Amidst watching The Aviator (Academy Award for best editing by Thelma Schoonmaker in 2004), working on my little trailer (at present I’m searching through free music resources for tracks I can potentially use), looking through a buddhist meditation book I just got from a temple down the road (this paranthesis is just for consistency) and eating a bowl of frozen berries with almond butter (yumbles), I’ve just discovered this interesting resource for editing competitions in a simple, easy to navigate list.
TLDR; I’ve procrastinated my way to this additional means of procrastination.
Another film trailer, yes, and not just any film. A Terminator film.
Also it’s ‘hosted’ by Adobe which fits in nicely with all this Premier Pro business going on around these parts lately. The editing gods have spoken, I am meant to enter this competition.
Y’all wouldn’t realise how much time has passed between the last sentance and this one unless I pointed it out with a Sponge Bob reference BUT after an hour of googling and further investigating movie trailers and ‘what makes a great movie trailer’ I stumbled across this interesting Vice video:
Which, interestingly, interviews some of the folk from an agency called Create Advertising.
Who, interestingly, have made a number of trailers for rather high profile films.
One of which, interestingly, is… Terminator: Dark Fate.
The very same Terminator I’ll be making my own trailer for. The circle of life is complete. Mufasa’s spirit can finally rest in peace.
I’m not sure exactly what I’m supposed to learn from this experience other than the world of movie trailers is a rabbit-hole much deeper than I’d anticipated. I promise this won’t be a blog about movie trailers. But it will be until October 10 when I submit my editfest trailer.
This post will be covering a little about how I’m approaching my submission for Editfest (check out my last post here to know what I’m talking about!).
I’ll be cutting a movie trailer using entirely stock footage from Film Supply and graphics I make in After Effects. I’ve been using the Adobe Suite for a while so it’s all fairly familiar BUT I’d really like to take this opportunity to get into the nitty-gritty of these programs. I’ve never really given myself the time to explore Premier Pro and all it’s features so I’ll be spending a lot of time honing my technical skills while I cut together this trailer.
I’ll be doing so with this free little intro course I found on Udemy:
This should cover all the most basic of basics, which seems tedious but I want tthe software I use to feel like an extension of my body so it’s worth covering EVERYTHING from the ground up. I want to really KNOW Premier Pro. You know?
Regarding actually cutting a trailer, I’ve been using this video as a reference to get started (since I’ve never cut a trailer and I want to fill my brain with as much juice as possible):
The very first point is ‘tell a story’, which seems very ‘well, duh’, but on watching some submissions other people have made to Editfest it is actually quite overlooked! Also, it is kind of fun to just throw a whole smattering of pretty shots together over some pretty music and feel satisfied at the brilliant moody collage of feelings you’ve created. However, that does not a movie trailer make. Alas.
The challenge, for me at this point, is taking stock footage and no actual film script, and building a story to tell.
I think my best approach (which I’ve been working on already) is to take two or three ‘scenes’ from the available footage and formulate a narrative around them. That way there is some coherence between both the footage and the shooting style so it seems to be all connected in some kind of a way. You’ll have to watch the movie to figure out HOW they are connected though… If all goes well the trailer will create that desire!
This is a short and sweet update because I don’t have my in brain today.
I came across an ad on instagram yesterday evening for an editing competition called ‘EDITFEST’. It’s run by a stock footage company called Film Supply who run this competition annually, judged by a panel of industry professionals AND the general public. Scrutiny all round!
You can rest assured I’ll be putting something together for this, even if it’s just for my own sake of feeling some kind of accomplished for having tried. I have a full week of spending time in my own company leading up to the deadline so I get to spend all my waking hours cutting together something brilliant (or acceptable) to submit. This is going to be a fun challenge!
I’ve also been thinking more about ways I can practice the ‘art of editing’ as a creative endeavour, to refine and cultivate my skills in that arena, and have been thinking it would be fun to cut feature films down into shorts that either tell the story faster OR a completely new story. I love the idea of playing around with time, either elongating or compressing timing of key moments. I must admit, time is one of my favourite subjects of thought so it will be fun to get to manipulate that concept through editing. I’m not sure about the laws around that kind of content but ideally it would be something I can upload onto Vimeo or Youtube (or perhaps just on this website), as a showcase. Perhaps if I throw a filter over the footage it has been changed enough to come under some kind of ‘fair use’ policy… More investigation needed…
That’s all for today. Short and sweet as promised. I would like some more coffee and perhaps a shower now.
Thank you for reading, have a fabulous day and chat soon,
Hello and welcome! Here I’ll be documenting my steps and progress towards becoming a (great) film editor!
My name is Sonja Gallaher, I’m an Assistant Editor/Assembly Editor from Sydney, Australia. I’ve been working mostly in reality TV (one shiny floor show in the mix for good measure) for the past 3 years and I’m in the process of ramping up my career efforts to become a big time editor on feature films. Cool, huh?
So what’s the plan?
Why, I’m so glad you asked!
It starts with a healthy dose of work hard like my life depends on it. I need to hustle and move like I’ve never hustled and moved before, take projects, make connections and carve out a place for myself in the industry.
This seems obvious but I need to write it down; get good. Editing is an art AND a skill. I need to hone my skills as an editor who can turn scenes into life-changing moments, or hilarious moments, or intense moments. This will be via both practical lessons and practice.
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”
There ya go, I nice quote to make this a real blog.
But honestly, this is the beginning. Despite having been in the industry for three years already, this is the first time I’ve truly chosen to turn this into something epic. I’m doing so on a public platform to help ground myself in how far I’ve come, as well as affirm the skills and knowledge and progress I aquire along the way. This will serve as both deeply, personally useful as well as a guide of ‘to do’ and ‘definitely do not do’ for anyone reading. Double helpful, everybody wins.
This is where it starts. I’ve no doubt you’ll get to know me more as my website turns into something of value. I’ll share my ups and downs and triumphs and challenges and everything I learn along the way, both practical and personal, as I dive into this ‘new’ endeavour. What a time to be alive.