Creating the Website

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I had originally intended to build a website for the documentary from scratch and find hosting for it but in the end I choose to host my project on wordpress.com and purchase my own domain. The domain name I went with in the end was patchworkquiltfilm.com. In the final weeks not much time was free to create my own website so it was decided wordpress would be the best and easiest route after much experience in this platform in the last 4 years on the course.

Some pages created on the website include an ‘about page‘ describing the project and the people involved, a ‘live performance‘ page showcasing the full videos from the performances shown in the documentary and finally page dedicated to stills taken from the film.

About

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Live Performances

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Stills

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Trailer for Patchwork Quillt Documentary

As a run up to the release of the documentary a trailer was made for promotional purposes for the project. I didn’t want to give to much away in the trailer so a few snippets from each interview were inter-spliced acting as a nice teaser for the film.

User Testing Screening

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Last Thursday Ian my project supervisor and video lecturer organised a group screening for all the 4th years doing film and animation final year projects. We were recommended to prepare some sort of questionnaire to give our peers for feedback after watching the films. It was very nerve racking showing everything you have worked on for months. I know we’ve showed examples and parts of our work at presentations but because the final deadline is ever approaching it makes the whole thing even more scarier.

What I really wanted to take from this user screening was whether the structure and pacing of my project is making sense. I’ve been feeling very doubtful about different sections of it and how to introduce the musicians in the opening parts. I was also curious to find whether people thought the live music performance were to long or to short, as this is something I’ve been having an issue with in the edit too.

Here’s the list of questions I prepared.

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The main things I took from everyones feedback including some great insights from some of the lecturers too include:

  • increasing the length of music performances etc – gives better context for who the musicians are/ what their about,
  • pacing is good but needs to be tightened up,
  • the black middle title screens don’t seem to be working – text on footage works better + less titles,
  • some people were confused during the intro, didn’t know where it was going. (this part definitely needs refining)
  • dublin cutaways need to be shortened, more musicians doing stuff.

I’m going to look at all these things and try and implement these suggestions.

An example of some of the feedback>

{THANKS TO EVERYONES DEADLY ADVICE}

Question 1. 

“Yes, though perhaps to many titles? flow could be enhanced – tightened?”

“Breaking the parts up with titles is vital to gaining an understanding of whats going on (esp. for those who are not so familiar with songwriting”

“Good but could be tightened up”

“Not 100% sure about the start, I would consider using concert performance earlier”

“Very quickly paced, maybe to quick. I’d recommend less black screens. Text over footage works better”

Question 2.

“Conor but that’s probably because of his background”

“The girl Sive, her instrument was real interesting”

“Peter Doran, honesty was nice”

Question 3.

“Touch at where you work part”

“Some of what Sive talked about was repetitive to what others said”

“Some of cutaways need refinement”

Question 4.

“Nice amount for me, could maybe come and go a bit more”

“I’d like to see a little more music performances”

“To short, would of loved to see more”

“More live music instead of cut scenes!”

Question 5.

“Some of the cutaways”

“Beginning, took a minute to understand what films about”

“I was lost at the beginning”

“Some of the cut scenes of Dublin going on a bit to much”

Question 6.

“Filler shots, people on streets adds to their entertainment”

“The sub-conscious part was my favourite”

“Girls music, and villagers live music”

“Live performance”

Question 7.

“Maybe more cutaways of musicians doing stuff.”

“Live music”

“The musicians playing more definitely”

Question 8

“That you don’t know where the good stuff comes from, maybe shouldn’t ask to much either”

“Yeah definitely, I’d recommend it to everyone”

“The space writing takes part in”

 

 

 

 

Some Final Touches

In the last weeks running up the final year project presentation I have been making a few final tweaks to the documentary. Things that needed re-fining and touching up included colour grading and the fixing and mastering of audio levels.

