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This course shows how to build a polished documentary using Apple Final Cut Pro X and a few essential editing techniques. Author Diana Weynand demonstrates documentary editing in a real-world project, breaking down the process into a series of manageable steps and milestones. After reviewing existing footage, explore how to build and define a narrative, assemble rough cuts, and create motion graphics. Then see how to adjust B-roll shots, incorporate color correction and audio mixing techniques, and export the final movie.
This course is part of a series that looks at documentary editing from the point of view of 3 different editors in 3 different editing applications. For more insight on editing documentary projects, take a look at Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer and Documentary Editing with Premiere Pro.
What do you need to edit a documentary? Video? Stills? Music? Graphics? Now that you've reviewed the Creative Brief and understand the goals for the project, it's time to see what resources you've been given to meet those goals. In the next few movies, you'll screen, organize, and import this footage into Final Cut Pro. But before you begin, let's take a tour of the media assets and make sure you've got the categories you need to move forward. On the desktop, notice there's a folder called Raw Footage.
You won't see this as part of your exercise files but I just want to look at this to demonstrate how you might view some of the footage that's been handed to you to edit. Inside the Raw Footage folder there are three folders. Notice that there is an Assets folder, and there are some folders inside the Assets folder such as Archival, DSLR Images, Graphics, and iPhone Images. There's a Music folder with a couple of music tracks. And there is a Video folder.
I'm just going to expand that column, so we can see names. Let's take a little closer look at the Assets. The first thing you want to do is ask yourself, do you see everything that you think you need to edit a documentary? Remember, whoever prepared this footage may have identified certain items differently than you would so you have to take a close look inside each folder to make sure the folder itself is labeled to your liking. And if it isn't, now is the time to change it. Don't forget you can use your down and up and left and right arrows to navigate.
So from here, I can use my right arrow to step into the next column. So there are four folders inside the Assets folder. It seems that several of these have to do with still images. This Graphics folder, although it has some images, they are lower thirds, and it seems that there is a movie of an opening title and a map. So, I would just as soon, think about graphics as being a separate entity than still images. So one thing you can do, if you agree with that is to drag the Graphics folder into the previous column.
So now what you're left with are three folders that contain still images or some sort of image. So if that's the case, do you really want this folder to be called Assets, or maybe you want to change the name of this folder to Stills. Now, as you look at the images it's good to understand what you've got. If we look at this--this is labeled from the camera--and notice that it's a jpeg, you see the size, and you see the dimensions of this image, 5616x3744.
It's a pretty big image. If we go to an iPhone image, we see that it's a little bit smaller in terms of the dimensions, and the Archival image. You can also press the spacebar to do a quick view to look at something. There seems to be a newspaper clipping of BD, who you met in the previous movie. If we take a look at the video clips, you see that they all seem to be organized alphabetically, and that there are the chunks that begin with the same name, for example, farmers market.
It's great to know there's so many clips on the farmers market and notice that there's something that says B-roll, and then this says BD so that name continues to tell us what's going on in this clip. If you press the spacebar, you see BD at the farmers market just the name describes. So, now you want to ask yourself, whether or not you've got anything you need.
So as you review the Media Assets for your documentary project, think of yourself as camp counselor, just as you would make sure every young camper is identified and accounted for, as editor, your job is to make sure all the footage categories you need to edit the documentary are present and accounted for. If they're not, you need to find them. For this project, let's assume that you've got enough video clips, still images, music, and graphics to tell the story you need to tell.
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