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Breaking Down The Final Film

Lesson 40 from: Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

Courtney Holmes

Breaking Down The Final Film

Lesson 40 from: Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

Courtney Holmes

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Lesson Info

40. Breaking Down The Final Film


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


The Spark That Inspired Me


What Are Family Films?


Gear for Family Films


Camera Settings for Video


Frame Rates & Slow Motion


Picture Profiles & Color Grading


Settings for Audio Capture


Lesson Info

Breaking Down The Final Film

what I wanted to show you now is I thought it would be really good. Teoh, um, show you what the completed film looks like and then break it down and explain why I made the choices that I did. Um, as I was saying before, I have to be in, like, a specific mood in order to edit fields. And, um, it's like a creative thing. I have to be well fed and well, well slept like, well rested. And, um, it's not a good idea for me to try to edit a film when I'm gonna be constantly interrupted by my kids. Or, um, if I am just trying to push through for a deadline hate deadlines. I give my clients a rough guide of a 6 to 8 week turn over time. It doesn't take me that long to do it, but it gives me enough time to be in the right headspace for it to edit it. A lot of times I'll edit in stages where I'll pick the music. I'll Cullen out edit the photos first I pick the music, I start to build the intro and then, um, depending on how much time I have left depending on whether I have a block of time or not, ...

I might leave it and come back. Um, once I start to edit, I really like to do the whole thing in one sitting. Once I start to build and it's the assembly of the story. Really? Because you know the footage so well inside and out as you're editing it, that it's easy to. It's much easier to do it all in one go. But that said, I don't have I never have 10 hours at one time to do it all. So, um, and I will say that as I've gotten better, it's it's taking me last time. And it can take as much time as you know if I want to be really obsessive about things. Could take longer, right? So if you're a perfectionist like me, it might take you a little longer. Um, but that's why that's I'm like saying this not just for you guys. It's for me. To Lex drive for progress, not perfection. Let go of perfection. Um, anyway, my digress. Um, So I will then dio ah, one sitting where I assemble the film and then I will color grade later, so that will be on a probably a different day, a different time. So it might. It might take me, um, a five hour block of time. Teoh put it all together, and then I'll go through. And, like I was talking about earlier, all zoom in on the music and I'll really get precise with where I want Teoh make my cuts. I'll spend some time on that. I'll also spend some time on the audio and just making sure that every audio, um, section that comes in has a, um, a gradual entrance that it's not like, Ah, pop that you here when it comes in, um, that it's not really abrupt. I like to ease into the audio that comes into the film. Um and so I would look at that and I would make sure that just overall it's pretty seamless. I would also look at white balance, overall exposure of all. And then I would do the color grading as well. Okay, so that's kind of the section that I would do. And And I would also add the title at that point and the logo as well. All right, So what I wanted to dio for you guys is you've already seen my thought process of how I start to build and assemble the things. Now I'm gonna take you through what I've already done. And if Amy's watching, she doesn't know that it's already done. So, um, hope she's still watching. That'll be cool for her. Um, you can see I've set some markers in here, but they're not as many as what I showed you guys. That was purely because I can pretty much like I I set my markers now a little bit more loosely, um, and into a larger sections, because I can hear it. I don't need Teoh know each one, but I wanted to show you how to listen for the changes each time, Um, so that you can get an idea for that. It's good to start with that. And then as you gain experience doing this, you don't always have Teoh. Um, but you can see kind of a broader set. I don't even I think that the markers stop about halfway through eso. It's just about listening. And, um um, paying attention to that as you edit and so Okay, you can see, I have what's different about the timeline versus what was that? Before you can see I have an adjustment layer here. Um, what this is is the color grading that I've already added to it. So I'm not gonna show that yet. I'm going to show you the straight out of camera footage, and then I'm gonna show you how have color graded it too. Um, so that's a bonus of this. We get a little, we'll have a little bit of time for that. So I'm gonna play it through first. Handy trick if you press. If you click on a, um um one of the panels highlight one of the panels. Have the blue square around it. You press the tilde key, which is the little squiggly key at the top left. It expands that panel for you so you can see it. Um, another handy trick that I want to mention is that you can see down here. It's yellow. That's because it hasn't been rendered yet. And so if you have a slower computer, you may find that it's a little bit Laghi when it plays back. It doesn't play Bacchus fast. And so, if you want, Teoh? Have it play back faster. You go up, Teoh file. I think it's file. Or is it sequence? Yeah. Sequence. Render into out. Okay, So what this is going to do is it's gonna render all of the clips that I've added in the video the audio file that I've added It's creating a copy of this so that the computer doesn't have to think is much to be able to play it back quickly. And so it plays back smoother for you. Um, so while this is rendering, I also want Teoh. Um, are there was a point I was gonna talk about and I've lost it. Um Oh, yes. Um So auto save okay. When