We’ve reached an important milestone with the film today with the completion of the rough cut of The Qiu Jin Project: Autumn Gem!
It took me 22 hours to go from picture lock to burning the first DVD; the long delay was a result of my supreme struggle to get Final Cut to export the movie without crashing. I searched long and hard for a solution on the Creative Cow Final Cut forum, Ken Stone’s site, Google, and on Apple’s own forums. I eventually settled on using the instructions on Ken’s web site using the Export using Quicktime Conversion command in Final Cut to export the HDV timeline to Apple ProRes 422. To get around the “out of memory” errors, I had to break up the export into several pieces.
From there, I brought the video into Compressor, where I could now export a version for DVD and iPhone. That took a number of hours even with an 8-core Mac Pro! After that, I popped the video into DVD Studio Pro and quickly pumped out a DVD.
With the rough cut complete, we can now show the documentary to our crew, potential donors, family, friends, and other interested parties.
At the age of four or five, a young Chinese girl growing up during the 10th and early 20th centuries would begin the process of foot binding. Her feet would be broken and bound into tight bandages for the next ten to fifteen years. The goal was to achieve the desired size of the three-inch golden lotuses. Foot binding caused constant, excruciating pain. In the beginning, a girl could barely even stand on her own. Walking even a few steps would often be painful and tiring.
Qiu Jin was considered one of the more fortunate victims. Despite the pain, she continue to remain active throughout her life.
Rae and I are getting closer to completing the rough cut of The Qiu Jin Project. It’s been a long process, but the light at the end of the tunnel is clearly visible now. Of course, there’s a lot of work still to be done even after we get the rough cut done. For instance, we have to complete our musical score and perform color grading. Still, having the rough cut is a significant goal that we set out to achieve this month!
The past few weeks, we’ve been recording music and audio for The Qiu Jin Project. Melody Chen and Min Seun Kim have recorded their guzheng and flute pieces respectively for the documentary. Rae went over to Matt’s house in Campbell to record the narration. We’ve been laying these clips on top of our existing audio and video tracks, and everything is turning out great. There are a few more musical pieces that we need to record, including a choir, cello, and piano piece. In addition, there are a couple of foley sound clips just waiting to be created.
Click on this link to view the photos.
This afternoon, we edited a scene from our filming of the Chinese Women’s Army at Tilden Park in Berkeley. Li Jing, who plays Qiu Jin in the documentary, is running through a hand form.
Nine takes were used to construct this scene. One take was a wide shot which we use to start the sequence. Mixed throughout are eight closeup shots detailing the action as Li Jing goes from one move to the next. Add in a little wind sound, and we’ve got ourselves a nice 34-second clip!
There’s a saying that a film is really created in the editing room. After having spent several months living in Final Cut, Rae and I certainly agree with that statement!