4D | Final Film Edits

Final Film Editing Process

The first issue I faced while doing this film was basically the background noise, which was a reaaaally loud ventilator that is located near the shop. I didn’t really like how the audio sound like as the white noise is kinda loud, and went to find ways to reduce the background noise. Thus, I did some research and found out about this new software, Adobe Audition!! To mention again… it’s my first time using Premiere Pro and I was nearly dying and wanted to go back to my iMove. So, by adding a new software and having to finish editing in a week, it’s kinda an overkill. But!! Apparently it was quite easy to use, thanks to Youtube.

So basically it’s really cool as you just have to click the audio and select “Edit in Audition CC”, and it will bring you to the software itself. The best part is, when you’ve edited the audio in Audition, you don’t have to save it as another file, simply save it on the software and Premiere Pro will update the audio!! So this is how I edited and lower the background noise:

As you can see, the noise level was relatively reduced. You can’t really reduce it to its lowest because it will create this weird screeching hum while throughout the audio. So the background noise can still be heard but it’s slightly better. Here are two examples!

Original Audio

Edited Audio

I might have edited this a little too much as you can hear a kind of weird hum in the background, but it’s ok! I’ve sort of “cheated” abit by adding a background noise in another layer, that plays throughout the entire video so that there will be a consistency in the white noise.

Overall, besides learning two new softwares which is gonna be really useful for me in the future, I felt that I’ve sort of learnt how to make do with the footage that I have and work around it, be it not having the audio or the scene I want. Because in the end, there will be a way to edit it and make it work!

Difficulties Faced
The thing about my film is that I felt I’ve toooo much content that I’ve filmed but of course… the more the merrier as that gave me more options to choose from. However, the issue I faced was that there’s so much content that I don’t really know what to put in my video.

So for my first edit, I ended up overlaying too much conversation audio that even I myself felt it was too much and too distracting from the visuals. Of course I had to consult someone, so credits to  Crystal who is much more experienced with film-making, she mentioned that I should give my film some breathing space and not add too much talking in it. Sometimes, quiet is always better so that the audience will be able to focus on the visuals instead. 

A Breath of Fresh Air
As it’s my first time doing a documentary style kinda film, I had difficulty of not knowing which scene to use and which audio to overlay it. I guess it’s a try and error thing? Another thing that frustrates me the most would be the inconsistency of the audio as the background noise would be softer or louder at some point of time and it too me really long to tweak it till my liking! 

All in all, I am really happy with my final product as I guess it’s a new thing for me and I’m really satisfied with the results! 🙂 Who knows I might fall in love with filming? (which is something that I never thought I would do)

4D | “刀” Filming Day 3

I’m back again with Day 3!!! So what happened was… after viewing my videos on Saturday I started panicking as submission is like… on the coming Thursday. I was worried that I would be bothering her again as the things I need to reshoot are the “prep” shots which she does in the morning. But I called Mdm Lee and told her about it and she was so like “不用急,慢慢来,我会等你。” I’m like omg is she a saint or what!!! Thank god for letting me meet such a nice lady that is so willing to be in my film T_T So on Monday, after my morning class, I rushed down to Chinatown and only managed to reach her shop at around 1pm+. 

Ultimately I was still quite pissed at myself for screwing up the previous shots on Saturday as I really like the content I shot but the visuals were just…. horrible and unusable due to the flickering. Here are the shots that I took on Monday!!!! It was such a relieve after I manage to shoot what I wanted to include as my opening of my film. Mdm Lee is the bestttttt. Here’s a photo with the adorable Mdm Lee :))

And somemore shots of the old, rustic shop!

The tools that she uses are all chucked into a old cardboard box.

The stones she uses for sharpening her knives.

The film shots for the day~ & I am done!!!!

4D | “刀” Filming Day 2

Last Saturday, I went down to Pow Li to film Mdm Lee again as I felt that there were some shots and questions that I still have to take. I was concerned about the fact that the video might not be consistent because her clothes will be different. But the cute thing is… she actually wore the same shirt during the previous filming!! Like OMG I thought it was coincidental but nooooo she told me she purposely wore the same shirt so that the video will be consistent. I’m so grateful because she’s so attentive and professional!!


Here are the videos that I took on that day. The weather was really hot that day so Mdm Lee and I had some mini fruits tea break hahaha. And the fruits at people’s park are reaaaally cheap. I bought 3 fruits and it’s only $1.50!!!! 