Colour Grading

Colour grading was done using the in-house correction tools that were in offer in Final Cut X, the editing platform used for this project. Only a few scenes needed to be graded initially, mainly due to the incorrect white balance that was used in one of the interviews. For example in the interview with Adrian Crowley (which can be seen below), one of the cameras white balance was set to 5600k – a day time setting, where as the other camera was set to 4200k which had a more blue tint to it. This needed some tweaking to get the correct balance between both interviews. Some other cutaways and performances were also corrected and brightened where exposure was a bit low.

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Audio Level Correction/ Mastering

Some other parts that needed looking at and correction included the balancing of audio levels. All interviews where captured using a Zoom H4N connected to a Sennheiser mic so the sound from each interview was top quality however some locations proved issues with background noises. As Sive’s interview was filmed in a park some general wind needed to be reduced, these were fixed using the great new audio filters in Final Cut X. This was fixed using the ‘Rumble Reducer’ filter, levels were also fixed using the ‘Compressor’ filter in the software

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The interview with Conor needed to be adjusted as well to reduce the sounds of people talking in the background at the café the interview was filmed in.

A lady, a project name and the final month

The final rush of the last few weeks has been pretty crazy, deadlines and presentations falling out of everyones ears. I haven’t had a great deal of time to continue with further editing but I have however filmed a lady! This was delaying me getting back into the edit as the project was really missing a girls voice. I had intended to Interview Lisa Hannigan a week after the mid-semester review but this ended up falling through as Lisa couldn’t make time as she’s back and forth between Dublin and London between now and may which was a little upsetting at first but I was able to get over it! Here’s an email from Lisa’s lovely manager Una telling me about it:

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Sive to the Rescue

After the news about Lisa I began to panic a little inside about not having a lady penciled in to interview. I wrote a wall post on my own personal facebook page asking if there were ‘any cool lady songwriters I know willing to take part in a documentary on songwriting?’.

Straight away then I received emails from two previous girls I had filmed for my own YouTube Channel – Musicians With Cameras. The first email I was greeted by the amazing Sadhbh O’Sullivan saying how she’d love to help out. I met Sadhbh last year when she got in contact with our channel asking to do a video, and only recently just done another video where she invited us down to her hometown of Naas to film a show she was playing with her band in a church converted Arts Centre.

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I went ahead and Interviewed Sadhbh this bank holiday weekend gone by, I met her in town on Saturday and we strolled to Merrion Square park and I interviewed her.

Here’s a screenshot example from the interview:

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Conversing leads to good things

In the last couple of weeks I’ve been really stressing out about still not having a name for my documentary, I had chosen the approach of and hoped the name would just come to me at the right time and place, “I’ll know it when I hear it” etc. The other day I was chatting to my good class mate Ciaran about our projects and general stuff, I mentioned I was still having trouble with a name and he asked ‘had I thought of any or anything’ which suddenly got me thinking about something I remembered hearing looking back over the Interview I did with Conor O’Brien of Villagers.

Conor had mentioned and compared some aspect of the writing stage to making a Patchwork Quilt, which I remembered loving. So during my convo with Ciaran, this suddenly flushed into my mind. I began making connections of this name to various different things other people said including Peter Doran saying how songwriting is all about craft which is a nicely juxtaposed next to Conor’s quote.

I told Ciaran there and then “I think I have a name”.

Short and Sweet.

Cutting back the Introductions

 

Some feedback from my classmates and friends after watching my current Rough cut was that the introductions drag on a little to long. I definitely see this now.

Current Rough Cut of Introductions.

 

If I want to make a 15 minute piece, it will definitely have to be shorter than my current one of 3 minutes. And that’s just with 3 people at the moment and I still have 1 or 2 more people to interview, if I continue with how I’m introducing the interviewee’s now the opening part will be around 5 minutes!

So my plan over the next week is to try and edit down the opening of the documentary to around 1-2 minutes and find away of connecting everyone together in a nice cohesive manor.!

