Friday, 13 March 2015

Self - 2007 Revisited

Back in 2007 I made a short film called Self. I wasn't able to upload the film (produced at college) onto Youtube... and so, eight years on, all I've left is the final copy burned onto DVD, and the original rushes on DV Tape.

I decided to go back and edit the film from scratch - thinking that newer computers would let me upscale the footage to HD, and would convert the video from 4:3 to 16:9. On both counts, I was wrong - but had already set myself down the path of re-editing Self in its entirety!

To begin with, I needed a DV tape deck or working DV tape camera. I had neither. This proved the biggest stumbling block, and put me off for a good few years committing to this editing project. In the end, I opted not to buy nor rent an expensive tape deck (£3000 to buy!!) but found a cheap DV tape camcorder on Amazon. Sorted, right? Wrong!

See, laptops these days don't have firewire ports - which is needed to connect the camera to the computer, and upload the footage. Unhelpfully, it's nigh on impossible googling for answers. People suggested the wrong sorts of cables - which I bought - that didn't work, or were not compatible with my modern laptop.

Growing more and more desperate - now having invested £200 in the project - I decided to try one last solution; a Roxio video capture USB stick, designed to uploaded VHS footage from old VCR players. But you know what? It worked brilliantly! At last - after 8 years gathering dust under my bed, the original Self rushes were ready to be viewed again.

I have to admit it was a fairly bizarre experience watching back what was originally filmed. I've gotten so use the final product, that this unpolished alternative looked very out of place. Plus! Lots of outtakes and other silly bits. God, I was so young in 2007. It's scary.

Right now, I've assembled about half of Self into an edited version again. It means I have to keep checking the original, to ensure shots and timings match up. I've got another couple days of this to complete, before I can move on to returning the narration and music.

Next time I'll present some comparison shots of the current low quality Youtube version, and the new edit. As you can probably see from the below example - it's quite a difference!

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