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Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X
Illustration by John Hersey
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Exploring different types of storytellers


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Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X

with Diana Weynand

Video: Exploring different types of storytellers

There're so many ways you can tell a good story. When you've shot audio, video, and perhaps stills, you don't have to limit yourself to a single approach. To appreciate your options, let's review different types of stories from the storyteller's point of view. You may find yourself drawn to more than one storyteller category and that's a good thing. For example, in the timeline we have clips that put together represent a small documentary. Well, a documentarian's job is to observe and capture something of interest, a person, place or thing.
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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

Exploring different types of storytellers

There're so many ways you can tell a good story. When you've shot audio, video, and perhaps stills, you don't have to limit yourself to a single approach. To appreciate your options, let's review different types of stories from the storyteller's point of view. You may find yourself drawn to more than one storyteller category and that's a good thing. For example, in the timeline we have clips that put together represent a small documentary. Well, a documentarian's job is to observe and capture something of interest, a person, place or thing.

Let's take a look and see if they did a good job. (Clip Playing) So far we've seen what seems to be a tiny coffee tree, coffee beans growing, maturing, people picking them, hulling and then roasting the beans. Let's see if the story continues on track to where we think it may go.

(Clip Playing) The documentarian didn't disappoint. In a few short clips, in just under 30 seconds, the documentarian created a story about coffee without anyone speaking to the camera, with no narration, nothing but the camera pointed to action and then combining clips in a particular order, the documentarian told us a story because they had a beginning, a middle and an end and they showed us something of interest.

Now, a videographer is a type of documentarian. They document specific events such as weddings or other celebrations. Let's look at another project. In this project you'll see similar clips of the coffee making, growing, roasting, and so on, but you'll see some audio clips beneath them. Now, if a historian or a researcher is part of your project, or a project writer, you might find some interesting facts about this particular group of coffee growers. Where are they from? How did they come together? What do we know about them? In this particular project, actor Ed O'Neill reads the narration.

Let's take a listen to how the narration impacts this group of clips. (Audio Playing) Narrator: Neither despite nor disease can destroy the seed of strongly held hope, But to transform the kernel into the flower, To cause peace and development to blossom in a place where they had become strangers, That is a labor of idealism and commitment. And when it yields fruit, it spreads with joyful enthusiasm.

Diana Weynand: Wow! This voice over, this narration brings a certain depth to these clips. Now we're talking about something bigger. I'm not sure exactly what but my curiosity is piqued by adding this layer of information. So, a documentary could be very simple and it can grow in complexity depending on the layers and the voices that you add to the project. Now, a photojournalist might go to the same place and shoot individual images of people and what they do.

Look at this picture of this man working, picking beans, he's smiling, he's joyful. So, what if you had perhaps a newspaper reporter, they often record their interviews on an audio recorder and maybe just record some natural sound. If you combine that with these photos and still images you might have a very, very interesting story; even as interesting as the video and that's because sometimes video goes by so fast, using stills can slow down a story and capture a poignant moment.

If you combine them with music you end up with a nice music video; you've got a different kind of story. Let's look at another project. This project contains two clips. Each clip is of a man named Paul. Now, a news reporter or a TV journalist, their job is to answer the five W's: who, what, why, when and where. Like historians, they might do some research on the subject, but it's more typically on current affairs and because they often use interview footage they create talking heads or sound bites, you'll need to cover some of those with B-roll cutaways.

But let's take a listen to Paul's first clip to see if we get an idea of how that information could tie in to the coffee growers that we've been learning about. (Clip Playing) Paul: And so what was the risk? There was no risk. It was clear. It was clear that all the pieces of the puzzle were there if you focus on people. If you focus on product, then the risk was incredible, the risk was a seventy five thousand dollar risk. Diana Weynand: Well, interesting information. Now, we bring the aspect of business into what these coffee growers are doing and clearly at this point we see that it could be a huge risk to become involved and we don't know yet if Paul has been involved.

So, from a storytelling point of view this little sound bite might be what the news reporter needed to lay a foundation of the story. It's going to be a big risk. Are you going to do it or not? It's a nice setup for what's to come. And let's take a listen to what's going to come and see what Paul decides to do. (Clip Playing) Paul: You spend 36 years practicing, you know, and then all of a sudden, there it is.

And you don't even have to wonder about whether you're taking a risk, you just know that the universe said, this is it. Are you ready? Diana Weynand: Okay, Paul just settled any doubt you may have about becoming involved. Clearly, becoming involved with these coffee growers was the right thing for Paul to do, and not only was it an easy decision, it's something he's very passionate about and this single clip shows us that emotion. So, the juxtaposition of these two clips sets us up and then pays it off by sharing that emotion with us.

Now, if you're a screenwriter, you might hear this great response from Paul and decide to write a fictional story about a person, a coffee purchaser in the States who gets involved with a group of coffee growers in Uganda, which is where these folks are from. Or you could tell a story of how this woman and this man fell in love but it was difficult because their families were from two different religious backgrounds, and you can use a hybrid approach where you allowed different people to tell different parts of the story.

And no matter what hat you wear as a storyteller, stay open to the different ways you can tell your story and make sure to include a beginning, middle and end.

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