Name: myT
Notable Work(s): Cow ProMode, Quake - The Moohvie

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, interests, etc.?
I'm a programmer and a big fan of Quake and the CPMA mod. I've started playing Quake 3 in 1999 and discovered CPMA in 2001. I've been working on CPMA since 2016 and its official client CNQ3 since 2017. I'm also the author of Uber Demo Tools (UDT) and Uber MME Muxer (UMM).

Are you self-taught or have you taken formal classes on editing?

What software do you use?
I've been using the following software:
- Vegas for editing
- After Effects for doing anything slightly sophisticated that Vegas can't handle
- The GIMP for image editing
- VirtualDub for various tasks
- MEncoder for extracting audio/video from various video files
- MeGUI for the compression and muxing of the final output streams
- Ozone (audio plug-in) for mastering
- Renaissance Compressor (audio plug-in) for game audio tracks
- WolfcamQL for rendering the QL demos on my first project

Also these are either by me or special builds for my needs:
- UDT for finding and cutting demos and also fixing demos so that first-person LG doesn't seem to lag behind
- UMM for batch processing Q3MME's raw output into tidy files I can directly use in Vegas without messing about
- my own Q3MME build for rendering Q3 demos

Vegas is nice to use but the bugs and crashes will test your patience.

When starting a project, what is your approach like? Do you have a specific workflow?
Because I'm going with the "music video" approach, everything starts with the music. First, I find a number of music tracks that meet my criteria. Then I'll edit those that are too long. I'll then plan which track is used when and if there is a pause/interlude between them. For each track, I create a project and start by adding markers for all musical events/sections (e.g. guitar solo, no drums, cymbals, ...). I then construct and assign the coolest sequences/clips to those music sections. The rest is then built around those key sections, trying to have "cool moments" peppered throughout to keep things fresh.

If you don't have a workflow already, you should start by defining the goals of the project and then finding a process that helps achieve them.

What has inspired you in your work? Are there specific movies or moviemakers that changed the way you approach your own work?
What inspired to start with my first project: For the general style of doing "music videos", The Contenders 2 by entik. For humor in Quake: Claw & Order and Bad Juju by 8bitlobster, Kicked and Removed by ahxnxa, Quake Lessons by c3llux

I get inspiration from all audio-video media (movies, TV shows, games, trailers, etc). An interesting thing with movies and trailers is how the music is re-arranged and edited to fit.

Which of your own projects are you most proud of? Which do you think were most instrumental in your development as a moviemaker?
Probably Cow ProMode, because I focused on flow a lot more and the small adjustments made a big difference in how the result feels. WAXED was an interesting exercise. Unlike all other projects, I had a hard deadline because it was an entry for a competition. I'm really happy with specific bits and pieces of all projects, but it's hard to watch any of them without thinking I could have done X or Y better.

There is a range of game movies in terms of editing styles and structure. Some you could call some "old school" (minimal editing) and then there are very elaborate projects with significant amounts of editing. Where do you think your movies fall? In your opinion, is there an ideal balance between editing and content?
It all depends on what you're trying to achieve and... taste. If your main goal is to show how skilled the players are and you end up with a confusing edit (too many cuts, poor angles, etc), then you've failed since viewers will have trouble understanding what's happening and thus won't fully appreciate the actual skill level involved.

I don't buy the premise that lots of editing and letting the content shine are at odds, but maybe by editing you meant "lots of small cuts to other clips", in which case I'll mostly agree. In WAXED, the seamless camera movements during quad runs are there because the pause between frags isn't of much interest and the usual way of accelerating the first-person view really doesn't feel right. Making those transitions seamless involves using tons of tiny clips: there's a lot of editing but it's all seamless to the viewer and in service of the content.

What do you think the future holds for game movies? Are there new styles/techniques possible?
A lot of innovation isn't about brand-new ideas but clever combinations of existing ideas. I'm sure creative people will keep coming up with new styles and techniques that make the product feel fresh and original because there are lots of ideas to mix and match and creators want to differentiate their work.

What advice do you have for new moviemakers?
I have some general advice that I think applies whether you're new to editing or not:
- Continuously identify and fix workflow problems. Automate as much of the repetitive/boring parts as possible (find better tools, write scripts, etc). Fast iteration times are the key to both great art and great engineering. I know it's called "video editing", but give audio some love! Read up on digital audio.
- Disable the music track(s) and listen to the entire project. This will help you identify the following common problems: large volume differences in adjacent clips, long game sounds (such as an announcer talking) being cut off abruptly, etc. Audio transitions don't have to be synced with video transitions. You will often have to make them happen a bit earlier or later. These issues are very common in fragmovies and they're easy to fix.
- Use compressors to normalize the volume of game audio tracks a little bit and master at -12 dB RMS, which is the sweet spot for 16-bit audio.
- Don't be afraid to cut/edit music. Music tracks aren't sacred. Licensed music gets re-arranged and edited a ton for movies and trailers, so why shouldn't you do the same for your own projects?

Any last comments/shoutouts?
Shoutouts to my fellow bovines and all Quake players!

To all of you that kept bothering me about Cow ProMode 2: I love you for showing interest and being encouraging, and I also hate you for making me feel guilty about not being done with it yet. :D The movie's been on hold ever since the end of 2016, when I got the CPMA source code. It's mostly done, but you know the 90-90 rule...
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