Ah, the Same Day Edit – The idea of doing these insta edits actually goes back to my days working in weddings. Same day edits are commonplace in that industry – and they are a VERY effective marketing tool for those professionals. Seriously, if the couple is putting out for that edit (usually $1000-1500 in additional costs) then the wedding is a high end wedding with over a hundred sets of eyes watching your work (they usually will show the edit at the reception) – it’s marketing at it’s finest. These edits are then posted to the web for the friends and family to always relive and enjoy the moments – it’s pretty epic. Believe me, I worked for one of the best wedding companies in the world and their work in the “same days” were better then what most average wedding companies produce with months of time.
In our workspace, the event space, how can we get the same kind of marketing value from these types of edits? Well, in stand up it’s simple. SUP is a sport born on facebook and twitter. It’s audience thrives on real time information. So for any event videographer looking seriously as trying to make a living in SUP – having the capability of rolling up to an event, shoot it, then put out an edit the same day is a huge skill. And I think, of supreme value to any event director. If you are an event director reading this post – something to think about. Certainly you will have a couple hundred people there with iphones and gopros shooting at your event. They will make shaky amateur video of your event – and in this day and age – this is a good thing. The more exposure the better. But this content will be short lived, it will cycle through a small segment of facebook users, maybe get posted to youtube and get hit when people are searching. But for the most part it will get a couple hundred views. You also have Andre with SUPConnect going to sites with his “live” feeds – basically iphone video streamed through Brightcove with interviews. This is a great innovation as it delivers to the masses live, updated content from your event. But it still lacks a depth and a certain polish. If you are bringing in a professional video crew, then you have, really, about a month’s time to put up that content and push it. Something, anything. In the fast paced world of SUP where you have a new race every weekend going on somewhere – the more real time the content the better. That’s why I think the same day edit belongs in this space. It can provide hungry fans with a first look at your event, people can share it quickly and virally across the interwebs, your event can get featured with a professional video instead of being represented by amateur quality content, SUP blogs and outlets will be quick to publish it to show “whats happening now” in SUP.
The first SDE I did was BOP 2009, at the time I was working on my own video site, The Stand Up Project – a collection of SUP short films and event videos (that site is done, I could not get anyone back then to back anything I was doing). The next morning when the video was out, I had people coming from all over commenting to me about it. It was a cool moment for me, because I knew it “worked”. I was up till 2am editing, and it took FOREVER to upload;I was really feeling the pressure to get it done. It was shot on all SONY HDV Based Camcorders. I did it for no one but myself in hopes of maybe getting some work. Taking risks definitely led to great rewards.
2009 BOP SDE
Battle of the Paddle 2009 “Quick Edit” from Soul Surf Media on Vimeo.
I stopped doing these edits because it was so stressful, it was back in the days of tape based workflows and the log and capture process was just too brutal. Plus at an event, I would shoot around 6-8 hours of tape. By the time I did the Carolina Cup SDE in 2011, I had gone tapeless and the edit process was a little less painful. I offered to do this for them because it was a new race and I wanted to help promote the event. The guys who run the event had been super supportive of me and my efforts so in a way it was a “thank you”…The advent of a tapeless workflow gives you the advantage of speed editing. Plus having a faster computer to work with also helped. Shot on Canon 7D and Panasonic HMC-150
2011 Carolina Cup SDE
Events: Carolina Cup – Same Day Edit from Soul Surf Media on Vimeo.
in 2012, The Battle was back and I was assigned by Bark and QB to produce the event for them. I decided to bring back the SDE. This one was the fastest edits to date, but ironically was the most “shot”. We had four Go Pros, multiple 32GB Cards from the 7D and one card from the Panasonic. Unfortunately, the Panasonic got doused by a wave and went down in the first race of the first day. It was a bummer. The challenge was mixed frame rates, formats and conversions that had to be done on all the footage to get it all ingested in to FCP for editing.
2012 BOP SDE
Battle of the Paddle California 2012 Same Day Edit from Soul Surf Media on Vimeo.
Across all of these edits some basics remain the same to be successful as an event/sports videographer and make these things work. At least if I am asked to do one, I always go in with the following:
- Have a plan- The wedding guys get these things hammered out in 3-4 hours, we have all afternoon and evening. In the case of Carolina we showed the edit at the Awards, so that was a 3 hour time crunched edit. If you are shooting to show at the awards and are solo, have a cut off time or event. Make sure you know how much time you will need to be successful. Yes, you will need the elite, but do you really need the obstacle course?
- Pre Plan- the key to success here is to pre-edit as much as you can. I am not talking about footage, but setting up that laptop for success. I go into these with a bank of pre-selected music all timed and marked with text cues about where the music has bridges, choruses, etc.. what kind of footage I think would look good with what part of the song (for example, noting a rising chorus with a wide, cinematic shot – and sticking a text marker there for it on the time line). Set up the time line with the correct settings, make all of your filters available, do what you can so that you can sit down and start editing right away
- Make sure you eat – yes it sounds stupid, but making sure you are hydrated, full and ready to work is important. Your brain needs fuel to make this happen.
- What To Pick ? – the biggest question, you are logging and transferring, you have a list of clips–now what? Look for anything that catches YOUR eye. This is a same day, this is not the finished piece so I try to find the most compelling thing possible in each clip. I give myself a lot to choose from. I literrally scrub through the clip looking for anything that catches my eye, sometime there will be nothing there, but most times there may be a cool wave splash, finish line shot, etc.. the MORE VARIETY the better. Crowd shots, racing, close ups, portraits, announcers, beauty shots, pick what is compelling and goes with the music tracks you are working with.
- Audio? I HARDLY use interviews in a SDE, these are pretty much music video montages of the day. Sometimes when interviewing someone I will click with something they say and decide at that moment to remember to look for that sound bite and use it in the SDE. Or in the case of the first BOP video I got SUPER lucky to get good audio of Dr. Paskowitz’s speech that year and knew at that moment that if it came out, that would be used in the race video. Frankly though it’s a tall order to lay in someone talking in a rushed edit situation because now you are adding the complexity of audio mixing.
Workstation- I use a macbook pro and find the FASTEST portable hard drive I can find, something that will work off the firewire ports or thunderbird ports. Secondly, I use the best ear buds I can find and locate a space where I can be alone for several hours (usually a hotel room). You will be depressed as you won’t be going to dinner with everyone else, because you have created a self imposed work deadline.
And if you don’t pull it off? (it’s happened to me more then once) don’t beat yourself up. These are HARD to do. In the wedding market, they literally bring in an editor and a full iMac workstation for these edits. For us solo guys it is a tall order to pull off – especially if you are going to be showing it at the awards dinner. If I get asked to do this, I ALWAYS level set the client with the notion that it’s a 50/50 gamble but will do the best that I can..
Got questions about this? feel free to email me and I will answer what I can.