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watch Behind the Scenes (BTS): Do You Create This Stuff?

Maazer

Member
Take a look at this:
https://vimeo.com/49433912

Since 2009, I've found love in crossing the genres of documentary and music video together as a fun, few minutes video production. Since I was a kid, I lived for seeing behind the scenes of just about anything on TV, especially from HBO's First Look, in particular. Since many of us believe in "movie magic," it's truly a magnificent thing to see what a project looks like behind the curtain. BTS is the Penn & Teller of filmmaking.

When I first moved to LA from film school in Florida, I was asked to cut sizzles as a freelancer, and really had no experience doing this. I sat with a producer on some of these, and I started realizing the similarity in how MTV shoots and edits their shows. This gave me a perspective, and inspiration of style to sophistically, and creatively, cut these things up. One of my first gigs was an callback from Craigslist for a new director looking for a behind the scenes shooter/editor for his music video. The pay was $100 for three days of work, but I used it as an opportunity to network and gain some experience. Turns out the video was for an artist with a #1 hit on the charts.

In documentary, you really have to be a people person to communicate and get the right words out of the people you interview. As an editor before a camera operator, I have the ability of knowing what I will be editing while I'm shooting. It really gives me a clearer foresight of what I will be editing, so I always ensure I get as much coverage as possible. Since I don't shoot as much as I edit, I tend to experiment and try new things. If they suck, only I will see the outcome. But if it works, it works.

I work my own system for each of these BTS projects I produce. For instance, at any point in between takes, I approach the talent or director and say, "what are we doing today?" This gives me a clear answer of what's going on in general, as well as the scene. Being fun and friendly is key, but you also want to be nonchalant, to prevent being distractive to the set's ecosystem. When there's downtime, I'll grab b-roll of the location, and always a "where are we?" from the director. This way, I can start a segment with an exterior shot, along with a J-cut of the director's audio. This gives us a proper introduction with a lead-in to what we're looking at. It's also important to get closeups and shots of the crew setting up scenes to illustrate the surroundings.

I usually don't start editing until I get a rough cut of the music video. This way, I can use placeholders for when the full-res/colored video arrives. When shooting, it's important to create segments in every location (if multiple). It's almost like reality TV, as you look to find opportunities of making something out of nothing. Since BTS never typically lasts more than 5 minutes for web, and 12 minutes for TV, you have to fill your space with quick cuts. I used to start with a timeline filled with two clips saying to myself, "how the hell am I going to do this?" If you create mini stories from different parts of the shoot, you'll find yourself with a bigger edit than you actually need.

Ultimately, this is a service that you can provide to friends and indie directors/producers for web updates and press packages. Maybe more. At the end of the day, I would prefer to have something like this on my regular shoots and projects. Wouldn't you?
 
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Zensteve

Member
Cool vid, as well as cool tips. I'm actually stuck on a BTS right now, and wish I'd had some kind of plan going in. Oh well, live & learn. :cool:
 

TheArtist

Member
Can anyone explain the "motion capture" thing ? With the people frozen while he walks ?


About BTS, I love those things (which filmmaker doesn't ?). I'm lloking for Blu Rays that have some great ones that could serve as lessons.

I disagree with the fact that BTS for Internet should be less than 5 minutes. Devin Supertramp asked his fans on Facebook if they prefered a short version (3m) or a long one (10m+). The long one won by a large margin. I for one value everyshot on the BTS. I don't think I need to explain the value in it.
 

Maazer

Member
Cool vid, as well as cool tips. I'm actually stuck on a BTS right now, and wish I'd had some kind of plan going in. Oh well, live & learn. :cool:
Ha, let me know if you need help with anything, Steve!

Can anyone explain the "motion capture" thing ? With the people frozen while he walks ?


About BTS, I love those things (which filmmaker doesn't ?). I'm lloking for Blu Rays that have some great ones that could serve as lessons.

I disagree with the fact that BTS for Internet should be less than 5 minutes. Devin Supertramp asked his fans on Facebook if they prefered a short version (3m) or a long one (10m+). The long one won by a large margin. I for one value everyshot on the BTS. I don't think I need to explain the value in it.
He said motion capture, but it's actually "motion control". It's where the camera is rigged to a computer and machine that performs the exact dolly/camera movement motion twice - each with different things going on in the shots.

And yes, I could watch BTS all day!
 

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