Video editing reimagined with Wipster by Glenn Dixon

The folk at Wipster have completely disrupted my video editing workflow - all for the better! I love that clients and collaborators can now request edits to videos by clicking directly on a frame and typing a comment. These comments sync with Premiere Pro sequences and show up as markers in the timeline. No more cryptic time coded notes to decipher! I love the speedier workflow and clients appreciate not having to take manual notes. The web interface is elegant in its simplicity.

I discovered the Wipster service through a colleague based in Wellington who once shared a co-working space with the team. Wipster folk - you rock! 

With every edit I send to collaborators, I try to be clear and specific regarding the nature of the feedback I wish to receive. If I am sending interview rushes, I may request only comments highlighting specific dialogue that strikes them as interesting. If I am sending a fine cut of a video, I may ask for feedback on choice of music, title design, narrative structure etc. From a client perspective, it can be overwhelming to receive a link with no instructions or actionable requests. 

A typical video editing workflow for me involves:

  1. Setup Premiere Pro project and manage assets.
  2. Edit sequences for review.
  3. Export sequences to hard disk.
  4. Login to Wipster via web browser and upload sequences. 
  5. Send invitations to collaborators.
  6. Walk the dog and snack while awaiting feedback.
  7. Sync comments with Premiere Pro sequence (via Wipster Review Panel).
  8. Make changes and repeat if necessary.

One issue I hope to resolve soon is an inability to upload sequences to Wipster via the Wipster Review Panel (2.0.6) within Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2017. The Review Panel ‘hangs’ on the upload process and never completes. I would be grateful to anyone who can shed some light on this? When this bug is fixed for me the experience will be even smoother.  

Screenshot above: Video with client comments as red dots.
Screenshot below: Same video in Premiere Pro sequence with comments as yellow markers.

Promotional video for ELLA by Glenn Dixon

I created this promotional video for ELLA, a play-based language learning program for children in preschool. The footage was captured in a documentary style within a functioning preschool. We provided the students with iPads loaded with the ELLA software and I filmed as they explored “The Polyglots" apps.

Children move incredibly quickly and filming them requires agility and patience. I wanted to capture them reproducing language naturally so many of my shots lasted multiple minutes as I moved with them through the space. I handheld my Sony FS5 with a 16-35mm Zeiss lens. The wide perspective of the lens allowed me to get really close and pickup the children voices with a shotgun microphone mounted onboard. 

Below is an excerpt from BBC World News featuring the ELLA promotional video. It was a thrill to see the video shared with the BBC's audience. 

Designing soundscapes for video by Glenn Dixon

"In the same way that painting, or looking at paintings, makes you see the world in a different way, listening to interestingly arranged sounds makes you hear differently." 

- Walter Murch | Film editor and sound designer.

Video above: I created this video exploring Paul's perspective on customer experience. Conduct are a digital focused customer and user experience design agency, based in Melbourne, Australia. They operate in the same building as me, in a loft across the hallway. Video best experienced with headphones.

While designing the soundscape for this film, I discovered you can make static objects feel dynamic if juxtaposed with interesting sounds. The inanimate physical objects in the film seemed lively when accompanied by sounds of those very objects being manipulated offscreen. While you cannot see the affinity diagram being created or the props being touched, I hope the soundscape invites the audience to imagine how it could feel to interact with these objects. 

Through experience, we associate certain objects with producing specific sounds. When wandering through the temples of Kyoto, I witnessed a buddhist monk striking a Bonsho bell with a mallet. I can still feel the powerful and profound metallic resonance. To me, the energy of the sound seemed to originate from the wooden floor beneath my feet. Video editing allows us to detach visual and aural associations and present sound and image in new ways. We can detach sound from a video clip and replace the original with anything we wish. What if that striking of the gong was accompanied by the warbled cry of a magpie? I'm excited by challenging our expectations of how things should sound and moving toward exploring how things could sound.

I’d like to sign off by acknowledging a fascinating film by New York based filmmaker Bas Berkhout. I love the energy Bas creates through the pacing of the edit and unexpected juxtaposition of image and sound. View the film on Vimeo via this link. In this podcast episode, the talented folk at 99% Invisible chat with sound designer Jim McKee about designing organic sounds for inorganic things.

Talon: A workbench in your pocket by Glenn Dixon

I find it difficult to fabricate a compelling story of which the sole purpose is to serve a commercial offering. The stories that move me most deeply are present in the world and evolving of their own accord. My strength is finding and sharing these stories that naturally align with a product or service rather than making them up through introspection. I can’t sit in isolation and invent a narrative to sell a product or service. I immerse myself in situations and use what I discover as the raw ingredients in my filmmaking. 

When Mike Chijoff contacted me earlier this year to discuss the Talon, the product solely existed as a 3d printed prototype. This presented an incredible challenge for me as I could not draw on the experiences of people currently interacting with the product. Additionally, I could not fully explore the possibilities of the product myself because the only prototype we had was made of plastic. 

My task was to create a short piece that would generate excitement on social media platforms in the lead up to the product launch. Personally, I was fascinated by the possible applications of the multitool and its everyday implications. By presenting a few scenarios, it is my hope that the viewer can apply the concept to their personal context and imagine how the product could help them.

The Kickstarter campaign is now live!

Virtual EAL New Arrivals Program by Glenn Dixon

In April we travelled to four schools in regional Victoria to document the stories of three students who receive specialist English language support as part of the Virtual English As An Additional Language (EAL) New Arrivals Program. 

I was commissioned by the EAL and Multicultural Unit of the Department of Education and Training to create films promoting the program. Our objective is to raise awareness of the program within regional school networks and encourage more families to take up this valuable offering.  

I invited my father to join my on the road to share the driving and support the production. In the first week we visited Albert, a Nepali student attending Mitta Mitta Primary School. Next we drove to Murrayville to film Micaela, a South African student attending the Community College. The following week we were in Apollo Bay to capture the story of Art, a year 9 student recently arrived from Thailand. Once back in Melbourne we filmed at the Victorian School of Languages where the program is hosted and interviewed the teaching staff.

Students dial in to receive their weekly lessons via a video conferencing unit. When we arrived back to Melbourne, it was a surreal experience seeing the students again on screen during the lessons. Only days before I had been standing in those now incredibly distant rooms filming. For the teachers at the VSL, this webcam perspective is the view they typically see of their students - they don’t usually meet in person. I felt privileged in being granted a unique perspective, I know what lies slightly beyond view of the webcams frame. I have a modest insight into the contexts of the communities in which these students have recently settled. I know how the main street glows under light from the setting sun, I know the smell of the dust and the taste of the food at the only restaurant in town. It was a privilege to be invited briefly into these regional communities, to hear their concerns, empathise with their circumstances and celebrate their victories.