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Putting story threads in order

From: Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X

Video: Putting story threads in order

Once you've edited your favorite clips, your pearls, into a project, it's time to string those pearls together into a rough story form with a beginning, middle, and end. Sometimes the shape of the story is clear and pops right out at you, other times you need to string and then restring the pearls in different ways to create that beautiful necklace. And for this process, you will be happy Final Cut Pro has a magnetic timeline. In the Project Library you will see that there are three projects that we are going to work with. Let's start with the Coffee project.

Putting story threads in order

Once you've edited your favorite clips, your pearls, into a project, it's time to string those pearls together into a rough story form with a beginning, middle, and end. Sometimes the shape of the story is clear and pops right out at you, other times you need to string and then restring the pearls in different ways to create that beautiful necklace. And for this process, you will be happy Final Cut Pro has a magnetic timeline. In the Project Library you will see that there are three projects that we are going to work with. Let's start with the Coffee project.

This project contains all of the clips, the favorite portions of the clip that we edited into a single project. And screening these clips before, we know that there is a process to the coffee; there is growing the coffee, there is making it, grinding it, processing it, and then there is drinking it. So we already can anticipate a little bit of what the beginning, middle, and the end would be for this project. So let's go find the shots that we can position in that beginning, middle, and end order. So first of all, we can just use our down arrow to step through to see the clips.

Well, there it is, the very beginning of the coffee process. It's the baby coffee tree plant. This goes at the beginning. So simply drag the clip using your Default Selection tool to the beginning of the clip and the other clips fall into place. Well we know also what the end result of growing coffee is and that's people sitting around and drinking it, and enjoying it together. So the growers drink clip is our ending coffee of this process. So simply drag it, and of course you are looking for the blue vertical line to then drop it.

So we have our beginning clip, the baby tree growing, and our ending clip. What clip might represent a middle? Now that could be different ones, it could be pouring the roasted beans out, or grinding the beans. It probably wouldn't be picking because that would be earlier in the process. So you have a few options, it doesn't matter which one you use for this, just pick one. So let's take this grinding clip, and move it up a little bit into the order of clips. So now we have three clips.

I am going to call them hinge clips, because the story shape hinges around these three clips; the first one, the middle, and the final one at the end. Now your job is to simply look at the clips that remain and put them on one side or other of the project. So the bean shoot doesn't belong second. So just push it down the line, doesn't matter where yet, and look at the clips that remain. We have the green beans, we have the -- oh! Well, before we have the beans, we have the buds, just the coffee buds on a branch.

So move that into position. Then we have the green beans, then we have the mature beans. Next, we anticipate people picking the beans. So this clip doesn't go there. So we will put the clip of the man picking the beans here. So just continue on and put the order of these clips into place. So the first thing that happens before people drink the coffee is that you pour coffee into a mug. And before that, well you probably brew the coffee. You get the idea? So what you're doing is creating a rough shape hinged around a beginning, middle, and end in this project.

Let's go to the next project Importers. In this project, we have a combination of two people talking and telling their story, Ben and Paul, and a few of the B-Roll clips. Now when you try to put in order what people are saying, it's a little bit more of a challenge. Let's start with Paul as an example. (Video 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: Now this part of the clip, as we may have referred to before, works really well on its own, and in a way it sets up Paul's involvement with this entire project. But we can't use it independently, and pull the entire clip forward without taking everything that follows. So what we're going to do is go in and choose from our Tools set, choose the Blade tool and snap to where we stopped playing. And when we do that, and go back and get our Select tool, we have a separate clip that we just created.

Now we can take Paul's clip and move it to the head of the project. So now that can become our hinge clip to start the project. It sets everything up to say, Gee! There was a huge risk to get involved with this project, but, and the but is what follows. Now, what do we want to be the end of this? Well, is it where Paul gets emotional and talks about how important it was to make the decision to get involved? (Video Playing) Paul: In a certain kind of way, and you know that the one thing that's missing is you. And the story has come to you, and you're ready.

You spend 36 years -- Diana Weynand: So Paul getting emotional might be something you want to come out of in the story, or you might want to end on it. So if you want to end on it, drag to the end, and that sets up a hinge for a beginning, and an end, and now you would continue listening to the other clips in this project and placing them in a logical order. Let's take another example and open the Narration project. When we edited the Narration clips, we sorted by Favorites, and then edited them all at one time in a single project.

That placed these clips in alphabetical order, and the eight clips that are broken into separate clips appear side-by-side. (Audio Playing) Narrator: We delight in the smell of the brew. We drink it to start the day. When we meet friends. And at the moment, they're side-by-side, but later we may spread them out based on what visuals we want to use. So if we wanted to place these narration clips in an order that told the story, a beginning, middle, and end, we'd need to figure out which clip is a good kick off, which clip begins the story in a nice way.

Well, let's listen to the VO_10 clip and see if this one will do it. (Audio Playing) Narrator: In the foothills of Africa's fourth largest mountain, a group of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim coffee farmers affirmatively decided to marry peaceful inner-relationships, with economic development. Diana Weynand: Well, that's a pretty good introduction to this entire story. So let's go ahead and move this narration to the beginning of the project. If you take a listen to Narration clip number 7, it might give you an idea of where it belongs as well. (Audio Playing) Narrator: The farmers of Delicious Peace Coffee Co-op are a testament to this mutually beneficial relationship, which they've enhanced by adding the requirement of peace.

Diana Weynand: What a great ending, right? Okay, so grab that clip and drag it to the end, and then you would continue figuring out what's a good middle, what's a good point to come to midway? Maybe it's talking about the clips, maybe it's talking about the commerce of coffee. But what you have started is a process of putting things into a beginning, middle, and end. Shifting your clips around in this way can be a pivotal point in your storytelling process. But if that clip order is eluding you, don't worry, just keep reviewing your options, and like a complex puzzle, your clips will eventually fall into place.

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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 · 11707 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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