It was just an art class. Or… was it?

The cycle continues. Some days and weeks we’re on location shooting footage for Stark Insider videos. That’s typically followed by a long edit stage. It seems over the years the edit process for getting these things finished gets longer and longer.

With 3 DAYS IN PARIS there’s a reason for that. All told I filled up 4 128GB SD cards when we spend time a few years ago in Paris where Loni attended art workshops. Just cataloging all the files, sorting them and tagging them with notes takes hours, let along dragging them down to the Premiere Pro timeline in any kind of meaningful, compacted narrative form is, at least for me, a formidable task.

And as we’re doing more often these days, as I’m editing the timeline with existing footage we’re also shooting new scenes to add to the final short film. That makes things pretty interesting. There’s editing current footage, and then there’s story-boarding and dragging camera gear to different locations around the San Francisco Bay Area to shoot some new stuff which will then be imported quickly into the project.

Here’s some stills and promos and “Look Books” for 3 DAYS IN PARIS:

This short is the follow-on to 3 DAYS IN SONOMA — a project we shot with 9 cameras over 5 years. The “trilogy” will wrap when we get 3 DAYS IN ICELAND through the same edit process. Hopefully.

Once again we’re working with multiple cameras.

All the footage from Paris (and Iceland) was shot on the compact Sony a6500 mirrorless camera. I’m not a fan. Rolling shutter is bad. Which means a lot of the footage has a jello-like effect which looks terrible. If you move the camera around quickly — as you’re likely wont to do during run-and-gun — you can’t avoid it. Also, the ergonomics are not great. And, as I’ve mentioned here on Stark Insider in the past, this is a camera that can overheat… in freezing rain and waterfalls… in Iceland… during winter. Not my favorite. If I had the might Panasonic GH5 back then (it would be released a few months after our trip in 2017) results I believe would be so much better. But enough whining. I need to work with what I have — and Paris provides ample opportunity for beautiful visuals.

Look Book: ‘3 DAYS IN PARIS’ by Clinton and Loni Stark

3 Days in Paris Clinton Loni Stark opening title

All the new scenes we’re adding to Paris are being shot on RED Dragon. At 10lbs+ that’s a relatively heavy setup, so we typically use a tripod (but not always). For optimal results, the Dragon sensor needs lots of light so that’s another consideration. But the footage that the RED cinema camera produces is gorgeous. There’s no in-camera sharpening or denoising (as you’ll find on my DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, and most definitely the iPhone with its heavy-handed computational photography). Footage looks organic and, to my eyes at least, close to film.

As we continue to embark down the narrative path on Stark Insider, I’m constantly reminded that shooting stuff turns out to be the rather easy (and fun) part of any given video. It’s the editing and post production that is the most challenging — at least in our experience. There’s no “right” way. Each timeline is different. At any given moment you face infinite decision points. Music. Edit points. Color grading. Sound design. Dialog. And on and on. It can make your mind explode. Yet you have to just move forward.

Okay, enough therapy session for one day.

3 DAYS IN PARIS… coming soon. But not too soon. Editing continues. And all those millions of decisions are being made for better or worse every day the footage sits on the Premiere timeline.