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Rainbow Wheel of Death and RF Noise

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

As well as having to remove malware from my computer this week, I have had a number of video editing challenges. My iMac is lurching under the sheer weight of the gargantuan video files that Final Cut Pro seems to spit out. Much spinning the rainbow wheel of death or the beachball of doom as some call it. This has been extremely frustrating, especially as I has a terabyte SSD hard drive installed before I started the Masters. To try and solve the recurrence of the deathly orb, I have acquainted myself with the ever helpful Youtube Final Cut Pro tutorials, of which there are many. As well as learning regular video editing tools, I have now succeeded in stopping Final Cut Pro from doing background tasks that take up a lot of disc space. It has also been useful to learn how to render out smaller videos files.

The 11 completed video vignettes are now all together in one project in Final Cut Pro. What I have found as I have gone along, is that I want to make changes in the audio. I am re editing audio in logic and importing it back into Final Cut pro.

I have noticed that there is a small amount of radio frequency noise on the wireless headsets that I am using. Even when they are really carefully tuned in. It is undetectable during scenes with music, but it can be heard during dialogue. This is disappointing because obviously I want it to be the best quality it can be but budgetary constraints prevent me from using anything else. I have to use the kit available to me. I think the best way around it is to make sure that the dialogue scenes have plenty of ambient sound in them, which will mask the RF noise.

This weekend experimented in the kitchen by recording with the Ambeo headset while boiling eggs and turning the kettle on while improvising a telephone call with my "sister". (My lodger thinks I've finally cracked, Jury's out.) My Sister's voice is going to be played by a friend of mine. During the telephone conversations only our voices, and whatever is going on in the background will be heard. I have decided to record the dialogue on a Zoom call. Zoom helpfully gives you the option of two separated audio files which makes editing much easier.

This project has grown organically from a number of ideas, and the small film vignettes have informed the narrative. I appreciate that traditional film makers may see this as a back to front way of working. Most films start with scripts but I find it difficult to work that way. I much prefer to play with ideas and improvise around them.

As I have been assembling all the video in one project and thinking about the running order, it has occurred to me that it is similar to choosing the track order in an album. The piece is going to be over 30 minutes long and I wonder if it still is an installation in the sense that first imagined it to be. Something that might be viewed in a museum or gallery. People taking as much or as little time as they want to engage with exhibits or installations. This seems to be turning into a kind of concept video album, eccentric cinema projection show. That is not really a very catchy title so perhaps sticking to calling it an installation is best.

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