I have been spending time editing and compiling the raw footage I have taken from online, and in the outdoors. During the process, I am beginning to understand how to tell a story with film. It is both complicated and simple- I think, not sure; one thing for certain is it takes a lot of time.

 

I have been going through all of the footage, and as I sit there my mind is running, putting everything together trying to form an understandable story with everything I have shot. That is the trick it seems, creating an understanding. I have filmed in a variety of settings, capturing my surroundings. I understand where I have been and what I am trying to do. But when I put it on film, conveying that information for other people is a trick. I have to provide context. I have to make it so that somehow, all of these different shots are linked together in a way that is not completely confusing.

 

I first noticed this as a puzzle when I began trying to tell my story, beginning with a scene in the mountains. I started with an understanding of what I wanted the structure of the story to be like, but the scenes that give information to make everything understandable, linking them together is like a jigsaw. All of the different scenes must be connected somehow.

 

At the moment, a solution I have been draw to is trying to at least make the cuts and transitions understandable to the eyes. I want to move between scenes in a way that does not leave the viewer spending time trying to understand what they are looking at. This, I think, means matching up lighting, contrasting shots, subjects and more, in a way that sort of leads the viewer on a journey they don’t have to helplessly feel their way around in.

 

This is what I have been doing so far. At the moment, everything is still very roughly cut.

 

I shot a winter scene in the Olympics. There is snow and trees and rocks. Then I cut to a scene in a green forest. To make the transition between the two worlds, it seemed that with what I have, the best thing to do would be to take advantage of tree lines. I found shots from both scenes that end up pointing to the bright sky, with tree tops visible coming from the bottom of the frame. The winter shot pans up to the tops, then the green shot pans down. Then I can move into that scene. The next two transitions relied on close up shots showing lots of detail, with two different trees as the subject. I transitioned from the forest to a swamp, first panning slowly, with a semi close shot, across the trunk of a mossy tree trunk with ferns growing from it, then I cut to a close up of a tree trunk in the swamp. The tree is on the left, with swamp environment shown blurrily in the background. After that, I transitioned to a desert/ plateau scene, transitioning using close-up stills of berries on bushes I found in both locations. The first, a holly tree with bright red berries, the second was a Juniper with dusty blue berries.

 

Two more notes before I end this entry. I have also been tweaking and learning how to transition from shot to shot within scenes, moving around the environment in a way that works with what I am doing. This requires similar techniques. It seems this way anyway. Everything I am learning here is purely based off of my own watching the things I have shot. Putting things together, when they were filmed with no thoughts on how that works.

 

The second things I learned: when I am filming, I need to keep transitions in mind. It couldn’t hurt I think. Story boarding and knowing exactly what I am filming would be very helpful as well. May make for more cohesive piece.