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curled around these images
just enough to make us dangerous
Answering a question... 
3rd-Jan-2014 01:44 pm
Vidding
A vidding one for the lovely cassiopeia7



How long does it take you to create a three-to-four minute vid? From Muse inspiration to gathering clips and choosing music, to assembly (and the most amazing part to me, cutting on-the-beat), to the editing process, to knocking us all dead with another killer fanvid? How labor-intensive is the average SPN vid? (I know we all appreciate the work you do, but I have a feeling that many of us have no IDEA how hard you work on these masterpieces.)


A tricky question because it's really hard to gauge exactly how long a vid takes to make. Mostly because I grab time when I can - sometimes a good solid 4 hour block, or maybe just half an hour.

I seem to be making fewer and fewer 3-4 minute vids these days (more like 1 - 2min vids). They really do take a long time and these days I just don't seem to be able to find it OR I just don't have the patience to be working on something for so long.

But I can give some ball park figures. If I had a three minute vid to make I would want to have a least 4 weeks up my sleeve to work on it (possibly longer). Assuming I can spend a few nights a week working on it (about 3 hours each night) and maybe a Saturday or Sunday (another 3-4 hours). That would equate to about 48 hours. Then time would have to be added for tweaking it after a beta had seen it. Sometimes that can take a heap more time (depending how well the vid is working after the initial draft).

I find it hard to work on a vid for over 3-4 hours in one hit because my brain goes a bit numb. It's also hard to keep a good perspective when working that closely on it. I like to do a chunk (maybe 20secs) and leave it for a day or two and then go back to it. I find that gives me a sense of whether it's working or not.

The longest part of the process is gathering the clips. It takes ages and it's pretty boring. The best (and most fun!) part is working with the clips and nutting out how they best work to the beat - and manage to tell some sort of story. It can also be very frustrating when it refuses to work.

I used to gather the majority of my clips before I started editing but these days I like to mix the two. Gather some clips (which requires remembering where the footage is - and after 9 seasons that's getting increasingly difficult - dropping the ep into a clipping program (I use MPEG Streamclip), finding the clip, marking the section you want and then converting/saving it) and then edit a section. Of course it depends on the type of vid. When I made the recent J2 vid I clipped ALL the footage before I even began. It took friggin' ages. The No Surrender vid was a mix - the first half didn't take as long as the second half because I mostly had all the clips AND I know the footage pretty well. The second half was a lot of the newer seasons so I had to clip all those. That vid took about 5 weeks to make.

Oops. Long answer. Get me talking about vidding and that's what happens. ;)

Thanks for your question. And for the opportunity to chat about my passion.
xx
Comments 
3rd-Jan-2014 05:59 am (UTC)
That is a lot of time to devote to making something to share with fandom! Thank you!
3rd-Jan-2014 06:09 am (UTC)
Hee...it is and I sometimes wonder if I should be devoting so much time to making these things (and other stuff), but the truth is I love doing it. I get such a buzz out of editing. I used to think it was just SPN and making music vids but when I helped counteragent edit her wonderful fan film I realised it's the actual editing that I love. Putting clips together and finding the best way to make them work. I've also learned SO much since I started to this - and I've been able to used in my "real" life I feel like it's been worth it (I'm actually beginning to feel that I could, fairly confidently, teach media to high school students - which is a future goal of mine).

Not to mention the joy of receiving feedback and knowing people have liked something I've done. I can't deny there's reward in that too. ;)

(oops! another long reply. I'm on a roll!)
xx
3rd-Jan-2014 06:36 am (UTC)
I get such a buzz out of editing.

THIS.

I once had a conversation with another photographer who loved taking photos but hated editing. I LOVE editing just as much as taking the photos. I feel fortunate that I do.

But I still don't care for vid editing - and I think it's MUCH harder, so cheers to you! :)

You COULD teach. Definitely. Ever consider running your own online classes?

3rd-Jan-2014 07:25 am (UTC)
It's certainly much harder to do something if you don't have a passion for it (especially when there's no money involved…;D)

I have a Media degree for teaching in high school, but I never felt I was in touch with the technology to be able to teach it. But now I feel I have a much better grasp.

I can't say I ever thought about teaching online. It might be something for the future if I ever wanted to take a break from the classroom.

xx
3rd-Jan-2014 06:34 am (UTC)
This is why I gave up very shortly into my one attempt at vid making (a project for a friend.) I really admire your ability and talent. Obviously it's something that drives you because while I can spend untold hours and hours in photography, I give up only after a few when I try vidding. And I do remember how much work it was to find material. I've had similar problems when doing fanart for autographs (which I've also mostly given up for the same reason.)

