Editing and animation of “The Faraway Nearby” in progress

Still from "The Faraway Nearby" (work in progress)
Animation from "The Faraway Nearby" inspired by the painting "Deer's Skull with Pedernal"

My Georgia O’Keeffe / New Mexico video project “The Faraway Nearby” is now well into the editing phase. Using a MIDI mock-up track for the score, I’ve been assembling the footage from New Mexico – five hours in total, from which I’ve extracted 220+ individual video clips, to be turned into an eight-or-so-minute video… yikes! I’m also incorporating a few illuminating quotations from O’Keeffe, and enhancing the video with brief animated segments.

I’ve utilized a rotoscoping animation technique – which involves hand-drawing digital animation over a video reference – to briefly depict O’Keeffe herself as a character in the video. More extensively, I’ve been animating still photos to build compositions inspired by the visuals in her paintings (particularly the signature animal skulls and flowers).

I’m using the Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium software bundle to achieve these effects: Premiere for the heavy lifting of video editing and putting together all of the elements; After Effects for animating still images and text; Flash for drawn animation; and Photoshop for the preparation of the images used in the animations. I’m still learning all of this new software and experimenting with different ideas and techniques, but I’m excited about the way the video is shaping up.

Still from "The Faraway Nearby" (work in progress)
Quotation from Georgia O'Keeffe in "The Faraway Nearby"

The trickiest aspect of editing this project is probably the pacing. This is a non-narrative music video packed with a variety of quickly-changing visuals, so the challenge for me now is to find the balance of how long to dwell on a particular image or series of related images, while maintaining enough consistency to be satisfying and, at the same time, the sense of movement which is key to the tone or mood that I’m striving to evoke. But ultimately, everything relies on the pacing of the music.

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