you are in Premiere Pro, I think that's a fall auto save is set to 15 minutes. If your computer is known, Teoh shut down or you have issues with it. I would really recommend that you change that auto save to every five minutes because there isn't nothing worse then doing a lot of work and losing it all. So change that to five minutes. It's going to save you. Um, you'll find, though, that if it shuts down and you open it, then you may notice that your milk you're missing more than you think you should. If that happens, you can go into the Documents folder, go into the auto save folder, and you can usually find a more recent version than what Premiere Pro opens up for you. Okay, so that's really handy to know. Um, and I'm rendering now because I just want to make sure that it plays back really smoothly for us. Um, but you can see this takes a little bit of time. So if you're computers a little slow, then you might want to render every every now and then or render go, make yourself some tea, come back, and then it will be done. Um, rendering usually also makes export a little bit quicker, too. Are there any questions so far on any of that that I've just covered? Cool. How long does it take this from, Alana, when you are color grading. How long is that? A long process. It really depends on how hard things are. Um, you know, if there's color casts, if there's mixed lighting, um, um, so it it doesn't, um It doesn't usually take me that long, but it depends on how picky you are and your preferences. And I am. Yeah. So it's hard to give a time on that. Okay. Doing to see it with the color or without. Okay, but with the Colorado and then I'll talk about it. But here we go. You know, somebody Every some defense. My way, way, way. Wait, wait, wait. I won't stop reaching. I'm going to new clothes. He's starting to get white on. Oh, my days left. I'm gonna love you, too. So there's a lot to that, right? Did you notice the jumping back and forth between the backyard and the baby? And all of that is really intentional because I wanted to show that that was happening at the same time. Yeah. Uh, going. I just thought that was really clever to you That, um what I had said about the mom Not necessarily paying like she was paying attention. She was watching in the garden, but the video makes it seem like she was still with the baby s. Oh, I really loved that perspective. Was really, like, a really great way. Like, clever as I was watching to solve that problem? Yes. And you do. It makes you feel like like she's there was great. Thank you. Was that what you expected? From what you saw, the behind the scenes off? No, but yeah, I kind of maybe if you've seen my work before you, but yeah. Um, but yeah, it's, um it's solving the problems. It's, um, thinking about ways Teoh to tell that story. And, um, in the most beautiful way, it's taking things that are so ordinary of your everyday life and just making them feel like a memory. So let's go through. And I thought that it would be really good for me to just kind of walk you through my thought process for how I included the clips that I did. And it's the openings pretty similar to what I have. But there's some differences between what we just did and what I had done earlier. And I think this kind of goes to show like when you're trying to teach. And I think this story, it's very hard. Um and so you know, you're trying to make sure that you're giving good teaching examples, but at the same time, it's very easy. Teoh get more absorbed in that, and it's harder to remember a part to the story that you want to include. And so, you know, this is a really good example of May being in a very good creative mind. Het mindset. Um, headspace I had just done. It's always a lot easier if you do. If you do the edit right after you've done the shoot, Um, sometimes if it's been a while in between, I have to go back and re watch all of the footage. Um, but this was a little bit easier because I was so fresh, like I did it. I started doing it the afternoon after I got back from their session. So, um, so opening as normal, I'll just skip through you Are you you know somebody? So this is one thing that I did in this that I didn't do earlier was how dad comes in like he you don't see him like literally walking into the frame and the laying on the bed. But it's just enough of him, like coming onto the bed that you're like, Oh, Dad's here now. Every so so I had just wanted Teoh include that audio of him, and I had tried to do it earlier, and we're doing it and I was like, This isn't working, um, but because where the music goes away and where it's placed, it works here and for us, you know, we don't see them playing with cards, So in terms of the relevance of that, it's not as obvious, but for them, for her to have his voice recorded like that for it to just be in there. I really do try to always have it be really relevant. But this is also a memory. So when she sees this, she then remembers that morning and she knows what happened. And, um, it was more just about having his voice in there on just that on being a noise of of them just talking in bed. So then I need to transition to the next scene where we're going downstairs and they're getting the cards. So I put B roll in between, and at that point I didn't have any B roll that would work to introduce this specifically where they are. The only thing that I had done which you saw in the behind the scenes was shoot that? Ah, wall of pictures. But there were, um they weren't in the frame, so I couldn't have this wall of pictures with no one in the frame to introduce this same exact, very similar setting. Um, because I was too far back when I shot it. If I've been closer, it would've worked better. Um, but But it wouldn't have worked to have them. Not in it, Not at the table. And then at the table, right to the well. So these air to clip these air, the same clip, this clip here and this one I'm going to give you. But what I wanted Waas the hand, putting the card on the table. And then I also wanted the dad where specifically had the words, dad. So, um, but I didn't wanna wait, because