I think it's wonderful how each of us has that *something* that makes spending untold hours doing something that may be frustratingly tedious for others, but for the person whose passion it is - it's engrossing and you lose all sense of time.

When I see a good vid, such as one of yours, I have twinges of wishing I could do that. Your gift is wonderful. :)
3rd-Jan-2014 07:29 am (UTC)
Thank you so much hun. :)

There's no way I could spend the time I do if I didn't love it - or get some sort of thrill out of it. I am working on the S7 motel post at the moment and it's taking ages. There's just so many caps and details etc. But I really enjoy the process and the research. Even though it's not something many will see it seems to satisfy my inner geek and the OCD part of my nature. It always comes down to having to love it. I would think those who write must feel the same way.

And yay that you've found photography and you enjoy both the shooting and editing process.
xx
3rd-Jan-2014 08:52 am (UTC)
Wow, I suspected bidding was exceedingly time consuming but 48 hours for 3 minutes is actually even more than I'd thought.

Hats off to you and your fellow vidders!!!
3rd-Jan-2014 11:38 am (UTC)
Hey,

I'd be curious how much time other vidders think they take. I mean, some vids can take no time at all (the 1st Dean and sex vid took about 4 hours - the most time consuming part was trying to find background music), where others are much more difficult to construct and therefore more time consuming.

xx
3rd-Jan-2014 10:02 am (UTC)
I'm not surprised how long it takes. I was in a project a few years ago where I helped with the sound editing. I learned there how much work that took for only 30 minutes end results and we had the luxury of working fulltime on it. Another thing I learned about editing? - Fascinating work, but not something for me.
Be assured we appreciate your hard work
3rd-Jan-2014 11:40 am (UTC)
Thanks hun.

Working full time on something would indeed be a luxury. I've always thought that if it was a job I probably wouldn't enjoy it nearly as much. A friend of mine is a news footage editor and I know it's extremely stressful.

I think when there's that certain level of creativity it remains fun. :)
3rd-Jan-2014 11:30 am (UTC)
O_O Wow. So much work goes into each piece, and you do this for the love of it.

Yet I'm not surprised by your answer at all. Your vids are complex and funny, moving and well-thought-out, and as I mentioned, the whole editing-to-the-beat thing is AMAZING. Obviously, there's a lot of behind-the-scenes effort. :) (I have a fascination with how film editors cut scenes and how composers then put notes to those cut scenes, so naturally, with your process being a combo of the two, the detail of how you do what you do is equally interesting.)

I find it hard to work on a vid for over 3-4 hours in one hit because my brain goes a bit numb. It's also hard to keep a good perspective when working that closely on it. I like to do a chunk (maybe 20secs) and leave it for a day or two and then go back to it. I find that gives me a sense of whether it's working or not.

How does that work when you've got all of your 20-second chunks working, then have to knit them together into the seamless final project? Especially since you're telling a new story by using existing clips and musical passages that have to fit together like puzzle pieces? Do you have pages of notes, or do you link everything together in your head?

Thanks so much for sharing your process, bb. I was amazed before . . . now I'm in awe. You're truly the hardest working chick in this fandom. Rock on!
3rd-Jan-2014 11:54 am (UTC)
Hey!

How does that work when you've got all of your 20-second chunks working, then have to knit them together into the seamless final project?

I don't make them in separate chucks, rather just work on certain amount at a time (I didn't explain that very well.../o\). Sometimes it might only be 10 seconds, other times it might be 30 - depends how well it's going. I also like to work from the start to the end - I find it really difficult to move to a section of a vid if I haven't worked out the bits before it. So I build up as I go - using the footage I worked on to help guide the rest of it. I watch it over and over to work out the pacing as I build it. The knitting together is a constant process. I see a vid as a giant jigsaw puzzle (hence the icon I made…;D), constantly trying to find the pieces that match perfectly.

Do you have pages of notes, or do you link everything together in your head?

I jot down notes if it's a long vid. I usually print out the lyrics and scribble ideas next to it. I nearly always have to know how it's going to end so I know what I'm working toward. I think the beginning and the ending of a vid is extremely important - the beginning immediately tells the viewer what they are in or and the end should provide a solid conclusion to bring everything together (hee..in theory anyway). Ah, slightly off topic there - *g* - but I link as I go (from ideas that I have in my head).

man, I hope that makes so sort of rambling sense…

xx
3rd-Jan-2014 12:05 pm (UTC)
Happy New Year, you!

The knitting together is a constant process. I see a vid as a giant jigsaw puzzle (hence the icon I made…;D), constantly trying to find the pieces that match perfectly.

