Today I started the edit for our most recent outing, in which we visited Cranmere pool on Dartmoor, reportedly one of the most remote locations in the South West. It was an eventful day, where we walked 15km over some of the most uneven and depressing terrain that we have as of yet trodden. The weather was bad, the ground was sparse, with solid ground hiding in deceivingly tempting little patterns among treacherous looking marshland (it really did seem like the Dead Marshes from Lord of The Rings), that would all of a sudden disappear and send you back tracking to find an alternative route, leaping from tuft to tuft all the way, whilst carrying 17kilos on my back too, loaded up with tents and food, yet not enough water.
As with all of our videos, we begin by using two cameras back at the car to film each others greetings to our audience and we both take turns to chat
about the up and coming walk. I carry the wide angled Panasonic, Nath is armed with the faithful Sony handycam, which although is far smaller and cheaper (and older at 8 years) it still holds up very
well. It also became the camera of choice this day as the weather was so bad, and I didn’t fancy exposing the Panasonic to the rain, as its a far more expensive camera.
For the dual conversation, I layer the two videos on individual tracks, and line it up so that the audio is in sync, then I cut them up, leaping from shots of myself or Nath, depending on who is doing the talking.
Of all the dialogue used in the videos, the opening dual conversation usually lasts the longest, and as an introduction to each adventure, I try to keep it down, so literally minutes and minutes of footage is cut and slashed. The opening introduction of this particular walk lasts just over 3 mins in this particular video – which I consider quite a lot to be honest – but there was a lot to get through. The original footage that we started with was nearly 8 minutes – which is how long we try to make an episode.
The editing of our videos is a highlight for me, and just as enjoyable for me as the hikes themselves. I use Sony Vegas Pro, an expensive programme, but ideal for my passion of film making. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to make a lot of films these days (I’m hoping to change that soon) so for me, the birth of Summit or Nothing has been a Godsend. It gives me something to edit, and regularly too, so I am able to hone my craft, which hopefully shows up in the videos.
When we are out and about, we record as much as we can, giving me options for cut away shots to use over any monologues. At first I used these cut away shots to disguise any cuts that there may be in the dialogue, but now, I just frantically cut the heck out of our monologues, using jump cuts as an arty effect to cut out all the dithering in between words. Its not clean, but its effect suits the fast paced expectations of YouTube, and we hope that it speeds the videos up a little and saves you from nodding off.
This walk is filling some spaces on our Dartmoor 365 map really, taking in some of the unexplored gaps of the North Moor, and it begins by walking right between the sights of our last hike (where we
visited High Willhays and camped out at West Mill Tor) and the landscape explored over a year ago in our fourth Dartmoor outing (where we visited Belstone Tor and Hound Tors). This also seems a much
more direct route to the elusive Cranmere Pool, which evaded us on our second outing, where we opted for Fur Tor instead.
I don’t know if you have ever seen Cranmere Pool, but its one of those parts of Dartmoor that everyone has to tick off, where you can find the letterbox(Dartmoor’s first) in which a stamp is provided for you to stamp on your map. What they dont tell you is that its surrounded by some of the most unforgiving terrain imaginable, and as well as being Dartmoor’s most remote spot, its also Dartmoor’s biggest anti climax too. We had a heads up that this was the case, but being avid adventurers, had to see it for ourselves. We are both glad that we have been there, and have stamped our maps to prove it (and signed the little book), because now, that means that never again shall we have to venture there again… Ever!
We did take the opportunity to take a pic for Instagram here though, sporting our new Summit or Nothing T-shirts, and smiling proudly as we did so. The smiles soon turned back to frowns, or grimaces as we made our way back out and away from the depressing landmark, and once again had to fight our way through a maze of bog and puddles to get to where we are going. Sometimes I wonder why we do this.
The final sequence of the edit, is going back over the footage and importing the musical score as accompaniment. This can often be a timely process, as
selecting the suitable music is a chore, but also cutting it and over laying the cuts to fade the music in and out so as not to drown out any speech can also be time consuming. But its worth it in
And this time, as a first in our videos, I have also decided to censor out the majority of our swearing, which is something we do from time to time (especially if the C-Bomb is dropped). I used a lot of beeping over a tirade of profanities that I unleashed in one of my darker moments when scaling Lingmell, as I was ashamed to have cursed so much, and someone pointed out that it actually seemed funnier with the beeping than to hear the words themselves, so from now on we are going to try that out.
So, the first episode is edited, rendered, and then uploaded to Youtube where it has been scheduled to begin this coming Sunday night (27th August – 9PM – YouTube) be there, or don’t be there – its entirely up to you and in no way do I want you to feel any pressure. But its best you watch it, and comment too, then like and share.