Documentary Montage

So. I finally finished my film that I talked about before. So far it was one of my most important projects.

Working on this film was very exciting, interesting and inspirational. I’ve got to know one of the coolest people that I’ve ever met.

So I was working on the montage for 2 days pretty much with no rest and spent more than 14 hours editing it. It turned out to be a 15 minute video and I had about 4 hours of original footage. I didn’t notice how the time has passed while I was working on it. It was so much fun that I just couldn’t stop.

The worst part about the montage is that when you detach the audio file from the video, and put B-roll in between, there is always an audio/video dismatch that takes ages to fix (since my documentary is mostly an interview with Jason and B-rolls in between while he’s speaking). Also transitions were a bit of a mess for me. Some of the interview cuts where to short to put the transition, but without it it would be just a terrible jump cut that I personally hate. I want everything to look smooth and professional.

Another thing that I should mention, was the music search. Most of the music nowadays is copyrighted and there is pretty much no way that you will be able to contact the owner and ask him/her to use the music in your documentary when you just start working in the field. So I had to do a couple of hours research and find a good music, not some junk sounds that would look way too simple. So I ran into this absolutely awesome YouTube channel that has all kinds of uncopyrighted music such as EDM, Dubstep and so on. I found a great track that I used as a music theme in my film. However, you always have to be careful with this stuff. You have to make sure that the music you use is definitely uncopyrighted or you have an official permission from the owner to use it.

I’ve learned a lot of things while working on this film. First off, pretty much anything is possible if you spend time researching and finding contacts to set up your interview. Secondly, your communication skills have to be on point. If you are a shy and not talkative person, being a Journalist is not for you. You have to make sure that your interviewee feels comfortable talking to you and that there is no tension between you when you speak.

Thirdly, the entire process from preprod to postprod takes a lot of time. No lie. A lot. You have to get prepared beforehead, think about the place where you want to shoot the most of your film, think about good B-roll pieces and make a storyboard. Also you have to get ready for the interview, but as I mentioned before, you always should be ready to just go with the flow and improvise.

After editing and montaging your film, make sure that you take couple of days off. Do some different stuff, distract yourself from the film. After that you will be able to give your film a final sober look and see all the little details that needed to be fixed.

I would say that the most important part about being a videographer is that you have to have passion. Passion for what you are doing, and you have to enjoy it and be proud of your works. Everything else will come with the experience.

Good luck!