A featured look at the making of the Towers of Midnight book trailer.

by Jason Denzel


Editing is one of my favorite parts of the filmmaking process. I’m a believer in that films get made three times. First, when you write it. Secondly, when you film it. And thirdly, when you edit it. Each one of those steps gives you a chance to evolve it. In many cases you can’t help it. While you’re on set for instance, you find inspiration in the moment and end up doing things that you hadn’t thought of before. Or in the editing room, you find that certain things play out much more nicely in a different way than how it had been scripted. The challenge is in finding the balance between evolving, and staying true to the original vision of the script. If you get too creative after the fact, you run the risk of undermining the script you worked so hard to make just right. I’ll give at least one example in the next session.

For our production, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the final product remained very true to the original version. Shown below are are several revisions of the book trailer. This will give you a precise idea of how the production gradually became stronger. Note that each one generally becomes tighter and more interesting. That comes from simply working on it for hours on end.

I edited the Towers of Midnight trailer using Apple’s Final Cut Pro software.

The original rough cut using our raw footage. No visual effects.

Edit number 3. Tightened up the timing of the shots and transitions. Notice the “pop-in” close-up on the hand. This was an experiment I tried to ensure that the viewer saw her ring more clearly. But it ended up being too distracting, so I took it out after this version. Also, I put a rough sketch of the Tower of Ghenji in place just so we could see it’s approximate placement and timing.

Edit number 6. The visual effects have been put into place. No sound effects added yet. Only basic color correction has been done. Shot timing and transitions contnue to be tigher.

The final version. Added sound effects and more color correction

As always, Brad and Tess were my creative “brain trust.” They were the ones who would look over each version of the edit I produced and offered suggestions. I was smart enough to take most of it.

<< Previous Page: On Set Filming   |   Next Page: Visual FX >>