I’m in the middle of editing a video that combines an artist interview with event footage. The supplied raw material is 10 minutes of interview footage and 45 minutes of the event, shot from a single camera. From that footage I was able to extract 5 minutes of usable interview, but just 40 seconds of the gig. It’s not that the gig video was badly shot, it was just homogenous. Medium-long shot of people dancing. Medium shot of the DJ. Over the shoulder shot of the DJ. Medium shot of girls dancing. Repeat.

This is sad, because a single camera and half an hour is plenty of time to capture a dynamic performance. The secret sauce? Close ups.

Segue – Reset (Live at Big Day Out) from Jaymis on Vimeo.

I shot this video for my friends/collaborators Segue at last year’s Big Day Out. Two days before the show, the festival organizers told us that we wouldn’t be able to do our own visuals for the set, so it was decided that I’d be camera guy instead, with an eye to getting footage for a live or studio video. I’m not much of a videographer – I keep forgetting whether clockwise zooms in or out – but I’ve spent a lot of time editing video, so I’m generally able to cover dodgy shooting with edits.

For that to work however, continuity needs to be maintained. In the above video, I’ve taken great care to ensure that continuity of action is held between cuts. If there’s a medium shot of an artist drinking water, or putting on his headphones, then the following closeup will show him putting down the bottle, or mixing with headphones in place. The footage may have been cut from 20 minutes earlier in the set, but because I got plenty of closeup footage, there’s no need for continuity to be kept across the entire stage, just on the detail that’s in focus.

This was a very time-consuming process, taking about 9 hours to turn 50 minutes of footage into a 7 minute edit. To show the band why it took so long and how I achieved the final result, I created a two-up video, which displays the final edit on top, and the live camera feed below. I’d previously kept this edit private, to maintain the mystery for the band, but I think it’s worth revealing to show what’s possible if you give yourself plenty of shot variation to play with:

Segue – Reset (Live at BDO Two-up Edit) from Jaymis on Vimeo.

Obviously the setting really helps here – thousands of kids jumping around can’t help but be exciting – but even if the source footage isn’t epic, with your non-linear editor and enough closeups, you can make it look that way.

  • http://johnholdun.com John Holdun

    That two-up edit should be required viewing for all videographers. Glad you decided to share it!

  • http://www.jaymis.com Jaymis

    Cheers John! I shared it mostly so that musicians could get an idea of what goes on behind the scenes, and so "amateurs" could get more interesting footage.

    If it's actually of use to video people, I'll upload a better quality render of it.

  • http://tekkind.com neb

    Great post. Continuity is certainly key to a convincing edit, and quite a bit of fun to play with.

    Always fascinating to peer into other's creative process, keep up the good work.

  • http://www.firestormfilms.com.au josh@firestorm

    here's a video we put together using about 45 minutes of performance footage, and about 10 mins of interview and two cameras


  • http://www.jaymis.com Jaymis

    Nice one Josh. More details please! The fisheye and DOF indicate that you may have been using some rather nice cameras?

  • http://www.udart.dk Udart

    I have started documenting my own VJ gigs on video. When I have a nice flow going I put my visuals on auto pilot (logical record in Modul8) and sneak off and shoot some video on the dance floor.
    At home I then seep through the recordings and edit it to make it look as dynamic as possible. Have a look and let me know what you think:


  • http://www.firestormfilms.com.au josh@firestorm

    the fisheye is a century optics .3 ultra fisheye and its on a sony fx1e.. the other camera is a sony v1-p with a sony wide angle lens.

    they do the job i spose :-)

    you can watch the video on youtube in hd http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F3KxfNZFvY&fe

  • http://www.firestormfilms.com.au josh@firestorm

    …anything else just ask!!

  • Graham T

    Great video and great artists. Im keen to learn more about them….