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Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X
Illustration by John Hersey

Evaluating the project for story content and pacing


From:

Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X

with Diana Weynand

Video: Evaluating the project for story content and pacing

Ever noticed that when something in a movie catches your attention, you stop eating your popcorn. It could be a confusing jump in characters, a tender moment, out of sync audio or a runaway train coming into a station. Good edits or bad, your brain tells you to stop everything you're doing and pay attention to what you're seeing and hearing. The magic to this alarm system may have more to do with evaluating what's on screen than it does with the buttery popcorn. So let's dim the lights, kick back and what the heck, grab some popcorn. It's time for a screening.
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  1. 5m 54s
    1. Welcome
      1m 20s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 34s
  2. 16m 21s
    1. Exploring different types of storytellers
      7m 9s
    2. Identifying story elements
      5m 9s
    3. Finding the essence of the story
      4m 3s
  3. 15m 6s
    1. Organizing footage into folders
      5m 29s
    2. Creating a disk image as a contained workspace
      4m 51s
    3. Importing folders and stills as keyword collections
      4m 46s
  4. 22m 52s
    1. Adding keywords to make clips accessible
      3m 33s
    2. Using favorite tags to call clips into action
      7m 16s
    3. Making notes to capture observations
      4m 1s
    4. Performing a complex search
      2m 28s
    5. Prepping clips for editing
      5m 34s
  5. 28m 47s
    1. Finding the meat of the clips
      5m 11s
    2. Don't be puzzled over your first edit
      4m 27s
    3. Creating project versions and developing story diversity
      5m 16s
    4. Putting story threads in order
      7m 25s
    5. Sculpting the story within the timeline
      6m 28s
  6. 46m 5s
    1. Trimming distractions from a story
      6m 48s
    2. Compounding thoughts into one primary story project
      9m 52s
    3. Evaluating the project for story content and pacing
      7m 1s
    4. Fine-tuning the edits in a project
      7m 36s
    5. Refining the primary sound bed
      7m 55s
    6. Organizing separate story segments into independent storylines
      6m 53s
  7. 24m 11s
    1. Storyboarding a narrative script using placeholders
      7m 22s
    2. Recording a narration track to explore script ideas
      4m 40s
    3. Changing pitch in a temporary narration track to identify different characters
      5m 27s
    4. Adding sound effects to create depth
      6m 42s
  8. 41m 2s
    1. Embellishing the story with cutaways to B-roll footage
      9m 3s
    2. Finessing cutaways to enhance the story
      5m 3s
    3. Editing and arranging a still-image storyline
      6m 22s
    4. Applying the Ken Burns effect to still images
      6m 33s
    5. Altering your story's "look" using the Color Board
      8m 4s
    6. Applying effects to enhance story elements
      5m 57s
  9. 28m 57s
    1. Retiming to lengthen or shorten music and clips
      6m 48s
    2. Adding freeze frames to end or start sections
      6m 40s
    3. Video finishing touches
      8m 6s
    4. Audio finishing touches
      7m 23s
  10. 1m 7s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 7s

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Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X
3h 50m Intermediate Feb 01, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Dive into narrative with Diana Weynand, as she shares a comprehensive method for finding, crafting, and developing a compelling story in Apple Final Cut Pro X. The course also covers key concepts such as building a primary storyline, evaluating content and pacing, trimming distracting clips, creating different story versions, and storyboarding. The course also explores how to capture and organize media, incorporate B-roll cutaways, apply the Ken Burns effect to still images, re-time music and clips, and add finishing touches.

Topics include:
  • Identifying story elements
  • Finding the essence of a story
  • Importing folders and stills as keyword collections
  • Using keywords to make clips accessible
  • Prepping clips for editing
  • Developing story diversity
  • Sculpting the story within the timeline
  • Fine-tuning edits
  • Organizing separate story segments into independent storylines
  • Recording a narration track
  • Adding sound effects
  • Applying effects to enhance story elements
  • Adding freeze frames
Subjects:
Video Video Editing
Software:
Final Cut Pro
Author:
Diana Weynand

Evaluating the project for story content and pacing

Ever noticed that when something in a movie catches your attention, you stop eating your popcorn. It could be a confusing jump in characters, a tender moment, out of sync audio or a runaway train coming into a station. Good edits or bad, your brain tells you to stop everything you're doing and pay attention to what you're seeing and hearing. The magic to this alarm system may have more to do with evaluating what's on screen than it does with the buttery popcorn. So let's dim the lights, kick back and what the heck, grab some popcorn. It's time for a screening.

In the Project Library let's open the 05-03_Coffee Composite project. In this project you'll see the familiar coffee clips, but when you skim through the project you'll notice that there are other clips of Ben and Paul talking, of JJ, and in the timeline you see narration flips and you Sinina, well you see Sinina's clip but you don't see Sinina on screen. What we want to do is kick back, literally, and see whether or not this current combination of clips tells a story that you want to tell.

