standard rate 2 camera 30 min live performance project
Thanks in advance for any ideas. I was told that this project would take about a day, and to charge the day rate, but it has taken me a week and a half.
What would you charge, and on average how long has it taken you to edit a dance project, or any live 2 camera 30 min multicamera project?
2 camera 30 min dance project with 4 separate dance peices. It has taken me days to learn and understand the choreography, and figure out how to not have the edit disrupt the choreography.
1. edit project
2. minor audio adjustments
3. end credits
4. burn dvd of entire project with chapters
5. burn a second dvd of one of the 4 dances
5. export h264/mpegs for their website
A lot depends on the aesthetic demands of the project. I've edited 3 camera shoots of 45 minute sets for bands in one 8 hour day. On the other hand, I've worked on equally long dance pieces that can take over a week. It depends on whether the budget calls for quick and dirty or PBS Dance in America quality.
I'd certainly charge an hourly or day (defined number of hours) for this kind of work unless you've worked with the client before an know exactly how their aesthetic process works. I'd flatly refuse to do flat fee for this. I hope you didn't.
I'd probably watch one piece straight through a couple of times with both cameras visible. Then I might do a cut using the NLEs multicam feature as if it were "live switched." I'd then go back and fine tune the timing and add cuts elsewhere as needed. You may find that you want to change cuts to dissolves. Sometimes a nice superimposed image might work. That depends on the client's aesthetic (as well as yours). You can't cut dance linearly (from start to end) without first getting a feel for the entire performance.
Never charge a flat rate for these jobs, really, probably for any job.
As far as dance, I've done a couple, and what I learned about it was to approach the shoot and the edit very differently than more conventional projects.
Dance is about defining a space with the body and it's motion. If you shoot too tight and use too many tracking shots, you erase the "frame" of the "picture" they are painting with their movements. Likewise, you may not want to impose compositions or narrative structure that was not part of the original intent. Footwork should always be in the shots. A major giveaway you don't know what you're doing is to concentrate on facial closeups or bust shots. Set a frame and let the dancers define the space inside that frame.
Dance is definitely better done with a 16 x 9 frame.
Now this is not to say you can't ever shoot tighter. Just that you need to be careful and be sure you are not warping the performance, only enhancing it, supporting it. You shoot this stuff really different from a commercial.
Thanks. I did feel that sometimes the videographer did shoot perhaps too tight but he captured the emotion and in those clips I used a cross dissolve or luminance map dissolve to move from the close to the wide shot.
I will look at the project again with this comment in mind-- " Set a frame and let the dancers define the space inside that frame. "
He shot in 30fps and I am in 29.97 sequence-- a post on cow said that fcp will adjust to it. I will also place it into 16 X 9 and see what happens. I really apprecate the dialogue!
If it wasn't initially shot in 16 x 9, not sure that editing it in that aspect ratio can help much. I wsa getting at the idea to shoot dance in wide aspect to reduce the need for a lot of panning.
Though if you wanted to go for a composite hybrid look, you could put the wide and selected tights in SD side by side in the letterbox, with the wide shot using 2/3 of the screen and the tight being 1/3. In one sense, this may be more true to the audience experience in that the viewer retains the choice of what to focus on from moment to moment. But I don't think this is really what you want to go after for this particular project, it's more of the kind of thing you have to plan ahead and deliberately shoot for. It would be too distracting to do all the way thru, IMO unless planned that wayt from the start.
Thanks very much for your reply and for describing your *process* for the dance projects you have worked on.
I searched endlessly on youtube for dance peices-- specifically to see how editors worked with transitions-- --- found some, shall I say interesting "dance" projects but nothing that would help me. I did not find the PBS Dance in America ones-- I will search again. The B cam was so beautiful-- I read a post regarding editing here or somewhere else and I did feel a true responsibility to do the best cut I could-- as the dancers , coreography, and lighting were amazing.
I did exactly the process you mentioned-- working in multicam letting it play out-- hitting the m key when it felt right, then using the roll tool to adjust the A/Bcuts. Next time I think I will watch the A cam by itself and then the B cam by itself first before doing that step. I found fantastic results with the luminance mapping transition as the dancers were surrounded by black often, in spotlight. In some places I let the music/beat determine the placement of my cut.
