No one wants to admit but we all have to do it, BULLET POINTS. Yea, you do it too. I’ve created bullet points with old school Chyron character generators in the 80’s, Video Toasters and Powerpoint in the 90’s, but this workflow is by far the best and fastest way to not only MAKE THEM, but also to change them when they have to be updated or changed or corrected.
Color Temperture - Brightness - Time of Day.
I edit video for a living and I work hard, and by “work hard” I mean, I work long hours. This means that often times I spend a majority of my day staring at computer screens. If you are reading this blog you are probably like me and that means you do pretty much the same thing. Every once in a while we all need a little reminder about things and this post is just such a reminder.
During he middle of the day and evening hours the light from the sun are different colors. Its as simple as that. Bright mid day sunlight is about 5600 degrees kelvin and sunset is probably somewhere down around 2800 - 3000 degrees kelvin. If you were paying attention in your film or video production classes you’d also know that incandescent lights are about 3200 degrees and florescent tubes are about 4200 degrees. What this means is that a bright mid day sun is very very blue and incandescent lights are very very orange by comparison.
Back in the olden days of cheap crappy video cameras you’d have to roll a filter in front of your lens to tell it you were going to shoot indoors or outdoors. If you ever tried to walk from indoor to out, you’d get outside and everything would be totally blue, or if you tried walking from outside to inside the opposite would happen, everything would be horribly orange. Of course, now a days most consumer cameras have some sort of auto correction and for the most part they do a pretty good job of compensating for this color change.
The reason we don’t notice this with our bare eyes when we walk from outdoors to in or vice-a-versa is that our brain is totally amazing and can figure this all out on its own.
Here is another fact you need to know. Computers put out daylight. Yea, the color temperature of your computer screen is essentially like looking into a little tiny sun and this confuses our bodies to be looking at daylight well into the night.
If you are anything like me you are looking at your computer late at night and our bodies and our minds get confused by the color of the light it puts out.
So, all of this has been one giant windup to… you need to try a product called “f.lux”. I recently put it on my laptop and this is what it does… “it makes your life better”. F.lux looks at your system clock, it knows what time sunset is because its smart and it slowly changes the color temperature of your screen from daylight in the mid day to something more appropriate for you to be looking at in the late night.
You can set the evening color temperature anywhere from “Candle” to “Florescent” (and anywhere in between). When you first get f.lux it defaults to something like 4000 degrees for the evening hours and you’ll think, “oh wow, there is NO WAY I can look at that”. So for the first few days I left my “evening setting” at around 5200 degrees kelvin. But over the past week I’ve been able to shift my evening setting down to 4200 degrees and it feels right.
[NOTE TO SELF… I fell asleep writing this post at this point.]
By feels right I mean… it doesn’t appear to be too orange anymore and it is just more comfortable to look at.
What I WOULDN’T do is put this on a work machine. You can’t color correct at 4200 degrees kelvin. You can’t do Photoshop work at 4200 degrees kelvin and you CERTAINLY can’t look at anything critically at this color temperature. However, you can read, you can browse and you can post on your FaceSpace thing and I really do believe it will allow you to sleep better at night and all around it won’t mess with your body clock.
So give it a try, lemme know in the comments below what you think of it. Hey… you can always disable it or pitch it if you don’t like it.
I want to thank my friend Taija Dilfer for showing this to me.
In the editorial process perhaps “iteration” is your single greatest friend and foe all at the same time. The ability to change and try different things has never been easier. Technology allows us to experiment, and explore, but it also gives us opportunity to change, and convert. You see, it wasn’t always like this.
In olden times, the process of video editing meant selectively copying the portions of your tapes to a “record master”. Each shot needed to be meticulously planned and laid down in order, one shot at a time. When you got to the end of the edit hopefully you hadn’t forgotten a single shot or clip, and hopefully you hadn’t put in to many shots. A single trim or addition or change could mean re-cutting EVERYTHING from that point on till the end of your program. There was so such thing as a “ripple edit”. Editing then was much more precise. You worried about how things were flowing WHILE you were cutting and, by and large, you weren’t even allowed to make mistakes.
Back then, “offline” meant something, and “online” was expensive.
When the dawn of non-linear editing happened we all thought, “oh wow, this is going to be awesome, we’ll be able to work so much faster, get so much more done, and do a much better job”. In all fairness, the only one of those three that is remotely true, is the third. We do indeed do a better job.
However, the ability to say, “oh crap, I forget to mention we need to insert some bumpers in between these themes in our story” has meant that we no longer worry about that level of preplanning. “We can always change it later” usually means WE WILL… change it later.
However, this post was not supposed to be a history lesson. It was meant to be some ramblings about “iteration”. By and large, the ability to try something another way is your friend as an editor. The commitment level to ‘give it a try’ is much less with our current technology. This allows us the freedom to give it a try, see what happens if we start the story in the middle and then backtrack. Experiment with putting a little more space between the answers. Try a different cut of music and then re-cut to the beat… again. These iterations allow us to improve.
As a producer you should plan on this. As a content creator you need to be aware of this. It is really easy to eat up your budget by trying options. If “time is money” and iterations take time, then trying too many iterations can be expensive. However, you also may find the magic that makes your piece really sing.
Often times I’ll show a piece to someone and they ask how long it took to cut. When I tell them there have been many times when they are astonished or they gasp. “I don’t understand, it looks like a really simple piece, why so long?” I then have to explain to them that, “yes, this piece looks simple, but you aren’t seeing all the previous versions BEFORE we got to this one”.
I wish I had a dollar, (why do we use that phrase?) for every time I spent hours, if not days on a passage in an edit only to have it all thrown out for a MUCH simpler treatment. Since we are pushing all those buttons it can be frustrating to “kill your babies” but as an editor, you learn to live with it. Hey, it happens.
So, if you’re trying to save time and money in your edit, it pays to be organized. It pays to be strategic, it pays to avoid un-necessary iterations and your “what if’s” and walk into the edit suite prepared.