The 'Science' Behind Abeyance
Updated: Jul 6, 2020
Believe it or not, there is a concept to this mid length edit extravaganza I call, Abeyance. So, here’s the story of the science behind what you see on screen (and I’ll try to keep it short because I’m planning to write more posts about certain things in the project).
The Concept - I returned home from a trip right as quarantine had started, knowing that I had a ton of Hawaii footage under my belt that nobody had ever seen. My original idea was to make a comedic short film titled, “The End of the World.” I decided that was a bit of a soft topic with all that was going on.
Throughout quarantine I wanted to learn as much as I could about editing, sound design, special effects, ect. So I studied a lot and decided it would be cool to make a senses overload type thing. I studied the way certain sounds and colors can affect the way your mind perceives something. So the ‘goal’ for this video was to be able to control your mind, moods, and feelings without telling a story or having a narrative.
The fundamentals with a twist - Sometimes people get so caught up in the fancy stuff, they forget about the simple things that work. I am 100% a victim of this as are most editors that like to try new things. I sat back and thought about the fundamentals of editing a video and certain techniques that change the entire look of a project and I thought it’d be cool to kinda come up with my own. For example, pay attention to the framing of the video. I designed the cinema borders (widescreen effect) to gradually change throughout the video to match the scene and mood I wanted to create.
The Sonics of Abeyance - This is where things were fun. I knew I wanted the project to be sonically large, if that sounds understandable at all. The human’s sense of hearing is physical movement that our brains turn into electrical signals that translate directly into the language of the brain enabling us to experience the world of sound. The fact that it directly translates to your brain allows us to control the way people feel or think. Why do you think music is such a popular form of entertainment?
Anyways, here’s how I used the power of sound. After I edited the entire video, I muted the music. Using sound effects, I designed each wave as accurately as I could to my best effort and then panned the audio to move with the direction of the wave and change in volume as the wave would in real life. After I finished designing each wave, I went through the edit again and added certain sound effects to help trigger feelings that matched the mood of the scene. For example, I added a storm alarm coming from the right speaker at one point to add suspense and a feeling of being overwhelmed. This took me about three months. I will be releasing sections without the music on Instagram, follow @Eyewonsea_cinema.
There will be a 5.1 Surround Sound theatrical version of Abeyance available for download in the coming future.
Color - Last but not least, I broke a couple of color rules. Breaking rules like this isn’t necessarily normal for surfing because surfing is such a real thing. Hence why Hollywood isn’t very good at adding surfing features to their billion dollar projects. The goal when most people make a surf video is to show surfing, the realness of surfing. That’s what people like to see. I don’t know about you but I think it’s really cool how limited post production is on surfing. It’s not like Hollywood, you don’t use CGI to decide if that surfer should land that air or not. You rely on the surfer to actually land it. As far as I know, color is one of the cool ways you can change the appearance of a video without making it fake...to an extent. What I did might not be cool in your eyes if you would rather watch something exactly how it was in real life, I think we all go through spurts of that when watching any kind of video.
If you watch the Outer Banks section (4:45 - 9:15) and pay attention to the clouds, you’ll see what I’m talking about. I wanted that scene to have an enchanted or imaginative feeling. I replaced colors in the clouds in just about every clip that included clouds. I would change gray to purple, or a light orange to pink just to make it a little more fun to watch.
You may have read this and are thinking, “I didn’t notice any of that.” That’s cool too. Something I think about a lot that is similar to the concept of Disney Imagineers is, if the
audience doesn’t notice you altered something to make it more magical, you did magic right. It’s about the final project, and as Ron Howard says, “It’s not about what goes on making the movie, it’s about what you see in the frame when it’s done.”
Now I would like to know, did you notice any of this? What do you think of it? Please feel free to leave comments below. I believe the generator I use requires you to make an account but it’s just your email and password. I look forward to hearing from you.
Please remember, this is a blog, the opinions expressed are from my perspective.
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