One of the most important bits of advice I will give to anyone who is making clips is… the more you get right when shooting, the cheaper it is to edit.
Editing software is amazing, and there are so many cool features available on home computers, and even apps, which can edit, enhance or correct your clips.
I won’t say it can’t work miracles, because it can.
There are restored TV shows where someone filmed the TV screen with a projector and recorded the sound with a tape recorder in front of the TV that someone has been able to completely clean up and release as remastered and rediscovered episode.
So if someone can do that, they can get rid of the noise from the fan you left on, brighten the poorly lit room you shot in, get rid of the rubbish you left on the side, blur out a sub’s face who forgot his mask AND fix your make up – right?
But it is a fuck on.
It will take you, or whoever is doing the clip, far more time than if you had all of this mostly right. Time is money, so cutting into more of whatever else you need to do or, of course, if you are paying an editor they will charge you more because it is either advanced skills or is simply taking them more time.
Some fixes are relatively easy.
If there’s like a low level background hum (such as the camera mic picking up the noises the camera is making) there’s simple tools to reduce/remove this. Much more and you start to have to interfere with frequencies that affects people’s voices or other sounds.
I did someone’s clip once where I stripped out the background hiss (we think as simple as the microphone wasn’t in in the camera properly) and we’re talking about restored lost TV shows? Well the Mistress sounded like she was underwater when she spoke and the whip noises sounded like the sound effects from 1960s Dr Who.
So this then of course requires more trial and error and adjustments to try to clean up the noise.
Because of this some things I recommend involve switching off everything that causes background noise. Fans, air conditioners, heaters, dehumidifiers. Checking connections in microphone. Closing windows. A lot of this kinda sucks especially on a warm day – but if there’s a weather warning it might be cheaper to move the film day.
Other suggestions can include using unidirectional microphones and checking what they are/aren’t picking up (use headphones, not the camera’s internal speakers, to listen back) or a second sound source. Even just hitting record on a mobile phone.
Subtle colour correction isn’t too bad either.
But I’ve seen clips with WAYYYY too much light which were then a lot trickier to balance.
Plus some scenes which looked fine at the time but you can see the differences with lights on or off.
There is so much trial and error with lighting, but also a lot of guides. Don’t guess.
TIDY AWAY BACKGROUND JUNK
Making sure your film space is tidy and only has in what you want is a basic. But sometimes something gets left.
A lot is easier if you are working with a static as then you don’t need to track whatever you’re doing to hide the thing.
But, I have done this. I’ve cropped or blurred an item out of a background and just got it lovely. Then you watch the video and someone steps in front of the item and now they’re blurred or, vanish, or whatever… argh. So you then get into frame by frame editing around that.
To be honest, in most cases if you’ve left something on the side no one cares. The thing to watch for is poppers bottles or alcohol bottles
Or, as I saw in a clip I bought – release forms with people’s name and address on. Oops.
Obviously for some weird reason we have a rise in “pixel porn” I’ve no fucking idea if it sells or not – but it seems one of the most batshit things people might buy.
That isn’t too bad. Or. Isn’t too bad if when you are shooting the clip you know it’s going to be a pixel clip – because the more static you are when you are partially nude, the easier it is to put pixels over for those frames without having to do frame by frame editing. A point of it also means it doesn’t matter TOO much if the pixels cover more area than you want, so long as they don’t cover less.
I did do something for someone once who wanted her privates blurred. Easy enough – but would have been easier again if she didn’t move so bloody much.
You can of course get blurs or effects to track movement. They just don’t always get it right which involves the subsequent edits.
WHAT IS FRAME BY FRAME EDITING?
I’ve mentioned it a few times – but… some corrections you can make by applying one fix to the whole clip. A noise reduction for background hum, or a colour tweak. But, if you want to blur something or remove something then it might be that people or things move. So, you have to move with it.
Let us pretend that we want to blur a subs face out. He’s forgot his mask and so we’ve decided to do it like one of those crime videos. He has also decided his voice is recognisable and wants that masked also and so foolishly we agree. (NB: I would never agree to this. But follow me)
I cannot apply a sound filter to the whole clip because that would interfere with the Mistresses voice and any scene noises, so I would have to cut every part where he spoke and put it on a seperate channel with this effect.
Now to mask his face isn’t too bad if he remains perfectly still. Can draw a shape around his face (fittingly, it’s called a mask) and blur that space. Great. Except… if he moves, (or the camera moves) the blur will remain where it is. There are ways to make it track but it’s not perfect and also of course he may well move his head. If he stands behind the Mistress than the blur is going to blur him and isn’t needed. So. Every time he moves in the scene we need to make sure the blur moves correctly and/or move or reshape it. This literally means going through a frame at a time.
Of course there is other software that can track a lot smoother; but this, again, is extra work, time and processing which would have been quicker to solve if just just sent him to the shop to get some tights to stick over his head.
PLAN EFFECTS INTO YOUR SHOOT
If you KNOW you want effects or post edit work for your idea. Then this is easier to do in the edit if you plan for this in shooting.
This is usually better if you are doing your own edits or, if the videographer present is creating everything.
Equally. If you create anything and think “oh, that’s wrong but I can live with it” it’s easier to not do that next time, then it is to find ways to edit it.
DO WE NEED TO FIX EVERYTHING?
But also. While it’s natural to always want to do your best. At a lot of our level it is, ultimately, amateur porn and most the people buying the clips are very forgiving or even feel imperfections make it feel more natural.
So maybe we don’t need to fix anything anyway.