Cutting Edge: Week Fourteen

The Work This Week

At the start of the week, we finished our rough cut to showcase at Softs for faculty:

Responses to this rough cut were mixed. While some of our individual transitions were deemed impressive, particularly the Suitcase transition, others less so. The presentation of the material was a touch confusing, as people wanted more clarification on what worked and what didn’t.

It became clear that there is a difference between just showing prototypes vs. showing cuts in story form. In prototype form, if one cut feels “off” or broken, it doesn’t affect the others. But in story form, one poor cut cascades throughout the rest of the experience and is hard to recover from. Going forward, we need to at minimum clean up the most problematic cuts (particularly the jarring cuts during the montage as the relationship deteriorates) and polish the ones that have more potential.

It was also suggested we show a demo reel of the transitions that worked rather than the in-sequence experience that exists now. The team still wants to attempt to make this work, so the compromise we are aiming for now is to showcase our transitions in Tarantino-esque segment form. Basically, we will show the transitions that worked with preceding chapter titles that make up the greater story. And for the transitions that didn’t work, we can just cut to the next chapter title.

We will also make a director’s commentary video that details the process that some of the transitions went through, as well as our lessons learned.

The voiceover also confused people at points, with some paying more attention to the VO than the cuts themselves. We playtested more at the end of the week, and it became more clear that, in some sequences, particularly the montage and the beach scene at the beginning, the VO isn’t needed at all to convey the emotion.

Beyond that, we are going to test an abstract version without any VO to see if it can still work. That will be happening next week.

Next Week

Our last full work week will be spent polishing up the current transitions, restructuring the experience, and fixing some of the most problematic aspects, in order to showcase our work as best as possible. We also will continue work on our documentation process to showcase at the end as well.