Not all filmmakers can go to space, so editors have to get creative.

For the film Stowaway, which follows a three-person crew on a mission to Mars that faces the impossible choice when an unplanned passenger puts all of their lives at risk, editor Ryan Morrison must find a way to create an energetic atmosphere during the film’s first scene. 

Morrison’s goal was to create a philosophical exercise for the audience and the characters. How did he do it?

Stowaway’s editor found a way to create energy through a simple soundtrack and an atmospheric background through Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects

As the scenes were being shot, Morrison was on set, cutting the frames together, slowly building the mood and aesthetic of the scene. Many of the shots had to go directly into After Effects since most of the sequence was shot on a blue screen. He quickly keyed out the blue screen and plugging in a new background to keep the sequences dynamically linked together. 

This simple addition to the sequence edited in Adobe Premiere Pro is a much more energetic process for Morrison. 

To create even more energy within the sequence, Morrison added more camera shake in Premiere to create that desired level of tension.

Not only did this added movement feed into the scene’s energy, but it showed how the gravity was affecting the characters. As the sound around them builds and the camera shakes violently, the sudden stillness takes over, leaving the audience and the characters to breathe and stare in awe at our fragile humanity. 

Small elements like backgrounds, music, and sound effects can deliver the exact mode and energy you are searching for in your scene. Using Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects can easily build the mood that you are searching for while cutting a sequence together. 

You can read more about Morrison's process in this interview. Watch Morrison's work on Stowaway on Netflix!

Source: Adobe Video & Motion