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Editing is all about process. And in that process there are several important mile markers, objectives, along the way to the final goal of your complete documentary. The first of these is what's often referred to as the Assembly Edit. The idea of the Assembly Edit is exactly like it sounds. You want to get your initial assembly onto the timeline. It's your first representation of your documentary. An Assembly Edit always gets from the beginning to the end.
The point is not to work on the first 30 or 60 seconds until you're happy with it, but to get all of the main parts down so you can see the whole thing for the first time. This work can be done quickly and you don't need to be careful. You don't need to polish, and you don't need to perfect. It's just about an extremely rough assembly. Often Assembly Edits are longer than the final program. That's fine, and it's natural for your program to shrink a bit as you continue to edit it.
Some editors refer to a Radio Edit. This is a technique when they first work with the bites, laying them all down in place so they can hear what the interview will sound like in the piece. We're only concentrating on audio when we work this way. And I don't really like that because I think when you do the process in this way, you're not thinking enough about the visuals, and they basically get ignored. I prefer to make my assembly cut with the visuals and the interviews working together the whole time.
Now that we have a good idea what the goals of an Assembly Edit are, for the rest of this chapter we'll use Premier Elements to do one.
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