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’.
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!
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 🙂
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.