And sometimes, as I mentioned, it's helpful to really look at this in a different way. The first thing you can do is go to the Full Screen mode, by clicking this Full Screen button in the Viewer. (Video Playing) Narrator: In the foothills of Africa's fourth -- Diana Weynand: What that does is it brings the project to Full Screen mode. If you're not at the beginning of the project, press the Home key, Home and End will take you to the beginning and end of the project. You can also use your down arrow and up arrow to step through clip by clip.

And you can use your J-K-L keys. (Video Playing) So whatever you need to do to get through the project, stop, back it up, go slower, you've got those tools or those keystrokes to do it. So now if we press the Home key it will take us back to the beginning, and I wasn't kidding, I really do want you to physically move your chair back further than where you usually sit to edit. If you're like me, you're right in front of that monitor, but this is a great time to literally push your chair back a little bit further, you've got the full screen and look at your project.

It'll give you a different perspective from the one you have when you're up close and personal in Editing mode. So what you want to do is play the project all the way through, just watch and evaluate. (Video Playing) Narrator: In the foothills of Africa's fourth largest mountain, a group of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim coffee farmers affirmatively decided to marry peaceful inner-relationships, with economic development. Diana Weynand: As you watch, find those popcorn moments, where you stop eating, or where you want to lean in a little bit more.

They could be good edits or bad. (Video Playing) JJ: We want other people to copy from us so that everywhere you could go, you could find peace. We want that. Diana Weynand: This is a good time to allow yourself to react to things, react to the timing, react to the choice of clips, react to what people are saying. But you don't have to do anything about it just yet, just make a mental note. (Video Playing) (Video Playing) Ben: Here at Thanksgiving Coffee Company we've learned to focus on the people. If you focus on product, then the risk was incredible, the risk was a seventy five thousand dollar risk.

Diana Weynand: So as you can see there were few things that may jumped out at you, I happened to notice the cut between one Paul and another Paul. That's what we call a jump cut, because we are cutting from one framing to another. His audio sounds great, but we are going to need to fix that. Now I am going to press Escape to get out of this screening mode and dive back into thinking about what we might want to fix. Now don't forget I did suggest to screen the entire project several times. After you have screened it a few times you can come back out and you can make notes.

And if you want to use the markers as we have shown in the past, you can do that, or you can just step in and write notes down or whatever you need to do to indicate where you want to make changes. Since we are parked right here on the Paul clip, I am going to go ahead and press M, and press M again to add a marker, and I'm going to say, add cutaway. That cutaway will help cover the jump cut. And I am going to make that a To Do Item. Were there any places that were confusing to you? Were there places where you wanted to change what you were seeing? Let's look at this clip of Ben.

(Video Playing) Ben: We worked really closely with the farmers to help them develop this co-operative as a business, and to learn about the American speciality coffee market. Diana Weynand: Continue screening and evaluating for content and pacing in your project. In the clip Ben 1, you might feel that we're staying too long on the clip and might feel a need or desire to head back visually to one of the coffee growers. Let's take a look. (Video Playing) Ben: We worked really closely with the farmers to help them develop this co-operative as a business, and to learn about the American speciality coffee market.

Diana Weynand: Let's listen to that again and find a place where we might want to stop and cut back. I'm going to zoom into this area, so that we can get a better view looking at the audio waveform. (Video Playing) Ben: We worked really closely with the farmers to help them develop this co-operative as a business -- Diana Weynand: Well, right here that's a complete thought. It might be a nice place to cut back to one of the coffee clips, so just press M to set a marker, and M again and we'll name this, cut out of video here. That's what you think you would like to do.

Doesn't mean you have to end up doing it, but at least you're translating your reactions into notes that you can then go through and follow-up on. I am going to press Shift+Z to come back out. It's good to go in when you're working and come back out when you need that bird's eye perspective. And let's continue looking at or skimming through this project. For example, I see a clip further down of Sinina and I think she says something important, let's listen to what she says. (Video Playing) Sinina: (unintelligible speech) Diana Weynand: Well, that's a very interesting thought and a nice contribution to the story, only problem is we don't see her.

So another note you could place at this point in the project is simply to, see Sinina. Okay, make that a To Do marker. There were a few other places in the project where for example the woman who is grinding to coffee with the stone, says how good the coffee smells. Let's listen. (Video Playing) Female Speaker: That's a nice smell. Diana Weynand: It may be that at this volume you can't really hear that, and it may be that you'd like to raise the volume of this portion of the audio, no problem.

Just skim to that location, set a marker, and give yourself a note of what you'd like to do, raise volume, and you're ready to go. Taking a break to simply watch your emerging story is not only fun, especially if popcorn is involved, but it's an important stage in evaluating your story for content and pacing.

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