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Fine-tuning the edits in a project

From: Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X

Video: Fine-tuning the edits in a project

When you insert interview clips into your primary storyline, you may end up with some jarring cuts, and that's because sometimes the audio portion of these clips may be important to your story, but they may not fit exactly the way you want them to. So your job as an editor is to sell the cut. In the trade, that simply means you have to make the edit point work as naturally as possible. No worries, it's a good time to fiddle with the clip placement, adjust volume and use the old film style adjustments, L-cut and J-cut. Since there are already markers in this project, let's use them to go directly to the places where we want to make changes, and we can do that by opening up the Timeline Index, clicking Tags, and then clicking the To Do markers, let's click the first To Do marker.

Fine-tuning the edits in a project

When you insert interview clips into your primary storyline, you may end up with some jarring cuts, and that's because sometimes the audio portion of these clips may be important to your story, but they may not fit exactly the way you want them to. So your job as an editor is to sell the cut. In the trade, that simply means you have to make the edit point work as naturally as possible. No worries, it's a good time to fiddle with the clip placement, adjust volume and use the old film style adjustments, L-cut and J-cut. Since there are already markers in this project, let's use them to go directly to the places where we want to make changes, and we can do that by opening up the Timeline Index, clicking Tags, and then clicking the To Do markers, let's click the first To Do marker.

In the project, that took our playhead directly to the Paul clip in this area. And if we look at that, we're going to see a jump cut between the two Paul clips. (Video Playing) Paul: 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: If you closed your eyes that audio would work perfectly together, Paul introduces himself and then he talks about the risk. But when you see it, you realize that you're cutting from one camera framing to another, which isn't always pretty to watch.

So what we can do to rectify that is simply drag this first Paul clip down and under, beneath the previous coffee clip. What that will do is that it will allow us to hear Paul's audio, but we'll see the coffee clip instead. (Video Playing) (Video Playing) Paul: 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 now we don't have the distraction of that video jump cut, but we still get to hear Paul talk and introduce himself.

Let's to go to the next To Do marker, and let's take a look at this to refresh our memory about what we want to do. (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: Right where the marker is, is where we would rather see a coffee clip, but we still want to hear Ben talk. Let's zoom into this area, as I have mentioned before it's always a good idea to zoom into the area that you want to work in. If we want to see Ben up to this point, where the marker is, and then see the following coffee clip at this point, we're going to need to expand the audio and video of each of these clips.

So we right-click on this clip and choose Expand Audio/Video, or press Ctrl+S. We are going to need to do that for the next clip as well. With the expanded audio and video now, we can change or adjust where the edit point is between the two video clips versus the audio. Now we like the audio the way it is, let's review. (Video Playing) Ben: the American speciality coffee market. Diana Weynand: Nothing wrong with that, even the narration is fine where it is. What we need to do is to adjust the in point and out point of these two clips together in tandem.

And to do that we go to the Trim tool. When we position the Trim tool over this edit point, we see the Role tool appear. Clicking the Role tool and dragging will allow us to actually snap that edit point to the marker. Now we have less of Ben's video and more of the pounding coffee video. But notice that the audio has remained in the same place and ends at the same place as it did. This is called an L-cut because the audio continues past the video, and the shape of the edits look a little bit like an L. Let's listen to how this sounds and watch how it looks.

(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. Narrator: In the global world of commodities coffee takes second -- Diana Weynand: Now we did hear the coffee pounding drop out a little bit there, and there is a way for us to drop that in, but we'll take a look at that at another time. Let's move further down to the next marker, in fact let's click on the next marker in the Timeline Index. And that moves our playhead to a marker called nice smell. (Video Playing) Female Speaker: That's a nice smell.

Diana Weynand: I'm going to go back and select my Select tool, and listen to that one more time. (Video Playing) Female Speaker: That's a nice smell. Diana Weynand: Let's zoom into that area; this is a lovely place where the woman talks about how lovely the coffee smells. (Video Playing) Female Speaker: That's a nice smell. Diana Weynand: The only problem is that that volume is a little low and we can't really hear it that well. So if there's an audio section in any clip that you want to pop-up, simply grab the Range Selection tool and select that portion. That allows you to control -- let's go back and get our Select tool -- control the volume of this selected area separately from the rest of the clip.

(Video Playing) Female Speaker: That's a nice smell. Diana Weynand: Let's listen to that again. (Video Playing) Female Speaker: That's a nice smell. Diana Weynand: So now that portion of the clip really pops out. Let's go to the next To Do marker, this is called show Sinina. And let's look at this. (Video Playing) Sinina: (unintelligible speech) This is a very important contribution to the story. The only problem is we can't really see Sinina, we can hear her but we can't see her.

So let's do this, let's drag Sinina above the primary storyline and connect it where it was, and now we see her the entire time. (Video Playing) Sinina: (unintelligible speech) Diana Weynand: But to smooth this out, it'd be better if we stayed on the clip beneath, a little bit longer, and again as we did before we would have to expand this clip to do that. So with the audio and video expanded in this clip I can simply trim just the video portion back a little bit, which will allow us to hear the audio but continue to watch the video from the primary storyline of the project.

Notice that when the audio end point of the clip precedes the video end point, it looks similar to a J; thus the old film term J-cut. (Video Playing) Sinina: (unintelligible speech) I am going to press Shift+Z so we can see the entire project. There's one more To Do marker in the Timeline Index called more sugar. So let's go to that, and now in the project, let's listen to this area. (Video Playing) JJ: I want more sugar. It sounds like, and I think that's JJ talking, wanting more sugar for his coffee.

But just as the woman before who talked about the sweet smell of the coffee, that line could easily get buried unless we raised the volume. So let's zoom into that particular section and see if we can't recognize using the audio waveform when he says that line. (Video Playing) (Video Playing) JJ: I want more sugar. Diana Weynand: Okay great, I want more sugar is right here at the marker. So again, I'm going to just press R to select the Range tool and drag over that particular section, and then I'll just listen to that. (Video Playing) JJ: I want more sugar.

Diana Weynand: Great! So now that I have identified that section, I'm going to press A to bring back my Select tool, raise the volume a little bit, and now let's listen. (Video Playing) (Video Playing) JJ: I want more sugar. Diana Weynand: So this is something that has now brought that volume up a little bit, it keys us into some of the interaction with the folks that are sitting around drinking the coffee, you may want to fiddle with that a little bit more to get that balance just right. As you can see, on camera interviews and other sources are an important part of the primary story, and by fine-tuning those edits, you will ensure your viewers find that portion of your story not only enjoyable but believable too.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

39 video lessons · 11786 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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