visually, it wouldn't be as interesting. I had also shot a clip of him from the side like this, or he's looking down at it. And so I just put that in between those two, and it works because it's like, that's his hand. And then that's his face looking at it. And then we're back to the card and his hands gone. But we can see the super Dad drawing now I'm going to give you So, um and then it's a wide pulled back shot of what they're. So I'm close up and then go wide if you have Oh, yeah, my favorite thing to do is go to the Children's Museum more than bike rides or skiing. So I really liked the what he was saying there, like he was reading out with the card said, And I wanted to include that. So I mean, that's kind of a longer clip. That's definitely a longer clip than everything else, Um, but I don't have a clip of him coming in because remember when we shot it when I was shooting it before what I had of him coming in, I had a cameraman in the background, and I also, um, he picked up the oldest kid, and then, um, he went, the holders could grab the light, and then they're like, Oh, no, don't do that and then put him down. And so I didn't have the entrance that I was kind of hoping that I would. So now I have to kind of problem. Solve that and figure out how I'm going to put in a clip that will, um, work Teoh, help introduce him in. So what I dio is introduced the audio early from this clip. So I've unlinked this audio, introduced audio and put a bureau clip there, wear the kids like tutta, right? And so you have got this B roll of a cute picture. Mom's taken of the little one and the boys, and so that works. And so because we kind of have that audio introducing and then we go straight into him being over the table, it's not as noticeable. So yeah, my favorite thing to do with my head is going in the Children's museum more than bike rides are seeing. So I'm gonna end on that phrase. I'm not going to keep going through that because I've been in that camera position for a little while now, So I'm gonna try and find another camera position that has another good moment with good audio to include next to it. So now it kind of just looked like like I've just changed to here. Okay? The is going on the Children's museum more than bike rides, air skiing. Someone was asking earlier about when I bring in audio voices and how I mix that in with the music. So what I do is this middle line right here is your audio levels and what you want to look for over here on the right hand side is making sure that these aren't peaking at their red. So in general, you want to have them peaking. Maurin the yellow, um, for your music, it's OK. It's usually not gonna be an issue. Um, but you usually will need to bring it down a little bit. Um, it's not gonna clipped, is what I mean in terms of its not gonna be an issue. Um, you're normal audio, on the other hand, could be. So I lower the level of the music audio as a whole and raise the level of the audio that I've pulled in just a bit as well. And I just listen to that and make sure that it works. And for this moment, I love that the uhm lyrics air out. So he stopped singing. So it's a natural lower place in the music and so it works really well there. Yeah, there's a little bit where the where he's singing, but it's not bad Now, this was intentional in terms of where I started this clip. So he starts in saying so cool. But what I liked about using this one specifically was that it worked for this little gap where the lower where the level is kind of down more in the music and his voice comes in again right there skiing you the thing that I loved about that one specifically where it was when he was like in that dio which is really, really cute. Um, yeah, you have a question. Do you ever ducked the music under the audio to make the dialogue more understandable? No, because I don't like it when the music goes down a lot. Like I just would rather keep it pretty level. And as long as the specific places where I want the audio to come through are coming through, then I'm good with that, Um, I don't pull it down drastically. I just would rather the music be pretty even in terms of love audio levels. And I kept that because I love how he put his head down on his dad's shoulder and then, as I was shooting that I was noticing it and I pulled focus onto it. And then this moment you saw me shoot. It was the feet that helps. It's just to details from here and here. And then we go into this. Next. Do you remember how I had that conversation with Mom about like Oscar? And how does he just watch them play? I really wanted to figure out a way, because I didn't really shoot it that well, I didn't shoot, um, him, like, over his shoulder or anything. And so the way that I did this was I had footage from, I think when I was sitting at breakfast, where he was looking over and I mean, he was doing this in real life like this happened, but I just didn't have it. And but this was another moment where he waas I think one of them it wasn't exactly what they were just doing. Okay, so he was watching them, but it wasn't the same exact moment. But I can put them together and make it look like it. Waas um which is my way of, you know, being in being in multiple places at the same time, but still being true to what actually happened. Oh my. And it was really kind of tricky moving into the breakfast scene where they're eating. There's not much of an introduction into this. It's just kind of the boys playing, and then we go straight into breakfast, and for me it's a It's more about shooting this the way that it feels to be having breakfast, the steam coming off of the French toast, the syrup being poured onto that, the details of that because there wasn't really a lot of, um, conversation like there wasn't really a lot of like relevant conversation happening between them. I'm going to. So we've gotta move outside, and I got to figure out how Teoh transition us outside. This is not my favorite, but I It's what I had to transition us out outside where they're in the swings. So this whole part is hard. It's not my favorite part of the music. In fact, I almost