I have had a crazy couple of months working, and for those who don’t already know the origin of my blog name, it is about to be revealed! The origin of my blog name, Shitting Sparkles, comes from the several Red Carpet Award Show Opens that I edit every year for E!’s Countdown to the Red Carpet and Live From the Red Carpet with Ryan Seacrest. E! loves glitz and glam for their show opens (translation: Lots of GenArts Sapphire Effects). One day while editing, my supervising producer was reviewing my pre-effects rough cut for a show open.
The conversation went something like this:
Producer: “Think you’ll be able to finish this up in time for Network Notes?”
Me: “Don’t worry, I’m just going to shit sparkles all over it. It will be great.”
Producer: ”You’re gonna WHAT?!?!”
And the rest is history.
So now for the subject of this blog: How the hootenanny do I cut these crazy show opens with a crazy amount of effects in 2-5 days exclusively in Avid Media Composer? I do it with lots of patience, a very well thought out approach, and lots of swearing at my Avid Machine.
Timeline for one of the show opens. Lots of layering and effects are used to help tell the story.
For this blog post I will focus on the storytelling approach to the opens. They all have an abstract theme to them, kind of like an artistic dance routine. It is an artistically visual story supported by careful audio editing of music and dialogue sound ups. If you would like to know how I actually construct my layers of complex effects, then you will have to see one of my demos. But for now…
THE STORYTELLING OF A RED CARPET SHOW OPEN
I construct every show open with careful thought down to the frame, using the abstract story as a guide for my decisions.
GOLDEN GLOBES COUNTDOWN OPEN
THEME: SIMPLICITY AND BOXES. I used Panels to wipe the color on and off. Every transition used was some kind of wipe that revealed black & white and colored panels.
GOLDEN GLOBES LIVE FROM THE RED CARPET OPEN
THEME: PARTY VIBE. Took the idea of thick bold stripes and made them transparent with a whip pan texture as a background. The background was black & white and the foreground was color most of the time. There was constant movement in the frame and it was like the background was a spinning disco ball.
GRAMMY’S COUNTDOWN OPEN
THEME: LOST IN THE MUSIC REALM. I used two types of visual imagery to give the surreal feeling that the sound waves of the music are a living, breathing entity. I made shots pulse to the beat of the music as well as used pulsing, concentric circles as a manifestation of the bass beat.
I also used a hazy, glimmering cloudy filter to give the sense of being in another realm (the music realm, get it?)
ACADEMY AWARDS COUNTDOWN OPEN
CONCEPT: THE GRAND ENTRANCE. The story of this open was a first person perspective of the walk the oscar attendees make to enter the theatre. Ghostly images of famous dresses from the past appear on every surface. The open has only 3 cuts in it and was shot in one take. This open is the most simple and elegant looking, but it is also the most complex and difficult open to cut because of the composited projection effects used throughout. Plus, there are several invisible effects that I used to clean up the look of the staircase. Some of the invisible effects included: overall color treatment, glow glimmer added to red carpet area only, glimmering red sparkles added only to area between each step, softening and removal of plastic sheeting on the floor area at the top of the staircase, brightening of the final entrance area.
ACADEMY AWARDS LIVE FROM THE RED CARPET OPEN
Theme: MOVIE TRAILER. There are no flash or glam effects used. I only used hard cuts or fades to black. A 2:35 aspect ratio effect was used and a film look applied. Music, Title Cards, and sound ups were used in a typical movie trailer style.
There you go! A peek into the abstract editing world of a red carpet show open. I actually cut 9 show opens total for the 2013 award season. It is very tedious and creatively intensive, but I like to think of it as a very fun challenge where I get to feel a little bit like a painter, as well as an editor.
Until next time…