l POINTERS l I am usually the instructor for the beginning track of our media camps but this week I had the privilege of swapping sides so that I could more closely work with my own students here on Kauaʻi.
One of the best lessons that was taught in my opinion, was an editing project using b-roll that John shot at our last Kauaʻi camp last summer. He took about 40 minutes to shoot b-roll of of a lesson that I taught to our beginning students. With our intermediate students this year, he went through his b-roll shots one at a time, explaining what he did and why he did it. He showed them the length of his clips, showing them that to start, he left the camera rolling to capture good sound. He kept shooting these longer clips until he felt he had enough sound bites to work with. Then he moved on to shooting his sequences around the room, always looking ahead to the next shot and thinking like an editor. He also showed them that he took less than 40 minutes to do this.
Through this lesson the students were able to see what good b-roll looks and SOUNDS like. To me it really showed how important it is to capture good natural or nat sounds because it then makes your job as an editor that much easier. The students then were given copies of his b-roll and were asked to put together about a minute long clip telling some sort of story with the footage they were given. This allowed the students to concentrate on telling the story by looking for those great moments. They didnʻt have to stress over getting the shots themselves as they used his shots.
Sound is so important in any production and unless you take the time to capture longer clips specifically looking for sound, youʻll have a difficult time when editing later. A common mistake we see from our students is that they shoot b-roll with no purpose. They donʻt wait and listen for the nat sounds to appear. They point and shoot short shots and often donʻt have good sound bites to work with later. They often also donʻt shoot their b-roll thinking about sequences. The next time youʻre out filming for a project, be sure to take the time to capture good AUDIO in your b-roll. Without it you donʻt include your audience in your story and allow them to feel as if they were there with you. Audio oftentimes is more important to your story than your visuals.
l PERSPECTIVE l
If you ever attend one of our workshops, a saying youʻll hear from us over and over again is, "Good to Great." It comes from a book of that name by author Jim Collins. In it, Jim and his team studied 28 different companies over a period of 5 years to try and determine the universal characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great.
That saying stuck with us and became our unofficial motto in our own classrooms and in our workshops. But what does it mean? To us, going from good to great means going that extra step, to put in that extra effort to improve and get better. Itʻs easy to take the shortcut or easy way out. Itʻs easy to say to yourself, "Oh, thatʻs good enough." Whatʻs not easy is to keep pushing yourself, to go back out and reshoot something, or to re-record that voiceover to make your project that much better. In some cases, a simple re-shoot can mean all the difference between something that is just good, to something that is truly great.
If you think about it, anyone can be good at something with a little practice. You could pick up a ukulele and with some practice, be pretty good at it. But if you want to be truly great like Jake Shimabukuro (if you donʻt know who he is, look him up on YouTube), that takes extra effort. That is what we remind our students over and over again. What can you do to go the extra mile?
We encourage all of our participants, both students and teachers, to bring "Good to Great" into their classrooms as a reminder that we all can do a little better. We should all strive to put out our very best work and effort into anything we do.