An hour of footage is complete for my documentary Age of Deceit 2: Alchemy and the Rise of the Beast Image. There have been many hurdles and challenges with putting this film together so far including life situations that take time away from the project, hardware failure, bumping into pride issues (more on that in a future post) but also with the struggle of finding the correct video editing software. This post might seem strange but I plan to document the process of making the film until it’s completion.
I am using FCPX (Final Cut Pro X) as my video editing software. There was a big debate and even a funny skit on Conan O’Brien making fun of the new software a couple years back, but it’s my video editor of choice. Because I am a sound producer at heart and not a video editor, I needed something that’s somewhat flexible and quick to use and FCPX provides that for me. Lots of overlaying images, words, videos in different shapes and sizes, backdrops and several other effects were necessary components for me to make the movie interesting visually.
I first started with FCPX but once I had a hard drive failure and lost the first 30 minutes of the film, I decided to go back to the software I used to make Part 1 which was Final Cut Pro 6. The software is nearly 8 years old but since I know the program so well, that I decided to just go for it. But I quickly ran into several format issues. Because of the progress in multimedia the last few years, FCP6 was unable to handle some of the video formats I was importing.
But enough blabber about the video editing software. The next part I wanted to make light of on this post is on a topic of copyright.
When I made AGE OF DECEIT: Fallen Angels and the New World Order, I simply figured that using the clips that I did for the film were protected under Fair Use. It turns out I was, but because I heard rumors of laws progressing in the realm of digital copyright recently, I wanted to make sure that doing similar things for part 2 were not going to be infringing on any laws.
I found a great PDF called Online Best Practices for Fair Use. This PDF document lays out a code of conduct for film makers and others when it comes to using footage found off the internet. Some good points were made in the document centered around the idea that media such as audio, video, and images define our culture. Because of the rapid changes we’ve seen recently in our culture, the tools for creativity have also changed. It states quote:
“Mashups, remixes, subs, and online parodies are new and refreshing online phenomena, but they partake of an ancient tradition: the recycling of old culture…Copyright law has several features that permit quotations from copyrighted works without permission or payment, under certain conditions. Fair use is the most important of these features. It has been an important part of copyright law for more than 150 years. Where it applies, fair use is a right, not a mere privilege. In fact, as the Supreme Court has pointed out, fair use keeps copyright from violating the First Amendment.”
Fair Use is really a fluid treatment of the legalities concerning copyrights because it depends heavily on intention. But as long as I cite my sources and provide links when appropriate, I think I will be ok. In fact, alongside the film, I plan to have a free PDF document available that has the transcript of the film along with sources and links.
I will have more to say about this after an unpleasant experience with someone who claimed I was trying to steal his work in the next post.
WRITING THE SCRIPT
There is no exact science to research, but collecting and gathering all the information you can about a subject is first and foremost. For this film, it was digging through tons of books, PDFs and websites that pertained to the topic of alchemy as well as commentary on the image of the beast. To be honest, this part wasn’t all that fun. The occult writings can be long and drawn out and at times, I am really grateful of the word search tool you can use with PDFs to search for keywords.
Ideally, you would collect and gather every possible piece of data first, and then sit down to write a script. I don’t work that way. I have to get kick started into a topic and then find the natural topic that would connect, follow up, or help move along the premise. In other words, I don’t know beforehand of the flow of information. I let the content dictate where to go next. But in terms of making a film, it’s not the most convenient way to do it. As a result, my pattern has been as follows:
1. Research topic
2. Write narration on the topic
3. Record narration
4. Create video content alongside narration
5. Decide where to go next
6. Restart the process
I know this might seem a little bit quirky or confusing but I think it’s the best way to let the content speak for itself. It’s the best way to make the connections that I want to make in the film. I don’t necessarily recommend this method, but it’s the one that works for me for this type of film. With other projects I am working on, such as more straight forward Bible studies, it’s important to have all the data and the connections figured out first before diving into making the media content.
On the next post I will discuss more about the content of the actual film itself as well as a particular roadblock that hindered the progress of making this film. Blessings to all and please pray for me as I continue putting this film together. Blessings.