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KISS hours of edit torture goodbye

Back in the early days of Jeff Wood Visuals, Jeff made the decision to quickly  ‘rip off the plaster’ and ditched all fancy filters, colour grades, slowmo effects and the like so he could spend more time learning to ‘be good’.

wedding videography in Jordan. Image - Lottie Elizabeth Photography

Jeff capturing us in Jordan. Image – Lottie Elizabeth Photography

He worked around the clock and analysed, honed and meticulously tried every combination of edit and sequencing to arrive at a style he liked. To do this he had to remove every single element of film apart from the actual footage, allowing him the freedom to simply tell the story of his clients’ special day.

Here he tells us more about that epic journey to freedom from indecision!

jeff-1

Image by John Alexander Photography

Restriction is the Mother of Creativity.

(AKA KISS Keep It Simple Stupid)

I had a conversation with a fellow videographer about all the settings options on the Sony a7s range and how he wished there were just one or two to chose from.  There is an easy answer to that but it struck me as a similar problem a lot of videographers face when editing.

People get bogged down with creating the perfect, cool looking titles, effects, colour grades, aspect ratios, slowmo sequences and so on.  Well, six years ago I noticed this had become a problem for me. I could easily loose SEVERAL HOURS?? making each tiny detail decision huge in my mind.

So I made a conscious effort to ban myself from using any of the above.  Yep, I stopped using  them all. Effects, fancy colour grades, cinema aspect ratios, slowmo and even titles at first!  

This may seem like a rash decision but I wanted to refocus on what is really important in my videography. By removing all of these options I could hone my skills in the fundamentals, the very foundation of editing and the reason behind it all – Telling stories. 

When you don’t have to spend any time on all of this stuff, it is surprising how much energy you have left for what really matters – The Story and how to build it in a way that captivates the viewer.  It was very scary, as if my crutch had been taken away but then I soon enjoyed probably my most successful streak in terms of business popularity.

Remember, some of these were made 6 years ago so go easy 🙂

 

Wa’ma gonna do? // Romina + Daniel from Jeff Wood Visuals on Vimeo.

I know you feel the same // Sophie + Oli from Jeff Wood Visuals on Vimeo.

https://vimeo.com/17646998

https://vimeo.com/55763296

So it turned out that getting the basic edit exactly how I wanted (in terms of what is felt when I watch it back) takes quite a bit of time!  I couldn’t imagine having the time or energy to have gotten these edits how I wanted them if I’d have been grappling with a million decisions about all the elements I mentioned which, in the grand scheme of things, don’t really matter.

On the LOVE WHAT YOU DO workshop I will go much further into how this mentality can really help with your shooting on the day. Allowing you to be more creative, and how happy accidents over the course of my videography career have taught me a strategy that really makes for creative results.

comments

  1. Dave Packer says:

    Good advice dude, it all comes down to good old story telling. Cheers mate

    1. peopleli says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Dave, it is very true, sometimes its hard to see the woods for the trees!

  2. Jeff Wood says:

    Hi Dave, that’s very kind. The only problem is working out what ‘story telling’ actually means. It means something different to many people. To me it means making the viewer actually forget that they are watching a video and get immersed. There are a plethora of devices to do this and the fun is in finding them, mimicking them, inventing them and mastering them. There’s no fun in fiddling with unimportant and time consuming ‘fancy bits’.

  3. Adam Galwas says:

    There’s some great food for thought here Jeff, it must have been a brave move ditching all the kit and fancy effects when they were so popular, but it certainly makes your work stand out (and makes the whole process more enjoyable too)! I can’t make this workshop unfortunately but hope to make the next one. Ps. It’s good to see you’re taking the KISS method literally too!

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