Highlight Reel: Super Art Fight All Killer No Filler

Let me start by saying I truly believe this project is cursed. Super Art Fight (SAF) published this today from an event on March 12, that they contacted me about in December/January-ish. This project is the first time I have experienced (or even heard of!) Premiere Pro corrupting every single file on import. This is also the first time I’ve had an external hard drive die (after I re-loaded all of the corrupted files, of course), was forced to upgrade OS in the middle of editing and then switch to an all new machine while still in the middle of editing. I expect challenges and mistakes to take place during production, but I really thought I had post-production on lock until this bad boy came along. Live and learn, as they say.

I dragged my feet on agreeing to the project because I knew I couldn’t do it alone. Eventually my favorite Priscilla Thomas agreed to love and support me in my time of need. We began our friendship in Audio/Video class, after all. Priscilla drove up for the weekend with extra gear, snacks, and a exactly the right attitude to keep me going. Not to mention she busted her butt to overnight me footage that was lost when the files originally corrupted on import. I couldn’t have done the shoot without her, and she said it was the easiest shoot she’d ever done. Ha! Sometimes emotional/moral support is all you really need.

This project is also a beautiful lesson in trust and communication. SAF and I have a good working relationship and I consider them much more of a partner/collaborator than a client. They did a show at my wedding, after all. So we had a situation where I think we trusted each other too much. This happened in pre-production where phrases like “like last time” were used but never really explained only to have me slightly confusion and a little panic-y when production began and we had to have the “well what did you mean by that” conversation. Trust, but verify, folks. Trust and verify.

Same situation in post-production, where they said they wanted a highlight reel to help advertise/show off who and what they are. I had never edited a highlight reel before, so I took the entire event in chronological order and edited my favorite parts together. If I watched it the video on YouTube, it probably would have convinced me to see a show in person. But what they actually wanted was a high-energy, fast-paced reel that showed potential venues/hosts the jam-packed, epically happy audience and the frenetic energy of the artists and they didn’t care about chronology. This stumped me.

This is also when my MacBook Pro died. I brought it back to life and my external drive died. I actually drove to a Best Buy for the first time in years, in tears and 10 minutes before closing just for a new hard drive. I ordered a brand new iMac and had plenty of time to think. My husband set up our spare room as an office for me and I began to post-it note up my favorite moments, along with those (I finally asked that) SAF specifically mentioned.

Help help I created a work area without adequate post-it space!! #editorproblems #storyboard #videographerlife

A photo posted by Heather Haynes (@haynesha) on

I stared at the post-it notes, moved them around, and remember how much I loved storyboarding on blank walls during grad school. I watched commercials for concerts and sports highlight reels and began to cut in a way that made me uncomfortable but that I was pretty sure was correct.

I delivered a new draft and after a month of busy schedules received a response that basically said: “Can we add an explosion at the end?”

The lesson here: always ask questions, always be willing to adapt and push yourself, and work with whom/what you love.