The biggest challenge was defining the narrative of the four peices in the project, learning the coreography, being sure to show repeated gestures, and then showing the narrative of the peice without interfearing. I wonder what is better-- to show close up more or the wide shot. I leaned towards the close up, as this showed the emotion and energy of the dancers. I threw the A and B cam up on my website for The coreographer-- thought this would be helpful -- so she could tell me specific parts of the peice she would like. I wonder if editors do this-- before getting to work to ask the coreographer, theatre director, etc to pinpoint specific clips before they get going on the edit. So different than the skeleton of a script to work from. On one hand I have enjoyed 100 percent the creative freedom-- however, my aesthetic might not be hers. I also tried to work with almost a mathematical formula going from A to B to B to B to A-- but I got a little annoyed and constricted by this.
The Budget? You are not going to be happy with the *one day* flat rate I accepted for this week and a half long project. Friend of a friend, associated with my graduate school, etc. I asked cow about this for future projects. When she asked me my rate she said she had asked the camera guy how long he thought it would take to edit the project and he said a day. Maybe he was thinking about *his* day-- not the editor's! If I get the guts up I will post it on demo reels forum to get feedback from you all.
[videovideo] "she had asked the camera guy how long he thought it would take to edit the project and he said a day."
That's a very typical scenario... Its hard to believe, but a surprising number of very good professional camera people have never done any "hard time" in an editing bay and so they have little idea about the realities of what it really takes to transform their raw footage into a cohesive peice.
More importantly, an agreement to edit anything for a flat fee typically ties an editor into a completely one-sided deal that is frought with unknowns and based on hopes and dreams and blind assumptions. Its like running across a street blindfolded--you have no idea what's coming and all you can do is pray you make it to the other side in one peice. That's not a very good way to run a business.
In the future, always specify that you are agreeing to take on an assignment based upon a "blind estimate," but that your actual mileage may vary. And, insist upon evaluating the material so that you can create a realistic post-production budget/estimate that is based upon more than just hopes and dreams and good intentions.
David Roth Weiss
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY
[videovideo] "Thanks in advance for any ideas. I was told that this project would take about a day, and to charge the day rate, but it has taken me a week and a half."
First off, the client never tells you how long a project will take. You get the information from them and then you tell them how long you estimate the project will take. If they don't agree to it, you can either modify your assessment or refuse the job.
[videovideo] "What would you charge, and on average how long has it taken you to edit a dance project, or any live 2 camera 30 min multicamera project?"
The most recent dance project we did took approx. 9 days to edit a 6 minute video featuring both dance and interviews intercut together.
We set a project rate that included 2 days of on-site videographer and 8 days of editing based on the information provided by the client. All of our project rates have a stipulation that time is only estimated and make take more or less than what is estimated.
Walter Biscardi, Jr.
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.
All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html
Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi
Thank you, Walter, Mark, David, and Craig.
Much food for thought.... as I sob into my side of green bean casserole...
Don't despair, just make sure to learn from the experience so that next time you can be prepared to collect a proper fee more in line with the reality of the job. The lesson is well worth the price you paid.
David Roth Weiss
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY
I have shot dance for over 8 years now, and there are basically two types of clients and purposes for doing dance projects. Most choreographers will ALWAYS want a full stage version of their choreography. You can zoom in if a dancer is doing a solo, or two dancers are onstage in close proximity, but you always need to keep both hands AND feet visible in your shot at all times. The coverage with close-ups (thus editing two or more cameras together) is for everyone else. Funders of dance companies, television viewers, film directors, parents of dancers, etc. want to see the EMOTION of the dancers, their facial expressions and the full drama of the piece. It is the same as seeing live opera performances on PBS (using a director, tech director etc., and using an actual switcher to select shots from five or six different cameras), versus a locked down, full stage, "cover-your-ass" ISO camera for a whole shoot. The general public doesn't want to see another "ants on the stage" version that the choreographers use to gauge what EVERY single dancer is doing at each moment of the performance (many having up to 30 dancers on stage at any one time). The budgets of course are another "how long is a piece of string" analogy. Are you are shooting a high school production, a local dance troupe, a professional company? Is the footage destined for PBS, output to film, You Tube?? Again the quality and usage always determine the bid IMHO.