Jordan Westhoff

Jordan Westhoff's Blog

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I’ve been super busy away at university in Rochester, but here is one of my most recent works. This was an editing project in which we had to combine loads of footage we had no hand in producing an re-edit it to tell a different story than was originally intended.

Be sure to read my commentary and artists statement below!

Let me know how you like it!

ARTIST STATEMENT AND COMMENTARY

I wanted to tell a very specific story with this particular piece, although it can appear to simply be a visual overload. Essentially, I wanted to use the specific scene embodied in Inception to symbolize peace in life. For the period of time that the protagonists of Inception spend sitting on the bridge being assaulted by Fischer’s mind’s projections, I wanted to to give the illusion of conflict in daily life. When the van leaves the bridge and enters a state of free fall, well this, I consider to be peace. Everyone of us can find peace in God, peace is a gift freely available to all of us who choose to trust the Lord with our daily lives and our futures. Peace, while immensely satisfying and unceasingly calming, can be short. Our daily lives ensue, chaos breaks down the walls of that peace as our weak minds and spirit draw away from the Lord in an effort to conquer things in our own strength. Thus, the free fall of the van is my projection of peace in our daily lives. It lasts only a second or two, but is so crucial and enveloping that it’s presence can seem to be that of days or weeks. When the white van hits the water again is my projection of chaos in life rearing it’s ugly head once again. Entropy governs the universe, stating that everything is breaking down at a slow, deliberate pace. Life, too, is like this. No segment of our lives is made to be travelled without trial. The only thing we can do is cherish the peace that we find, and seek it once more after we have lost it. Christ is unending and gives us access to peace and guidance whenever we seek it. It is only ourselves that cause us to withdraw from that peace.

Inception is a finely produced work of motion picture art. I didn’t chose this clip because I’m a fanboy of the film (which I totally am, don’t get me wrong) but because it spoke to me as an image of something I see and notice in daily life and the lives of those around me with whom I am close. I also felt clips from the film Watchmen deserved to be utilized because the tone of their composition was indicative of the mood that I wanted to share. Grace, beauty and calm despite conflict and ultimately death. (Sound like life, anyone?) When coupling together both clips from Inception and Watchmen, the tempos overlaid perfectly and the synthesis overwhelmed me. This was the raw framework of my piece, the rest was filled in as a mortar around the bricks, to hold the theme together, if you will. It was a pleasure to make! Every time I see this displayed I think of all of the sleep this piece caused me to lose, but I can see how worth it the sacrifice this was. This may have only been a 5 minute edit, but it took almost 40 hours of work, in addition to a 14 hour final render. I will post the workflow below for the true film boys who’d like to take a peek at my style of composition and workflow.

For the rest of you, I thank you for watching! Feel free to stop by again soon, I will be uploading work on a regular basis and if you have questions, feel free to ask!

Please keep in mind that these are all clips that are copyrighted by fantastic people. The works are beautiful, that is why I chose them. No copyright infringement is intended, or has taken place. Clips of greater works have all been used in an educational setting for educational goals and I stand by this. I make no profit from this work. In fact, I count the seconds until I get bashed by some soul from the far corners of the internet for using Inception pieces. It’s only a matter of time, I suppose.

WORKFLOW

1. Rip all film works from their Blu-Ray counterparts. (Inception, Watchmen, 500 Days of Summer, Black Hawk Down and TRON were all ripped in this fashion. This alone took 4 days.

2. Transcode all of the BluRay files to ProRes 422 HQ for easy FCP and Avid Media Composer 5 ingestion.

3. Acquire all of the Philip Bloom, ARRI and Phantom Flex footage via official YouTube pages vis shameless download. But hey, it was in gorgeous 1080p/24. No shame.

4. Transcode those assets from their native mediocre interframe mp4 formats to Final Cut Pro native ProRes 422 HQ formats.

5. After this, I began previewing all of the footage and making preliminary marks.

6. Began compiling the soundtrack.

7. Edit.

8. Sleep.

9. Edit.

10. Sleep. No, wait. Edit instead.

11. Rough cut is finished and audio mastering begins. I took all of this in as 5.1 surround and mixed it to stay this way.

12. Edit more. Final cut on the way.

13. First render. Takes 4 hours, but it well worth it.

At this point the actual editing done and the rendering/compressing work horse is mounted. These are the final render settings for all of these pieces.

1080p/23.97 Final Cut Render in Apple ProRes 422 HQ

720p/23.97 web render, encoded by MPEG Streamclip in an H.264 QuickTime file container at a 10 m/bit data stream.

This project took nearly 250gb’s of hard drive real-estate but it was well worth it.

Sleeeeeeeep.

Thanks for reading!

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Author: jordanwesthoff

Jordan Westhoff. RIT 2015, Digital Cinema/ Motion Picture Sciences Major. Motion Graphics. Graphic Design. Photography. Videography.

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