 

Mid-Semester Presentation Review

So just this week gone we were asked to present all the work we had done so far for our final year projects. Tension was high in the camp as everyone tried to finish of any final touches on the work they had done so far.

Ian my supervisor told me to mainly concentrate on my rough cut in the presentation. We were each given a 7 minute window to present so I prepared a quick 2 minute presentation summing up everything I had done since January leaving the remainder of the time for my rough cut hoping the work would speak for itself. In my presentation I focused on the Interviews I had done so far, my workflow in the editing room and my plans for the last month of the semester.

Password is the subject matter. 5 letters. Come on.

As we only had a 3 hour slot for everyones presentations so the feedback from the panel was short if not nothing. The general response for mine was quite good I think.

Someone mentioned they all looked comfortable and were given great answers which can be the hardest thing to get right in interviews, other comments included fixing audio levels and trying to stick with a particular style for my cutaways and interviews (which I’ve already been discussing with my supervisor the past few weeks).

Over the next few weeks I’m going to begin an Internet social media campaign in support of my documentary through facebook and twitter. Before I do that I need to hone in what I want to call the documentary.

The best and funniest name I’ve thought of so far and friends have recommended  include “luke byrne investigates, a luke into songwriting, songwriting 101 with luke byrne”

Here’s my slides from the presentation:

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I’m sad to say…

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After much discussing this week with some of my close classmates and final year supervisor Ian I have decided to cut out Matt Barnson out of my documentary. I Interviewed Matt a month or so ago and he gave me an excellent insight into the mind of a classical composer and the process one would normally follow. During the easter holiday I made a few rough cuts. In these early rough cuts I was establishing who the musician was and what sort of musical background they came from while also showcasing where they would usually begin with a song/piece of work. A close friend mentioned to me that even though Matt was giving some interesting questions, he didn’t really fit in nicely with the other interviewees. I didn’t really see this at first, I think I was maybe trying to ignore it cause I wanted him to be a part of the project so much. After much talk and feedback with a few people, a lot of people felt the same.

Most obviously for the reason that Matt is a classical composer and the other people I’ve interviewed so far are singer-songwriters but I also think it’s maybe his american accent that are maybe throwing people a little. That’s a bad way of putting it but you know what I mean, the reason it’s not flowing as nicely. The other people I filmed are also all Irish songwriters so I’m thinking I can incorporate this into the documentary too. This makes me sound kinda biased to musicians outside Ireland but that’s not the case I promise.

I just think and feel this will give me more space to play around with rather than clogging up the documentary with different types of musicians just cause I can. I also think for the amount of time I’m aiming for (15 minutes) that 5 musicians would be a bit to much. 4 musicians seems like a nicer balance for that amount of time in my head.

 

What do Artists do all Day?

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I just watched a great documentary on BBC4 called “What do Artists do all Day” and was very inspired by it. It’s basically like an insight to an Artist’s process. I will speak more on this later I promise. They guy featured on this episode is a Scottish painter called Jack Vettriano.

It gave me great ideas for in the editing room.

Definitely worth the record button.

 

Use of Footage

So at the moment I’m contacting a few sources to see if I can use some of their existing footage of people I have already interviewed for my documentary.

I’m slowly gathering bits and pieces together for everyone I have spoken to already. Everything from Tour photos, studio photos, live performances and video.

As this is a student project I think this gives me a bit of leniency. However I still don’t want to be stealing anybody’s work or anything. My mam always says treat people how you want to be treated so I’m taking this approach with asking people for usage of their stuff because I know I’d be a little angry if someone used any of my work without asking.

It doesn’t hurt to ask after all.

This calls for a smiths song.

 

I touched base today with RTE’s Other Voices asking if I could use some of their footage they have of Adrian Crowley and Conor O’Brien. They replied which is always a good sign, gonna get a proper response this week so will let you know everything in time loving blog-y readers.

I really like the performances of these songs.

 

 

 

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