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Finding the meat of the clips

From: Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X

Video: Finding the meat of the clips

Sometimes you have to build a story without a map, such as a script or even an outline. When you do that, it's important to find the dramatic action of each clip. It's not what the bean picker is doing before he or she picks the beans, but the actual action of reaching up and grabbing a bean, reaching an arm to snap it from a branch, pounding and grinding beans, pouring a cup of coffee, but not necessarily waiting for the coffee to boil, unless of course, you learn something of value while that's happening.

Finding the meat of the clips

Sometimes you have to build a story without a map, such as a script or even an outline. When you do that, it's important to find the dramatic action of each clip. It's not what the bean picker is doing before he or she picks the beans, but the actual action of reaching up and grabbing a bean, reaching an arm to snap it from a branch, pounding and grinding beans, pouring a cup of coffee, but not necessarily waiting for the coffee to boil, unless of course, you learn something of value while that's happening.

Most of the clips in this Coffee Growing keyword collection have already been selected in terms of the favorite portion, but there are a few that haven't. And if you're following along with the exercise files, this is the first chapter that you'll be using those files. Let's take a look at the clip called making coffee. (Video Playing) Well speaking of boiling water, we saw a lot of that happen in this particular clip.

So what is the action in this clip? The action and the important action in this clip is pouring the ground coffee into the boiling water. Once that has happened, then you have to question how much more time do I really need to be sitting on this boiling pot of water in order to move the story along? And in order to make a favorite out of just the portion that you want, you can go ahead and grab a selection of pouring the ground coffee and maybe another second or two of the coffee boiling, and then let's make that a Favorite.

Here's another clip of pouring the coffee. Let's take a look at it. (Video Playing) In this clip of pouring coffee, we actually see, whoever is pouring the coffee, pour two cups, the first cup and then the second. Now during the first cup, you see that the camera is a little bit shaky, as though it's trying to get its framing right and get itself settled.

Take a look. (Video Playing) In the pouring of the second cup of coffee, the camera is a little bit more stable, and then it has a nice little zoom-out to include the other cups. So you have to ask yourself, in order to move the story along, how many times do you need to see a cup being filled from the same pot? Well, you probably don't need more than one, so you can skip over that first one and catch the action just before the coffee is being poured.

(Video Playing) Now once you're actually editing this, and when you have it in a project, you may decide not to use the clip until the coffee pot leaves the frame. But for right now, what you're doing is simply defining the important action of this clip. So once you have the selection, you can go ahead and make a favorite from it. Let's look at another clip, roasting beans.

Let's take a look. (Video Playing) Well what's the important action of this clip? What we have is a man standing over a hot sort of stove-like surface, roasting coffee. Okay, now the important action is to establish the person and then connect him with what he's doing, which is stirring the beans.

So we could select just this portion, which is the tilt-down of the camera and make that a favorite. Now you might decide that in fact, they're two actions. Maybe you want to key into how beautiful it is to see the smoke come up around the man's face, and your story is about how hard the coffee growers work and perhaps even how much they love doing what they're doing, they seem so dedicated to it. If that's the case, if it's about the people, then you would want to choose the front part of this clip, where you see somebody working diligently over a hot surface.

If it's more about just how the coffee evolves during the coffee growing and roasting process, you could simply use the latter part of this clip where it shows someone roasting the beans. But if you want the action that combines both, then you would take what we just marked, which is the favorite portion of the man and the tilt-down to show what the man is doing in terms of roasting the beans. So finding the important dramatic action in each clip is a good way to acknowledge whether or not a clip has something to say before you edit it into your project.

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This video is part of

Image for Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X
Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X

39 video lessons · 11695 viewers

Diana Weynand
Author

 
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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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