Humanitarian Bazaar | Workshop in Sarajevo: Editing Documentary Film, April 30th, 2017
Humanitarian Bazaar produces projects focused on how peope survive war and disaster.
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WORKSHOP IN SARAJEVO: HOW TO EDIT FILM 

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Sunday, 30 April 2017, 1000 am-430 pm  |  Café Lalo, Kovaći Walkway, Baščaršija, Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. Participants are encouraged to attend free of charge if they trade a minimum of 10 hours of remote volunteer time for a Humanitarian Bazaar project. Otherwise, the cost is 90 km/day for Bosnian citizens (our hosts), 70 euro/day for internationals, or 350 euro/day for our expert intensive training course (part of a longer term course with long term advising and support for advanced trainees). Sign up as soon as possible at Humanitarianbazaar@gmail.com.

Our Workshop

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Come learn with us! We will provide a fast overview course on how to produce video documentary. We’ll take participants inside and behind the scenes of our new feature documentary, Live from Mogadishu, filmed in Somalia and Kenya under tough security and logistical conditions, as well as our series, Journeys on the Edge, partly filmed in Bosnia, as well as Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Ukraine. We’ll also highlight other great works from recent documentary work, review process and equipment, and answer any of your questions about pre-production and production. If any participants wish to also learn about post-production, editing, and distribution of such films, please also sign up for the workshop on the following day. All revenue will also go to the War Survivors Advisory civilian protection project.

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Our Trainer

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Daniel J Gerstle, founder of Humanitarian Bazaar, is the executive producer, director and editor of the feature film, Live from Mogadishu, about the campaign to end the war in Somalia, as well as producer and camera of the documentary series, Journeys on the Edge, telling the stories of how people survive tough situations in Afghanistan, Bosnia, South Sudan, and Ukraine. He also worked on films ranging from Watchers of the Skye (Edet Belzberg) to Filming Violence (Oxfam) to entertainment films.

10:00 am |  Final Production

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  • Introduction: Video samples from feature documentaries: Live from Mogadishu (produced by Humanitarian Bazaar), Hell and Back Again (Danfung Dennis), Virunga (Orlando von Einsedel), Beats of the Antonov (Hajooj Kuka), Diary (Tim Hetherington), Vice, The Guardian, and Vox.
  • As you finish your production and release the crew, prepare in advance for the post-production process, finishing your film, and planning distribution.

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11:30 am |  Story Content, Video and Audio Quality

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  • Digital Storage  |  Make sure you have multiple copies of all content in multiple places, for security. Once you choose your working disk(s), stay consistent.
  • File Archiving  |  As you are backing up your files, confirm a consistent file naming system so that file names won’t have to be changed later on as that could interfere with editing. Base your file naming on constants like location so they will be easy to find later.
  • Choosing Software  |  Adobe Creative Cloud, Premiere, After Effects; Final Cut, Avid, Powerdirector, and so on.
  • Compression/ Decompression  |  Make sure you understand how digital video quality can be navigated through “Codecs” which can take video quality of 480p<1080p<4k and compress large amounts of data with a coding method such as H264 or prores.

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13:00 pm  |  Harvesting Story 

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  • Harvest Story Content  |  Once you have all the above solved and simply have a disk full of content to “import” into your video editing software, then it’s time to choose the content that is usable, based on the story already produced and written, and put back the content you won’t use. For example, in HB’s film, Live from Mogadishu, there was 1.3 TB (50+ hours) of content filmed. That was reduced to about 900 GB (36 hours) on the disk, then 200 GB (6 hours) of story, and finally cutting toward a final goal of about 10 GB (100 minutes) of film.
  • Reconcile Story with What Content is Usable  |  When you’ve reduced the total content down to the “usable” content, then you have to reconcile what you have already filmed against what is in the planned story or script. Sometimes you have a great story, but one scene–especially in documentary–may not have worked out, so the art of editing is how to tell the intended story with what you have, accepting that some story elements might need to be cut if it isn’t on video.
  • Painting with a Story Palette  |  Now that you have imported your video and audio content into the software, reduced the total content down to the “usable” content and reconciled it with your intended story, now it’s finally time to tell your story.
  • Sequences  |  If your project will be long, you might like to tell the story in scenes, sections, or “sequences.” The software will behave better if you are editing 0<20 minute sections at a time, and it’s easier to navigate. Then you can weave those sequences together like chapters in a book. But some filmmakers do edit films as a whole.
  • Editing Techniques  |  Balance film coverage (i.e. angles, wide, close, alternate between camera angles, blocking); editing smoothly, subtly, or with surprise; weaving together multiple storylines.
  • Color  |  Some filmmakers painstakingly manipulate color scene by scene. Others use pre-set color schemes such as L.U.T.’s. across the whole film. Others edit with natural color from the clips but simply go through to fix some areas which need brightness or contrast.
  • Sound  |  There is an enormous science in sound design for film. We will give an overview.
  • Launch  |  Test Screenings. Film Festivals. Finding a Distributor.

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15:00 pm  |  Question, Answer, & Practice

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  • We will run you through some scenarios of film making we experienced in Bosnia, Africa, and the Middle East. We’ll present a tough decision and ask the group, “What would you do?!” Then after debate, we’ll explain what happened. This will test what you’ve learned.
  • Of course any questions and debate will be great!

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Sign Up

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Sign up for the course by writing us at humanitarianbazaar@gmail.com!

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Bala Hissar, Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo: Daniel J Gerstle.