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This course shows how to build a polished documentary using Apple Final Cut Pro X and a few essential editing techniques. Author Diana Weynand demonstrates documentary editing in a real-world project, breaking down the process into a series of manageable steps and milestones. After reviewing existing footage, explore how to build and define a narrative, assemble rough cuts, and create motion graphics. Then see how to adjust B-roll shots, incorporate color correction and audio mixing techniques, and export the final movie.
This course is part of a series that looks at documentary editing from the point of view of 3 different editors in 3 different editing applications. For more insight on editing documentary projects, take a look at Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer and Documentary Editing with Premiere Pro.
While stills can provide a fun or important addition to the story, the viewer might lose interest if you just sit on a still. Why not take the time to direct the viewer to what you think is important to see in each still and at the same time, correct something that might be distracting. You can do that quite easily using the Ken Burns Cropping Effect in Final Cut Pro. Let's take a look at the current project. This contains the individual stills we chose and placed in order in the previous movie along with the music.
But rather than just sit still on each of these stills, let's go ahead and make some changes. If you select the first clip and then select Crop, you notice that an Option Bar appears with Trim, Crop, and Ken Burns. The first Trim Option allows you to literally cut away certain portions of the image. The second, Crop, allows you to maintain the aspect ratio but simply choose a different part of the picture. And Ken Burns allows you to create a starting point with the green outline and an ending point with the red outline.
So what if we decided to start a little bit tighter on--let's call this the Director? He seems to be describing the shot he wants to the shooter. And then the red where we end up would include the director and the shooter, more of a wider shot. Now if you want to preview this, you can just Click the Preview button, and you might say, gee, that looks awfully fuzzy. Don't worry about that because that is just the way a still image is played back.
So if we like that, we can Click Done, and that particular move is attached to this image. Notice we have the orange Render Bar, and you can see in the background rendering that Final Cut Pro is rendering that particular move. In the meantime, we can go ahead to the next clip. So let's select the second clip and go into the Crop mode and Ken Burns. Now in this case, you have choice. Do you want to maybe tilt up? We don't want any of the black in this shot. So we can either start down or start on a lower framing of this and then end by tilting up and including the palm tree.
We could even zoom into the palm tree a little bit by readjusting the framing. Let's see what this looks like by Clicking the Preview button. (video playing) We may not know if that's going to work with the whole project unless you go ahead and start with that. So you can continue doing this. You simply Click a Clip, you select Crop, Ken Burns, you decide on the starting framing. For her, we'll start with something a little tighter, and if you decide that, well, maybe in fact you would rather start wide and zoom into her, which is opposite of what you chose, Click these little reverse arrows, and it simply reverses that and then Click Done.
So if we take a look. (video playing) So as a credit roll or a background for credits, you have nice music, and you get to see some of the people who helped make this particular shoot happen. Let's open a finished version. In this version, all the clips have been adjusted and transitions have been added to both the music and the clips. Let's see what it looks like.
(video playing) Still images can tell a unique story sometimes better than video.
So if you have the resources at hand consider all your options when you're editing your project and don't forget to ask the director your credit role.
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