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Identifying story elements

From: Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X

Video: Identifying story elements

Have you ever seen a beautiful quilt? You've probably noticed all the little patches of colored fabric. By combining and positioning the pieces, the quilt maker creates something more beautiful than any individual piece of cloth. Storytelling is a lot like making a patchwork quilt, so it's important not to overlook the little jewels and gems when selecting the footage elements you're planning to import. As a documentarian for example, you're going to be fascinated by the action in front of you. This is JJ -- sort of moving his hand through the beans that have been picked. The coffee buds on the tree, the baby tree, pouring coffee, picking, roasting, these are the things you're going to get naturally, because you're going to be absorbed by the action, but don't forget the things that are going to help clarify your story, the Peace Kawomera Growers CooP sign.

Identifying story elements

Have you ever seen a beautiful quilt? You've probably noticed all the little patches of colored fabric. By combining and positioning the pieces, the quilt maker creates something more beautiful than any individual piece of cloth. Storytelling is a lot like making a patchwork quilt, so it's important not to overlook the little jewels and gems when selecting the footage elements you're planning to import. As a documentarian for example, you're going to be fascinated by the action in front of you. This is JJ -- sort of moving his hand through the beans that have been picked. The coffee buds on the tree, the baby tree, pouring coffee, picking, roasting, these are the things you're going to get naturally, because you're going to be absorbed by the action, but don't forget the things that are going to help clarify your story, the Peace Kawomera Growers CooP sign.

(Video Playing) This pastoral shot is delightful, it give you a sense and a feeling for where these people live and work. You're going to be talking to people as you tell your story, and sometimes you'll have a formal interview where someone sits down in front of the camera and sometimes they will be more informal. Listen to this clip of JJ who is the leader of the CooP. (Video Playing) JJ: We want other people to copy from us so that everywhere you could go, you could find peace.

Diana Weynand: That's a pretty remarkable statement and it's something that you're very likely going to want to have in your story. So if you see something that's just a conversation between people that you may have gotten, don't overlook it, it could be the hinge of your story. It could be that statement that you base your story or a story segment on. Now as you record, you're going to record some delightful things, (Music Playing) such as these men playing xylophone. Now you might decide to use both the audio and video of this clip.

So when you see that you also, or someone on your team, shot children playing on a xylophone, you might reconsider whether you want to keep that clip or not. Let's take a listen to this. (Music Playing) And you may say, well, I've already got the one clip of the xylophone being played, so I don't need the second one, but don't forget you can separate audio from video, so if we right-click on this clip, you can choose Detach Audio, that creates a separate audio track beneath the clip, notice the audio is not there anymore.

And I can now drag this audio clip beneath the sign, let's listen what this sounds like. (Music Playing) So that adds quite a bit of flavor to this simple zoom in to assign, so don't limit yourself to just one good music clip, because they're a lot of other places where you could use a little bit of music here or there. Now capturing special moments in individual shots is often done with a still camera. Well, if you're doing a piece on animals you may not have gotten a still image of an elephant, but you got maybe just a half second of video, no worries, you can take any one of those frames from the elephant, and you can export it or share it, that current frame, in any particular format that you might need, Photoshop, TIFF, JPEG.

So don't underestimate the power of the individual frames inside a particular clip. You may have captured a special moment on a clip and not even realized it if you were just looking at it. For example, this video shows an image of hands picking beans, well, you already have a clip in our browser of people picking beans from a tree, so you may think at first glance that this is not something you need or want, but listen to this clip. (Video Playing) So that rooster shot is so impressive, and so clear that it could be a valuable way to open up a segment with perhaps a sunrise shot.

So don't forget to both look and listen to your clips before you import them, to think about the value they could have in your story. If you look at this coffee tree, this is a pretty long clip, if we select it, down here we see that it's almost 14 seconds long, and the camera isn't even moving, so you might say, gee, I don't need to import that length of a clip, but let's listen to it. (Video Playing) Male Speaker 1: How many kilos do you get from one plant? Just one kilo maybe? Female Speaker: Yes, one kilo. Male Speaker 2: If it's good enough, you can get two.

(unintelligible speech) Diana Weynand: This is a really interesting history note beneath this clip, and you never know when someone's going to start talking about something or when the director of photography might ask a question. It's not a formal interview, but it might be very important information. So again, look and listen to what you shot before you make a decision about importing. As you prepare to import the footage for your own project, keep in mind how little jewels, just like those little patches in a patchwork quilt can really enhance your story.

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 · 11714 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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