I did the online edit for this music video at Chromavision. Got a chance to meet Pepa. I became really good at cranking these out fast (cleaning up the EDL, sorting it in C-Mode, setting the tape machines to search ahead when they were not involved in the current edit, etc. – that’s some geekspeak to get a smile from the old school video editors). My efficiency made me popular with the music video crowd, and I enjoyed doing lots of this kind of work.
I’m in New Orleans editing for CBS Sports. We’re working on the 5 hours of preview programming that happens before the game. Keep an eye out for the opening 1-hour documentary starring Wynton Marsalis all about the city of New Orleans and its people (and there’s some football in there too). It was produced by my friend Sarah Rinaldi and it’s brilliant. Starts at 12PM ET on CBS.
I’ve got a night shift, 8P-8A in one of many edit trucks right next to the Superdome. Not easy but has some perks: We get to see halftime rehearsals and the show looks great! They are working so hard – running through the entire performance 3 or 4 times a night. During the day I’m enjoying the city and watching the energy and festivities build. My wife Emily is on her way, and she’ll be in the stadium watching the game, while I’ll be living vicariously through her as I cut highlights for the Halftime and Post-Game shows.
In the meantime, here’s a fun tease I edited a few months ago for a local New York broadcast of a pre-season Jets versus Giants game. This is for my fellow New Yorkers to contemplate what might have been, or gear up for next season.
I was a “fixer” on this music video. Treach, of Naughty by Nature, was not happy with the cut. It had been through several editors by the time it got to me. If I remember correctly, a record company rep supervised the edit rather than the director. Treach sat in the back couch with his girlfriend at the time, Pepa, from Salt n Pepa, and did not speak to me at all, only addressing the rep, who then gave me instructions.
For me the problem became clear fairly quickly: the video was overcut. Fast cuts can be a crutch for music videos. It’s a sure-fire way to add energy, so when in doubt, make more cuts. But it can also make a mess. Apparently, the previous editors had a lot of doubt, because the over-editing was interrupting the flow and distracting from some great shots. My solution was to remove some edits and let the nice shots play out, especially the evocative shots of Treach in the darkeness. For example, the shots at about 2:17 might have had 4 or 5 quick cuts interrupting Treach’s move in and out of the shadows. I got rid of all of them.
I knew I was on the right track when I would preview an edit, and Treach would exclaim his approval from the back. But always to the rep, never to me. When the edit was over, Pepa had already left, the rep went to retrieve the master tapes, and Treach and I were alone in the room together for the first time. As he was walking out, he surprised me by giving me a big hug and a Thank You.
Love these little pieces – short and sweet, high energy and easy on the eye. Made lots of them during my many years working on site for CBS’s U.S. Open Late Night Show.
And then the Late Night Show got cancelled and I haven’t been back. Oh well. That’s the nature of these gigs – they come and go. I still get my dose of tennis, putting together the US Open Preview Show at the CBS Broadcast Center.
We hope you’re all as excited about the London Olympics as we are! To get in the spirit, we’re sharing a spot Paul created for the 1996 Summer Olympics while working for NBC. Enjoy and get ready to watch the opening ceremony tonight at 7:30PM on NBC!
Before video editing could be done on a laptop, it often involved a complicated tape-based off-line/on-line process. A music video, for example, would be worked on for days on inexpensive equipment and low-quality video, generating an edit decision list (EDL). That list would then be used to on-line or conform the final edit on the high-end very expensive equipment and tape. Lot’s of time off-lining, quickly as possible on-lining.
I on-lined edited dozens of music videos back in the day. This one was off-line edited by my friend Ernie Fritz, who has the back story:
If there is a video that is the definition of “fucked up”, this is it – – and looking back at it now, that’s why it’s great. I was the editor and this video, and I must admit, I thought it was doomed the first time I saw the footage. My friend Drew Carolan directed and I had no idea what he wanted or what was on his mind. I don’t think he knew either – – no let me rephrase that; he clearly didn’t know what he wanted but he was director who loved to have fun and always pulled something out of the hat.
And so it was that we set out to edit it. He had some vague idea that he would key in some footage behind the band and then the girl with green paint on her hands would have some of that same footage keyed onto hands. What the guy in the net was, nobody knew. On top of that, I don’t think he actually had any footage to put in the background. Did I have anything that would work? I found some old tape of fish that I laying around in the machine room. I think Drew found some other footage of a field also somewhere else.
To make matters worse, The green screen that they shot was actually terrible and would not key right. In fact, you can see the seam on the floor where it meets the background. Were they high when they shot this?
If this was not enough, we were working on 3/4 tape(U-Matic) in a 3 machine room. (for those of you who don’t know what that means, the simple answer is that it was like drilling teeth on a wiggling dog) It was painful, but according to Drew we were going to have a great time doing it. We had to; Jay Mascis (the lead singer and leader of the band) was going to be coming down and hanging out while we were doing this. This meant that the edit session would have to start at 6PM because he wants to be there, but he couldn’t get there before then.
I went in early. I wanted to try to get a head jump on this edit before anyone got there and see if I could work out a plan…
Whoops, I think Ernie lost the thread somewhere. Hey, Ernie if I remember correctly, that session got a little crazy, especially after people like Matt Dillon started showing up. Don’t leave us hanging, tell us what happened next!