Burn Notice Transitions

Burn Notice was a great TV Series on USA. I say ‘was’ as it is no longer on the air. The characters were great. The comedy was great. It was written, directed, and edited very well.

The editing is the part I’m most interested in. I’ve always loved the Burn Notice transitions. Examples are when they want to show that the characters have traveled across Miami they will show some Miami beach shots, skyline, then you pick up the characters in the next location. They are almost always set to lively music.

While working on my VLOG I wanted to add some spice to the transitions when I move from location to location. I wanted something different than I’ve seen. I love the Scott Brown Carpentry videos (you can find him here). That’s not to say I don’t like others, there are many others I do like. Scott Brown has managed to take the Casey Neistat videos and boil them down to something shorter and less ‘manic.’ I’m not dissing Casey Neistat or his videos at all. I prefer to have a lot more focus and Casey’s videos have a lot more fill than I’m used to. Scott Brown’s feel more like a documentary, of sorts. Where you get all of the information in a shorter amount of time. They are well done. Casey’s videos I have watched quite a few, they’re great. He has too much space in his videos for me so I end up fast forwarding 10 seconds here or there. Casey’s videos also serve a different purpose. They are talking directly to the viewer about something he’s got going on in his mind. Scott Brown’s are about carpentry, or being a builder in New Zealand. I wanted to take both of these and boil them down into something that fits my style better. I don’t want to copy either. I do like, however, different items that they both do. They start with a brief intro stating what’s going on, some b-roll footage, a title of the channel and episode number, then at that point they diverge where Scott will show his carpentry skills in time lapse or sped up footage and comment occasionally maybe a Chef Paerau segment. Casey shows his day or days in some cases in a bit more detail. Then they both close with some commentary of some sort and a short outro.

I like that 3 act structure (which has been commented on in YouTube a few times). What I want to do is add a bit more of my personality to that. In doing so, I’m going to add something I love – and hate – editing. I don’t like the cinematic portions of filming – I’ve always been more of a give me great coverage and I’ll make it work in editing. Specifically, After Effects moreso than Premiere. Premiere over the last few years has added a bunch of features to make it more After Effects-y in a way – like Titling can be legacy or using Essential Graphics. There are more features. [Remember I’ve been using Adobe Premiere and After Effects since October 1997 so I’ve seen a lot of changes].

I’ve decided that in addition to my vlogging I’m going to do a study of the transitions in each episode of Burn Notice as well as some of the editorial flare you see. During some action scenes they’ll freeze frame for just a moment on someone getting ready to throw a punch or a door that was just flung open. You can also tell the transitions through the show by their speed. Action transitions are faster. At the end of an episode where someone was kidnapped and returned the final transition was far slower and more dissolve used.

I want to add some of this flare to my videos as well and studying them (as well as other vloggers) sets me up to tell a story in my own eccentric way. So we’ll see how this experiment goes.

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