One hard drive. 8 terabytes. Quick turnaround. Those were the parameters for piecing together a 60 second montage for GoPro’s YouTube channel with the explicit instructions to make something “banger”. It’s actually an excellent metric to go off of if you’re in tune with GoPro’s brand: This needs to scream and explode until you are dizzy. Emotion trumps story.
The most important first step was to isolate every exciting moment in the footage. For this project, I was able to accomplish that in one 10-hour day. Insanity? Maybe. But let me break it down.
Fortunately, this particular project wasn’t reliant on memorable quotes or moments between people, or camera angles where those things could happen at any given moment during long takes. These cameras were either stationary or mounted to a vehicle, waiting for a quick action to take place.
I’m an incredibly impatient editor, so I like to scrub fast to find those moments. Therefore, for me it’s worthwhile to proxy everything in advance so that scrubbing is mindblowingly fast.
Next is choosing selects. Final Cut Pro X makes that process really streamlined by eliminating the need for subclips or lengthy “stringout” sequences with a thousand clips. FCPX allows you to select an in/out point on any clip in the browser and “favorite” it, essentially applying metadata to in/out points. Once you’ve spent time favoriting every relevant moment, you can then choose to only see favorites inside of your media browser. So now, you’re only looking at the exact pieces of footage that matter. To some extent, you are editing without ever touching a timeline.
Because this process is so efficient, I was able to edit a V1 in about 8 hours. This includes searching for and selecting a music track, which can be tedious for projects like this that, because of the client’s instructions, require a bit of imagination on the editor’s part.
For music, I love sites like Artlist.io and Epidemic Sound. I think they’re fantastic services for editors and shreditors alike, but sometimes those sites make it difficult to find music choices when you are looking for a very specific rhythm, style, or atmosphere. Enter Extreme Music. Not only does Extreme have an ever-growing exceptional library with endless categorizations, but their customer service is best in class. When there is budget, use Extreme.
Sound design for this project involved a mix of on-board sound and pulling from library FX. Depending on the angle, the GoPro cameras themselves pulled some powerful audio that kept the authenticity of the vehicles that were filmed. Because there was so much unused footage to reference, I was able to replace unusable audio with audio from clips that were left on the cutting room floor. This included braking, revving, driving by, etc. Sometimes it was possible to add bass and power by applying some EQ. The library sounds were mostly used for crashing into the pinatas, snow flying into the air, the rotating ice circle, and the crane lifting the bizarre gorilla-guy in the car. Basic sound was done inside of FCPX and finished and polished inside of Logic Pro X. These are merely my preferred choices at the moment, and preferences can change. Before using these programs, I was exclusively using a Premiere and Audition workflow, and I have entertained the tempting idea that DaVinci Resolve includes everything in one package.
The outcome? A happy client with a “banger” video executed on time and on budget.