Monday, December 28, 2009

"Seals in the Workforce"

Here's an excerpt from a documentary that Schnapps and I were in many years ago!



Behind the Scenes Featurette

I usually take a short nap before going out to a club, because I'm old. Sometimes I'll wake up early because my blood sugar is low, and the combination of pseudo dream-state and nutrient-starved brain is the usual inspiration for a Schnapps video.

On Saturday it was the "seal song" idea (including the complete lyrics, which I woke up with), and as I stumbled around eating raw sugar I came up with a few scenes in a potential Schnapps documentary.*

As usual, these things must be simple and easy to film. I shot everything that night except for the "They don't hire seals" thing, which I realized was necessary when I began editing the footage. You can tell I wasn't drunk when I shot that scene because the Schnapps voice is all wrong.

Anyway, a combination of voiceover and footage filmed in various rooms -- including an unexpected refrigerator hum in the kitchen -- meant that I had to apply all sorts of denoisers, noise gates, and selective EQ to everything. What's the best way to disguise imperfect audio? Other than music -- which seemed inappropriate for such a stark subject -- the best solution is to make the audio sound even MORE imperfect!

So I added a wonderful "crackle" loop courtesy of the Soundtrack Pro library, as well as intermittent "pops" (a click sample pitched downward) and an occasional rustling noise similar to a dirty audio track on a piece of old film, produced by gently rubbing a sock over a microphone.

As usual, I'm amazed at the difference between raw footage and finished material. Each clip viewed in isolation is total crap -- leading to a lot of discouragement yesterday when I began pulling everything together -- but when I trimmed it and assembled it in the right order, it began to be funny...even WITHOUT the voiceover.

The lesson, as though you didn't know: editing is half the final product.

* This is not the first Schnapps documentary ever, but it's the first one that didn't turn out so bad that it was thrown away.

2 comments:

Belinda Buttons said...

it reminds me of the dramatically edited "Ingrid and the Footman."

Perhaps a version of "Schnapps and the Footman" for the anniversary record?

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Jane Siberry would sue!