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Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X
Illustration by John Hersey

Finessing cutaways to enhance the story


From:

Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X

with Diana Weynand

Video: Finessing cutaways to enhance the story

Cutaways are great. They add visual interest and spark to your story, and cover the slew of edits after removing the ums and ahs of someone on camera. But they'll put the fire out of your story if you let them overpower the person that's talking, or choose a visual that actually takes you out of the story all together. In the Project Library, open the Finessing project. This is where we left off from the previous movie. We have cutaways, but some of those cutaways are a little loud and we can't always hear Paul, who of course is the primary storyteller in these clips.
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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

Finessing cutaways to enhance the story

Cutaways are great. They add visual interest and spark to your story, and cover the slew of edits after removing the ums and ahs of someone on camera. But they'll put the fire out of your story if you let them overpower the person that's talking, or choose a visual that actually takes you out of the story all together. In the Project Library, open the Finessing project. This is where we left off from the previous movie. We have cutaways, but some of those cutaways are a little loud and we can't always hear Paul, who of course is the primary storyteller in these clips.

Let's listen from the beginning. (Video Playing) Paul: Here at Thanksgiving Coffee Company we've learned to focus on the people. Diana Weynand: When Paul begins talking in the second clip, we can't hear him at all. Let's zoom into this area so we can see how we can fix this best. Now it's not objectionable to hear the background sound of a cutaway when no one else is speaking, but when somebody does start to speak, that's when we need to lower the volume. So a great way to select this particular range, of course is with the Range tool, so simply pressing R brings that tool up.

We select the range, go back to our Selection tool and lower the volume of that area. Now the typical background volume is around -18 dB, depending on the original volume of the clip. Let's see if this corrected it. (Video Playing) Paul: If they could form a co-operative based on -- Diana Weynand: It helped, but it wasn't quite enough. So if we expand that selection a little bit more, we might need to move the keyframes a little bit, but let's see if this adjustment helps.

(Video Playing) Paul: If they could form a co-operative based on peace between three warring religions -- Diana Weynand: Well, that helped quite a bit actually, we can hear what they're saying. In this Kawomera sign, we hear something going on in the background and I find it distracting. So I am just going to simply drag that volume down a little bit to see if that helps. Now let's listen to these clips. (Video Playing) Paul: If they could form a co-operative based on peace between three warring religions in the world, then -- Diana Weynand: That helped a little bit and don't forget when you've got keyframes, you can drag them left or right to fine tune or finesse where the audio fades and how fast it fades.

Now if you remember from the very beginning of the clip, you hear that this sound starts a little bit abruptly. (Video Playing) Maybe more than a little bit, but that's no problem. When you zoom in and move your pointer to the beginning of the clip, you see the little fade handle, and when you move your pointer directly over it, you get left and right arrows. I can simply drag this fade handle in and notice it's creating a fade up of the audio, see if that helps. (Video Playing) Paul: If they could form a co-operative -- Diana Weynand: And you can continue fiddling, maybe bring down the middle audio a little bit, as you go along.

If the end of the Kawomera sign is in anyway distracting, you might want to fade that out as well. So it's seamless when you hear it. (Video Playing) So there's a lot of fiddling that goes on, and a lot of finessing, but it does make a very big difference. Let's look at the next cutaway area and zoom into it. Simply seeing all of the yellow and the red peaks there tells me that we're way too high. So I am going to immediately drag down into a -20 dB area, and let's see if that helps.

(Video Playing) Paul: When you see all these pieces come together, and you know that the one thing that's missing is you. Female Speaker: That's a nice smell Paul: And the story -- Diana Weynand: Now this is that cutaway where we hear the woman at the end of the clip say, this is a nice smell. So we have a couple of things we may need to do to make this cutaway work; one is we might want to fade in to make it a nice smooth entrance, and the other is that we might want to raise the volume where Paul stops talking so we can hear her line. (Video Playing) So it's somewhere right in here.

So I am going to go ahead and just drag a selection over this area, and again zoom in whenever you feel like you're crowded by the width of the clip. Now with the Selection tool, I am going to simply drag up a little bit, doesn't need to be as loud as Paul. Let's see if this helps. (Video Playing) Paul: When you see all these pieces come together, and you know that the one thing that's missing is you. Female Speaker: That's a nice smell Paul: And the story has come to you -- Diana Weynand: So that really adds something to this particular area. If you'll notice later at the end of this project, are the clips of Paul that we edited together.

You can apply the same techniques, zoom in, use the fade handles to fade in and out of the audio, drag the volume line down, and if necessary during audio breaks of Paul's clips, raise the volume of the cutaway clip. Cutaways are your friends, but make sure you treat them right by giving them the care and attention they need to enhance your story.

There are currently no FAQs about Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X.

 
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