Prior to this project I had never touched video editing software. Admiring from a distance, I was always terrified of the technology but intrigued by the possibilities. So in some ways, this project was the best thing for me, because it made me confront my fears and see what I could really do. After many problems, struggles, and conceptual issues, I finally finished my project, Cameron, taken from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. While a beloved comedy (whose original trailer can be found here), I wanted to not only change the genre of the film, but I wanted anyone who watched the movie again after seeing my trailer to view the character Cameron in a whole new light.
For my concept, I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and noticed how neurotic and sometimes crazy Cameron seemed. I started editing the film in my head, picking out key parts that highlighted these qualities. It was easy, therefore, to decide to change this quirky romantic comedy from the eighties into a thriller in which Cameron finally loses it. Let’s be honest, if the movie happened in real life that probably would have happened anyways. So I cut out key clips in which Cameron freaked out, banging his car or stoically staring off into the distance, and added it with other clips from the movie picturing other characters. With these clips, I started making my trailer.
To create a thriller trailer, I looked to Dick’s Film, Space, and Image article to see what makes something look scary. I noticed that quick cuts cause anxiety, so added scenes to the end of my trailer with quick cuts from one fast paced scene to the next. I wanted the scenes to build on one another, so I started with a simple scene of a zoomed in shot of the sister’s character standing in a hallway and ended with Ferris running. I thought this built suspense. Then I noticed one important thing was missing that would bring my whole trailer together, the music. I went to YouTube to find the perfect scary soundtrack. With this soundtrack, the trailer was finally coming together.
The final part of the trailer editing process was adding audio and visual transition to make the project flow and look like a real movie trailer. I added audio transitions whenever the music volume changed so that it would not break the momentum of the trailer. I also added video transitions (either dip to black or dissolve) to help the trailer flow from one scene to another. While this was the last thing I did, it made all the difference. Without these transitions my trailer was choppy and at times dismantled because the images and sounds couldnt flow together. With these transitions, my trailer was finished.
The most frustrating thing about this project was the problem with the software, yet that also taught me the most. First, you have to start this project early. It cannot be done last-minute, because as with any technology sometimes it fails. Second, do not stress about it. At times I was so frustrated either by the software problems, or my trailer not looking smooth enough. No one is expected to be perfect, especially if this is their first time editing. Finally, have fun with it! I learned so much, and once you see the finished product, all the pain is worth it. And this project teaches you that. I spent over six hours on this project between the technological problems and just editing it, but I learned a lot