didn't pick this song because of this section, because I'm kind of like what's going on here? There's not really It's sort of like a sort of in between. I don't love it, but when I was looking at it. I thought I could put those swing that swinging part in there and maybe do some time remapping. And so in time, remapping is where it's slow and then you speed it up and then you slow it down. Um, and that might make a little bit more interesting, but there it's sort of. It's like it seems like it should be really epic, but it kind of just isn't So, um, I just worked with it and was really happy in the end with how it all worked out. Okay, so I wanted to make sure that obviously the the nursery part was included and I was trying to think of ways that I can move from. They were on the swings to then there on the trampoline, and this is kind of why where I was talking about before, like, what do you do when you have the family and they're doing different things? I kind of like it cause then I could do stuff like this where I'm incorporating the scene where she's putting the baby to sleep and then in our mind, we know that's probably what's happening. Then we go to the boys outside and we can see a little bit of what they're doing and we can go back to the baby and he's already in the crib. That solves my problem of I didn't have any footage of her actually putting the baby in the crib, right? So it helps me in whole Hardaway's, um, I can bounce back and forth like that. No, you So when they were jumping on the trembling, I knew that I was probably on Lee going to include one jump in the edit in the film. So I was consciously shooting the same child in multiple different camera positions so that I could, and he was doing it several times. So he just kept jumping so I'd shoot it from one spot, and then I would shoot it from another spot, and then I would shoot it from another spot. And that's what then allowed me to take what looks like the same jump from here, and I specifically I'm looking for the moment he's about that height and connect them so I'm really like drilling in Teoh this camera position this clip and making sure I'm choosing it at this where he's about the same distance from dad's feet as in the clip before. And then here it's hard because his feet go up. But you don't know this that. But I'm still looking for that s o, um. Then you're looking for him to be the same distance again, though, right? Be better if it's if his knees were bent, but same distance. But I'm from a different camera position, so I This is how I could make it look like I'm in multiple places at once because so long as they're doing the same thing over and over and over, I'm like this awesome, cause I can shoot this in a lot of different places and then combine it all in like it looks like one thing, right? Okay. All right. Those trouble hands. She loved this. And so I really wanted to include it. And, um, you know, it's sort of it is interesting because she was there during the garden scene, but I just didn't show her okay. Way talked about how I didn't really have very much I didn't have them put in the helmets on or any of that. And so, um, this is sort of what I got for them leaving, and it's out of focus. And that's fine. They can. That's so the walking stuff is hard. No, there was some really good staff that I shot of them in the front yard that I would have liked to include, but it just was kind of It just was an awkward place and there wasn't enough, really of, um, connection or anything between them. It was just visually more interesting. Um, and so, um, it's hard to kind of make the decision toe. Let go those things because it's it's for the better of the film. Um, but you just have to make those decisions and decide what's gonna make the most sense. And for this I wanted this to feel like constant movement till we got there, and because they moved from here to stopping in front of the house on their moving again, I really just wanted to kind of have the movement of the bikes out the gate and then the movement down the street and then the movement across the road and then the movement to the park, right? So I just kind of wanted to keep that continuous, which is why I felt weird when I tried to include this stuff in the front of the house. I wanted to have this so you could see, you know, side angle and close up. Remember back to when I was talking about the, um, the wide, mid and close. You can see that a lot of my stuff like, I'm not shooting the same shot type all the time. I'm really mixing it up in terms of how close and how far I'm getting away. And it's not even just that when I'm shooting. It's also when I'm editing, I'm really aware if I've got a lot of the similar shot type side by side by side, then I am very careful and try to make sure that I'm bringing on bringing a wide shot. So I go from close up a little bit further back a little bit further back, wide shot, right? Even though they're not the same exact moment. It's a similar kind of thing when you're editing. So the clips that I had of us actually arriving to this point, we're not very good and not not really usable and the, um, ones where they get up there weren't gonna work. And while I was there, I had shot some B roll of the trees and the sun flare coming through the trees. So using that in between the all the walking stuff helps make it so that when we get to a clip of them stopped, it feels less abrupt, right? You don't feel like that's weird. Our mind fills in the blanks they've gotten from here. Teoh where they are now, So we're not left asking questions. That sounded like a question. I'm going to you close. He's starting to get white on his head. Oh, my days left, so I don't This wasn't when they saw the eagle, but it looks like it looks like it Waas and it and it. And they did do that. I just didn't shoot it. So you know, it's again. You're true to what's happened. But you as as part of the story that you're telling you're paying attention to the clips that you have that are gonna help work to tell the story, starting to get white. Oh, my days left. I'm gonna love you too.

