We are continuing the "ask the editor" series! If you didn't already, check them out the other two segments. Larry has an awesome post about what it was like editing the longest Let's Play in Achievement Hunter history: Uno the Movie. And Kent's Battlefield Master Edit is a truly amazing edit and backstory.
So I asked via twitter what you wanted to know about the recent 7 Days of 7 Days to Die, and here are the answers!
@TOGASmitty - Were there any moments you found hard to edit? Will we see a screaming montage on Day 7?
The hardest edits were the days when the guys split into teams. They have this uncanny ability to have interesting things happen to the different teams at the same time. So I had to choose which moment was the most interesting and cut the other out. Or I would show both moments in tandem with each other, and movie magic the audio so that you can hear everything and it doesn't sound like a chaotic mess. (Although the chaotic screaming of 6 men is the spirit call of Achievement Hunter)
@Ed_TheGeek - Is the end worth the 7h of content?
I think so! I really enjoyed editing this series. It's fun to watch what shenanigans the guys run into or create for themselves. The gameplay is really easy to get immersed in, even when they're just running in circles hitting every single cactus in the area.
@Ezzrit - Are you a member of the golden nugget club?
@P1examatic - How much of Jack's footage was of him building the bunker?
90% - 95% of Jack's footage was him chopping, and digging, and crafting that bunker. While the other guys were running around fighting zombies/raiding towns Jack was just steadily building. He only stopped to eat, make better tools, and maybe kill an annoying zombie or two. Although most of that could be said to be just part of bunker building.
@YesImSoAndSo - Out of the ones that are out, what was your favorite part? And what program do you use?
My favorite days are the third day and sixth day. The third day because of the "walking dead" type experience it is to watch them race up a high rise building being chased by zombies. It was so cinematic and awesome. And the sixth day because it was night 7 in the game, and the zombie horde combined with Gavin's "Bridge of Love" was so hilariously absurd that I couldn't stop laughing. And we use Premiere Pro Creative Cloud here at AH.
@TheOzinator04 - How long did it take to edit each day?
It took around one full work day to do a first round of editing of each episode. I also prefer to watch the videos a second time around to make any small changes/edits. Add on creating thumbnails and descriptions, it took about one and a half work days to edit one video.
@JongeDroid - Is there a reason the contrast and color correction is different between each member?
I wanted to touch on this since there are a lot of comments about it. Color correction for these long videos proved very tricky. Each gameplay recording looked great in some light settings, and not so great in other light settings. Also, the night scenes in 7 Days to Die are really really dark. And when there's not a lot of color/light data, it's very difficult to pull out more colors and more light without the end result looking very pixelated. Example: I would try to lighten a dark scene and while it would be a little bit easier to see, as soon as the player would open up his tool menu, the picture would be extremely overexposed and look really awful. So, in the end, due to the time crunch and deadlines I needed to make, I decided against doing any major color corrections in order to get it out on time. Unfortunately, the night scenes are made to be very dark by the game developers.
@AH_Pietro - What did you work on to build up a portfolio for editing?
Anything and everything. Student films, short films, music videos, YouTube videos, live plays, documentaries, news shorts - I mean anything. I first learned to multicam edit from an experimental series of music videos, where the crew recorded everything live with like 7 different cameras angle. That was hell, but I got really really good at multicaming and movie magic-ing all the fucked up parts.
@HavenPancakes - How did you get to work as an editor at Achievement Hunter? I'm really interested in film production/editing :)
I knew Neal, who edits GTA at AH, from a few projects we had both worked on of in the past. He recommended me to Lindsay when they needed a freelancer to help out with extra videos. I guess I did a good enough job because they asked me to join the team. :)
@ChknKng - How do you follow so many video feeds at once and decide which parts to use?
Your eye will find the best camera angle pretty quickly when that angle is apparent. Your brain has to constantly be asking "what is the most interesting thing happening at this point?" And if there's a lot going on, I will watch the same 10 seconds over and over and over again, until I have an idea how to show it.
@Benton188 - How do you choose who to focus on during the videos? Do you base it off of on-screen action or more on who's talking?
Both depending on the circumstance. Sometimes whoever is talking is having the action as well. Example 1: "OMG. DID YOU JUST SEE THE THING?" is a good clue that whoever is speaking is watching something interesting. Example 2: "Would you have a leg toaster implanted in your leg?" is a fun conversation that is happening, but does not necessitate that the action is happening to the speaker. If there is something more interesting happening, I choose the action. If nothing is happening, then I will go with the speaker. Example 3: "Did you just kill me?" while it seems to be similar to the first example, the best course of action would probably be to watch the screen of the person doing the killing. This is all very circumstantial.
@PhoenixFilmsJ79 - Preferred keyboard shortcuts, Premiere or FCP7 presets?
I use mainly Premiere Pro CC these days. My favorite shortcut is definitely: Shift A. It's a custom shortcut that I changed to make an edit in the timeline. I love it. I use it a thousand times a day. It's really easy to memorize, and super easy on the keyboard. I wish I was smart enough to have created it myself, but I cannot take that credit. I got it from Adam Epstein who edits for Saturday Night Live.
@birdertweet123 - Can you show us the process of editing an AH video?
Trevor made a video called How to Edit a Let's Play that shows our workflow. I watched this video before freelancing with AH and it helped tremendously. It's still very accurate to our workflow now. The only difference is we don't use nameburns anymore and have adopted the adobe proxy system (which is awesome btw).
Thanks for all the questions! We will be continuing the series in 2017. If you have any more questions use #AHEditors.