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Editor Arnold
Music Editing
on Aug 9, 2006 at 1:07:46 pm


I am about to edit taped live music performances from a festival.

There are many well known bands, with some very famous songs covering many genres;


Does anyone have any editing styles, knowledge, or advice they could offer me?
I have edited music performances before, however not on this scale and certainly not with these artists and songs. I know about on and off beat editing, and understand the fundementals to editing, however i was wondering if any fellow editors have any good ideas for this kind of job?

I am going to use a multi camera feature (as we shot on four cameras) and obviously have crowd shots intercut. I have watched and own many live performace DVD's and festival docs, so I have watched them and looked how they are cut.

Kind regards

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mark Suszko
Re: Music Editing
on Aug 10, 2006 at 1:33:01 am

I like my music cut fairly straight-ahead. I like to feature each artist as he or she does their best part of the song. If performance is what you want to show, then less is more. About as far as I would take it is to lay some half-dissolve doubles, where the same person is shown in facial close-up and wide shot. But these don't always look good unless there was a lot of dark blank space in one or both shots. To generate those if they weren;t originally shot that way may be more trouble than it is worth.

Now, you *could* go for something kitchy if every band is covering the exact same song. It would help if they are all in the same key at least, but yes, juxtaposing them all in the course of one identical tune might be fun to watch, depends on the song. It should be something light and up-tempo, I'm thinking. You could multi-box them simultaneously on the screen, then fly them into closeup as they alternate, kind of Woodstock-1 like... or maybe you composite them into an old TV which is channel-surfing to make the cuts.
Or at some point skip the bands altogether, just use the audio, and show someone listening to it, and their clothes, makeup, and action change as the versions of the song change.

There was a music video on imovie for some band, the theme was they are in everyday dress and go vinyl shopping at a used record shop. They find their band's section in the bins, and in there are like 20 albums faked up by the art department, going back what looks like 20 years and covering about every major music/pop culture trend in album cover art and band costumes, mocking a few very well known covers like the Beatles, Kingston Trio, Police, etc.. They cut away to the bands "live" in the various time periods for tiny samples of the same song performed in the multi styles. The song was not memorable, but the visuals were fun.

Wish I could remember a title for you...

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Re: Music Editing
on Aug 10, 2006 at 4:17:09 pm

"going back what looks like 20 years and covering about every major music/pop culture trend in album cover art and band costumes, mocking a few very well known covers like the Beatles, Kingston Trio, Police, etc."

Red Hot Chili Peppers did something like that in their song "Dani California". They did the video with them on stage, and appeared dressed as a 1950's band, thru the sixties and so on, hitting the major fashion styles through the decades. A pretty cool video.


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Arson XL
Re: Music Editing
on Aug 13, 2006 at 11:08:58 am

i think you misread the post and think all the bands are going to play the same song.
I think what he meant when he said "covering many genres" was that it wasn't all the same kind of music. And NOT all the bands are going to cover the same song in a different genre.

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Chaz Shukat
Re: Music Editing
on Aug 10, 2006 at 6:38:38 pm

Dude, why are you asking us? If anyone, you should be asking your client how they would like it cut. Other than that, I say use your own creative judgement, stop trying to rip off other's and have confidence in yourself. This is your chance to do it your way and put the Arnold imprint on it. But most importantly, as long as it's interesting, enjoyable and holds your attention, it's good. Try to enhance the performance and convey the emotion of the concert experience. I don't know why this should be different than the ones you've cut before. I personally don't like concerts to be cut with a music video pace imposed on it. The pace should be driven by the material, the music in this case. Make it organic and not forced.

That's my 2cents.

Chaz S.

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