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Shot List Worksheet Example
Ideas for Your First Film
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Ratings and Reviews

Adam Nicholls

Worth a watch! Courtney provides a clear and organised class, she is also very passionate about what she does which is always nice to see. She has a great back story which is fantastic. This course is good for beginners who have some knowledge in photography and want to learn more about video. I would recommend that people do not refer this class to the bible of filmmaking as I feel you can expand further on what Courtney teaches. Some useful tips for beginners but some methods I personally feel can be taught differently. I feel a gimbal is a useful bit of kit if used correctly. You can still use a gimbal when in manual mode providing you follow the basics rules! Obviously if Courtney prefers not to use a gimbal then that's also fine but I wouldn't discourage students from exploring useful filmmaking tools. Slow motion can be achieved with 50/60fps however I feel other frame rates should have been discussed like 120fps. I liked that Courtney engaged with the students as it gets them involved and will help them remember what they have learned during the class. Thank you for taking the time to share some of your knowledge

a Creativelive Student

Courtney's work is absolutely amazing and inspiring. I feel lucky that she has chosen to share her process and that this class is available! After watching all the videos and trying my hand at this video thing, I am feeling really encouraged and inspired to do more- both personally and professionally. I appreciate the way that she breaks things down in the video and that she shares her thought process. A really great course!


Courtney’s course completes me! I have storytelling “holes” in my film previously, but this course helped fill those holes to create a flow and a film with emotion. Not only is the course wonderful (and well worth every penny) but Courtney is wonderful as well! I had such an amazing experience at Creative Live!!!!

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