The jigsaw imagery is a fantastic visual, and it makes perfect sense. (And your "linking" thoughts were not off-topic at all.) I love getting insights to how creative folk do their thing, especially when it's as magical as vid creation. Thanks again!
3rd-Jan-2014 12:10 pm (UTC)
Happy New Year honey!!

And thank you for indulging me and allowing me to chat about vidding. :DDD
3rd-Jan-2014 02:52 pm (UTC)
dropping the ep into a clipping program (I use MPEG Streamclip),

I never have understood that programme! Hee! No wonder it takes me so much time, I cut scenes out of each episodes in the vid prog as I go along, most vidders I know do the clipping thing as you do, but I think I stumbled so hard on understanding the actual process of how vidding is done, that I kind of missed that whole process!

I like to do a chunk (maybe 20secs) and leave it for a day or two and then go back to it. I find that gives me a sense of whether it's working or not.

Yep, that's how I work too, there's those spots in the lyrics where you just know how it's going to work and getting something that just fits gives me the momentum to do the next bit that maybe I'm not so sure of - and YES, I hear you on the beginnings and endings, if I can't get an ending - sort of - right, then the whole thing gets binned.

But I also had the best beta you - YOU - so if you ever want to carry on talking about your vidding processes then I'd also like to hear about your experiences doing beta work and the differing vids and styles that must confront you with.




5th-Jan-2014 04:24 am (UTC)
Hey hun,

If you want help with MPEGstream clip let me know! I once tried to clip in my editing program but it was just to difficult (and slow). It's really easy, so let me know if you want so help. :)

And of course I'd love to carry on talking about my vidding process! :D

Beta'ing is quite a challenge, but I really enjoy it. _sharvie_ was a great teacher (my beta for many years) - not only for vidding but for beta'ing also. She was very thorough so I hope to do that when I beta for other people.

I haven't really done a lot of beta'ing so I haven't really been confronted with a huge variety of differing vids and styles (as in, say, a variety of source or editing styles). Though each vidder has their own feel and way of making a vid. I don't think I have any hard and fast rules when it comes to beta'ing. I like to take each vid as it comes and try and find out exactly what the vidder is after when I beta for them. I usually look for things like - cohesiveness, pace, clarity, use of music, emotional impact, the entertainment or "message" aspect of the vid etc. If it's for a new vidder I'll also look more closely at the technical aspect.

xx
6th-Jan-2014 11:02 am (UTC)
Right now this old computer is limping it's way into terminal city and I don't think it's got another vid in it! Hopefully in the spring I'm getting a new one that will cope better - **fingers crossed** all my old software will be compatible!

Saying that though I'm not sure if I have another SPN vid in me, canon is KILLING me and my vidding brain, but I'm trying to get past it and keep focused on hope that I can live with what they've been doing to my darling boys.

Pretty sure I couldn't vid for anything else!

I have enormous respect for anyone tackling bea work, be it writing , vidding or artwork, it's such a hard thing to stay objective and a delicate fine line of pushing when necessary and seeing what needs to be done and what can be done. With vidding I think it must be harder as we all have differing programs and source file types, there's so much technical skills todeal with as well as personal expression. You've always excelled at tackling things like that, I guess that's why you're such a terrific teacher.

**hugs**
3rd-Jan-2014 04:14 pm (UTC)
The one thing I have never tracked is how long it takes me to make a vid. Probably because I would see the amount and cry.
5th-Jan-2014 04:25 am (UTC)
It would be interesting to actually make a note each time we sit down to make a vid of how much time we're spending. (I'm sure it would make us cry!) Hmmm...I might do that for the next one (if I remember!)
xx
5th-Jan-2014 04:27 am (UTC)
I loved this - and all the comments! I haven't made a vid in years; the one time I remember keeping track of how many hours I'd spent making a 3-4 minute music video, I think it came to 28 hours. But I think that was comparatively low; one where the source material was pretty easy to find and grab, and I had a clear vision for the clips needed and most of the time they worked.

(How well I remember identifying the perfect clip in my head, and then when I find it, I realize there's too much else going on the frame, focus on the wrong person, whatever... sigh.)

Anyway -- I *love* your vids!
12th-Jan-2014 07:35 am (UTC)
Ack! I didn't answer this! /o\

I think finding the source material is the biggest time consumer. I think vidding a movie or maybe one season of something would take a lot less time. SPN with its 9 seasons is just kinda insane.

and then when I find it, I realize there's too much else going on the frame, focus on the wrong person, whatever.

yes. It's a real pain. I often think something will be perfect only to find it's not what I imagined at all.

And thanks hun. So happy you like my vids! :D
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