I thought all was well and I was done with the shooting. But guess what… When I went home to review my videos, apparently there was this flickering thing throughout my video and I realised that I didn’t set my shutter speed properly. SIGH. I actually realised that something was wrong when I was filming BUT I couldn’t find a solution to it and I thought I could edit it away. But boy was I wrong. ALSO…. I can’t believe I’m so dumb but, I plucked the rode mic’s cord into the wrong input -___- SO IT WASN’T IN THE MIC INPUT AND MY AUDIO ISN’T THAT GREAT. It’s ok…. I’ve planned to head down to shoot again on Monday…

(As you can see in the pic, the rode mic cord was in the wrong INPUT, it was supposed to be the one below sigh)

Here’s a gif from a part of the video. It’s not exactly clear in the gif but if you look closely, you can see the surroundings and the light has some sort of flickering, waving overlay to it. SIGH my noobness with the dslr needs to maintain.

4D | “刀” Filming Day 1

For assignment two, I’ll be continuing my > 22 series but I’ll be focusing on one of the occupation that has been here for more than 22 years. I managed to find this gem tucked at a corner of People’s Park Centre, known as the Knife Sharpening Lady. Her shop is called Pow Li (trying to advertise here) and she’s a petite 70 years old lady, and has been sharpening knives since 1970! How awesome is that? And I am so so soooo lucky that she’s such a sweet lady that is so cooperative and enthusiastic when I wanted to film her! 

But of course… before I went down to ask for permission to interview and film her, as I’ve shot a picture of her for my > 22 series (I actually forgot to include it in my publication -_-), I developed a photo for her and she loved it! Sigh I love old people (ok not in a creepy way), but she’s really friendly and nice :)) 

So, 2 weeks ago, I went down on a Saturday to film her. Of course with my Dad, my partner-in-crime who is so so so great of a person to drive me down to Chinatown while helping me to carry all the heavy equipments for the shoot. 

The stone equipment she uses to sharpen the knives. 

Some buffering machines for polishing and sharpening.

The place was reaaaaaaally warm it was insane. I was perspiring so profusely but oh my the lady didn’t even break a sweat! She also didn’t have a fan installed and she wasn’t wearing a mask while she sharpens the knives and it’s really dangerous because of the metal dust. So my Dad was saying that we should get her a mini fan after this film is done because the place is really stuff and all. And fun fact: her favourite colour is orange, I asked her about it because I realised she’s always wearing orange the few times I visited her before hahaha.

So here are the videos that I took! As usual, being the kiasu me, I took quite alot. And she was really experienced ok! She totally knows how to answer my questions and also gave me some tips on which angle to film her and all. I love her she’s such a sweet lady.

But first thing first, here are the interview questions for her.

  • When was this shop established?
  • How did this shop started & why was it called Pow Li
  • Hong long have you been working here?
  • How old are you?
  • When did you start learning this profession?
  • Describe a day working in the shop
  • How’s the business compared to the past?
  • How much do you charge per service? (well she charges $8 per knife/scissors)
  • Who are your customers?
  • What’s the secret for maintaining this business for so long
  • Do you like what you’re doing?
  • Is there anyone who is interested in learning the trade from you?

But yes. Here are some information that I got after spending a morning with her. She’s Lee Hwee Chin, and she’s 70 years old. This shop was her father’s and she started working there since the 1970s. Her customers are mostly families, market vendors (butcher etc), tailors and there isn’t much of the chefs now as they prefer to sharpen their own knives plus their knives are really expensive $$$. 

She charges $4 for her service in the past but now it’s $8. And of course… she not only does small knives and scissors, she even does the sharpening for gardening tools! Like the hugeeeee cutter. But that is more expensive and she mentioned she hates sharpening that hahaha. 

Mdm Lee mentioned that there isn’t anyone who is interested in learning the trade from her, nor there is anyone she can pass her shop to. Though she has a daughter, her child isn’t interested in her trade and I don’t think Mdm Lee also wants her daughter to take over her shop as it takes alot of hard work and sweat to maintain this. 

After reviewing the videos back home, as there’s a air ventilator near her shop, it was captured in the video as well. I was super stressed over it as I couldn’t take a humming throughout the background so I went to research on various methods on how to reduce the white noise… and managed to find a solution! I’ll post the before and after below. 

And also, I’ve finally downloaded Premiere Pro! I feel so legit now because I don’t have to use iMovie to edit videos anymore HAHA. It’s my first time using it so I’m still getting used to it. But the awesome thing is I can finally colour correct my vids omg, something that iMovie has limitations to. 

Robert saw the videos on last Thursday’s consultation and he suggested that I should take longer shots of her working so that I can just overlay the audio and there really isn’t a need to show her talking to the camera for the interview. So I took his suggestion and went back there again on the next Saturday, so stay tune for Filming Day 2!