The Director’s Chair: The Rough Cut


Hello everyone, it's getting down to crunch time, and I finally got a
rough cut of my video done.  I have been working with my editor Michael
, and I am very pleased with the footage so far.  Of course, when a
shoot you have planned for 12 hours only shoots for 4 you are going to
have things that you wish you could have done better and more shots
that you wish you could have gotten, but I am just glad to have had any
footage at all after the day we had on Saturday. We are editing the
video on Final Cut Pro and we shot this video with the Red One Camera. We already have Common's performance shots and that is what we are
working with and editing today after we lock picture. 

I just
want to make it clear that the first 15 seconds of the video are blank
because we are going to
have a big VFX sequence like how I spoke about in my original
treatment. Every shot you see with green screen, an iPod screen or
our big screen with Marcus and Celestina on the dance floor is going to
have Common's performance in it. I hope you enjoy the process as much
as I enjoy sharing it.  Here is the rough cut of the video without the
VFX and my notes for my editor.

Common "Make My Day" Rough Cut Notes

(Note: the clips are numbered by the last four #'s in the


-We have to add more shot to the first verse to break up the
back and forth over the shoulder dialogue (it gets real boring). Here's what I

-After shot of Celestina unbuckling her shoes add wide shot
of her getting her iPod together, putting ear buds in and grabbing sun tan
lotion. (clip 19P3)

-After that shot follow up with slow motion shot of her putting
sun tan lotion on. (19P4)

-Use longer shot of her grabbing her cooler with camera
panning and Marcus walking over; more specifically I want to show more of Marcus walking up and her actually removing the sun tan lotion from the top of
the cooler. (19JB)

-Shot of Ciroq in cooler is too long by one second.

-Hopefully these changes allow us to cut away from two of
the CU of Marcus and Celstina (I feel like there are too many and it drags on).

-Use the end of clip (19HV) for Marucs' walk away shot (the
other one has moving shadows at the bottom of the frame).

-Cross dissolve and add slow motion shot (199H) of Marcus
taking his shirt off.

-Then cross dissolve that with the clip you already have in
(192A) of him diving into the pool.



-Add handheld shot of food in foil with name tags shot
(19U7) into this montage.

-Remove shot of girl with low maroon halter top before NIC
and add shot of Mimi located in the
first part of clip (19P1).

-Add shot of food located at the end of clip (19P1).



-Start with wide shot of Marcus chilling with the bartender
before Celestina crosses in (193G).

-Then go to a close up of the Ciroq being poured.

-Add a shot of the CU of the Bartender while they are
talking (191B).

-Add solo shot of the monitor (193R) into the sequence.

-Use longer shot (19CQ) of them walking over to the spades

-Use longer shot (19G6) of cards being dropped on the table,
I would like to see 4 cards be played if time permits.

-Need to use better slow motion shots of them dancing from
clips (19MT, 19K7, 190K).

-Fade out is way too long from the end of the second verse
to the third chorus.



-Use white flashes in between all of the flashback of the

-Use the backyard establishing shot (195M).

-Use wide shot of food on the table (193R).

-Use alternate shot of Celestina looking at her iPod at the
end of clip (19P4).

-Follow that shot with alternate shot of her looking at her
iPod (19UR).

-Use alternate shots of them at the bar; more specifically
after they cross out and the bartender is left there with the green screen in
the background (19R7).

-Possibly cut to the close of the green screen wide screen
TV again (193R).

-Use more of the shot of them dancing with the pan across to
the monitor (19N3).



-Try to have the last shot of them fade out when she puts
his head on his shoulder.

And that's it for now. Next up is more editing and trying to make Friday's deadline!

"One of the greatest mistakes you can make in life is to be afraid to make one."

Matthew "Mac" Cherry
Cherry Entertainment
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3 Responses

  1. I'm glad the final concept was still true to your original treatments. I like the edit suggestions and looking forward to final project.

  2. confused.
    between 00:58 - 1:08 ... is it natural that she has a conversation with the guy while her earphones are still tucked in, thumping away with music?
    just sayin ...

  3. @toothpick We have a shot of her turning the music down but I wanted her to keep the headphones in. Not for any particular reason, more because I liked the look of it. I appreciate your feedback and will see if I can add that shot in am alternate cut of the video. Thanks for the feedback. @Sharee I know right, the alternate location worked out almost better than the original idea did.


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