a dinner of hot water with a cabbage leaf and some bread, some horrible bread and when we were done, we went out into the night, into the rain in Canada.
And we went to a liquor store, which was just around the corner, and we got Cokes, we got candy bars, and we put em up on the counter and our total in the accent of the man behind the counter, was 3.33. Your total is 3.33. We covered our mouths because we couldn't believe how unbelievably funny it was the way that man said how much we owed him. And we went outside, and we opened our Cokes and we tore open the candy bars.
And we danced and danced in the rain. And laughed for the first in a long time. And I remember jumping in puddles. And I remember running in circles. And maybe it was the sugar and maybe it was the idea that this is the first good laugh we'd had in awhile. And to this day that's our number, that's our lucky number. So whenever I see 333 out in the world, and the same with my sisters, we realize we got the same lucky number on the same night. We don't know what it is, but we always have this same feeling like somehow something's got our back and something did that night.
My mom's response if she were alive today to see this show would be a line, from the show. Which is, at the very end of her life. We were driving by Mission Viejo, which is where so much stuff happens, you know? And mom smoking her little cigarette with her horribly fitting cancer wig. It just never could fit right. It was all, she just looked like Iggy Pop on a really bad morning and she turned to me and she said, I was crazy back then, wasn't I? I didn't even have to answer.
We just laughed. Like, yeah. Yeah, you were crazy back then and I think she would, have the same reaction now. I was crazy back then. Weren't we all?
- Why DSLR?
- Planning the shoot
- Deciding on gear
- Setting up the workspace
- Capturing B-roll
- Synchronizing audio
- Adding music
- Color grading footage