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This course shows how to build a polished documentary using Avid Media Composer and a few essential editing techniques. Author Ashley Kennedy demonstrates documentary editing in a real-world project, breaking down the process into a series of manageable steps and milestones. Discover how to define a project approach based on a client's creative brief, and then effectively review and organize the footage. Then find out how to use script-based editing methods and a wide variety of scene creation techniques to assemble a rough cut. The course also shows how to use effects to repair and enhance your footage, process client feedback, and add the film's finishing elements.
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 Premiere Pro and Documentary Editing with Final Cut Pro X.
Okay, we've got the documentary looking good on paper. We've even taken the time to create a two-column script that details the specific audio foundation and basic visuals that will define our plan of attack. We've set up six playing sequences for each of our scenes. We're ready to go. Let's start with the first scene and take a stab at putting together a radio edit. So I am going to load my blank Intro sequence here, and let's take a look at our script and remind ourselves how this is starting off.
So we have an audio montage, we have basically four different speakers talking about various things in the Farm to Table movement. Starting with BD, there's definitely a movement happening. So again, we're just concerning ourselves with audio. We'll deal with visuals later. We need to find this moment, there's definitely a movement happening. So I could go into my Assets into my Interviews, and you know try to find it through here, or better yet I could come into my Transcripts, because I am using Transcripts and look in my BD Interview, and you know try to find it in here.
But we already know through previous chapters that Media Composer has some really great searching techniques. So I am going to use that. I am just going to open up the Find window, Command+F or Ctrl+F on a PC, and because we're using Transcripts, I can click in Script Text and just type a little bit of that line. There is definitely a movement. That's probably enough. I'll go ahead and press Enter. So my search results, I am going to go ahead and just double-click here, and it brings up my transcript, it highlights the line.
Then I have a Script Mark here, and the reason that I have these Script Marks is--as we've learned in previous chapters--we use ScriptSync to basically map the spoken word to the written word. So if I double-click on this Script Mark, we have this moment, and I am going to go ahead and play this to make sure it is the right location. (BD Dautch: Yeah, there's definitely a movement happening. It's not just here, it's worldwide. In a way, like I said, it's a renaissance.) All right, I think that is kind of where we should stop, because if we look at the script-- let me go ahead and just minimize this and put it side by side-- It's worldwide, and in a way it's a renaissance.
Then I have a like a different moment kind of pieced together after that. So many people now are aware that getting it directly from the producer is the way to go. If you take a look at the transcript, in the interview he goes on and starts talking about refrigeration and how people used to eat versus how they eat now. He doesn't actually say this until down here, directly from the producer is the way to go. So this is what the radio edit is all about. It's about finding these moments and piecing them together to build this audio foundation.
There is going to be lots of jump cuts, but that's fine. We're going to fix that later. So I think I've got everything kind of--let me minimize this and this. I am going to just splice this in. I am going to press V, and then let's go ahead and find that next part. So many people now are aware they're getting it directly from the producer. I am going to go ahead and double-click on this Script Mark, and I am going to play until I get to the correct word.
I am just going to use J, K, L, and then as soon as I hear the right words I am going to reach up and press I and O to mark my in and out. All right, I think that's it. I am going to go ahead and just go forward. (BD Dautch: So many people now are aware that getting it directly from the producer is the way to go.) All right, so good enough. Let's go ahead and splice that in and next up is Justin, I don't know how I'd run my restaurant.
So again, I am going to come in to here and type that in, I'd run. Now again, having transcripts is great because you can find these exact moments. If you don't have transcripts, then you may want to sub-clip your master clips into very individual sound bites so that you can easily search for them when you need them, or you can add markers to define exactly where your specific sound bites are located. So I can show you how I would do that once I find this moment.
Again, I am going to double-click here, I don't know how I'd run my restaurant. I am going to go ahead and just load this into the source by double-clicking. (Justin West: I don't know how I'd run my restaurant without all these farms, that's for sure. This is where the magic starts.) All right, and then just a little bit further back. (Justin West: I don't know how I'd run my restaurant--) All right, we can kind of fix that later in the timeline, but I can go ahead and just put a marker here. So say, for example, I didn't have a transcript, and I needed to find this moment later on, so because I couldn't search through the transcript, I could just put a marker and say I don't know how I'd run my restaurant.
Now I have this moment that's tied to this part where he says that. So again, you don't really need markers so much when you're using transcripts because you can find the exact moment that you want simply by using your find tool. But if you're not using transcripts, markers can be your friend. Anyway, I think I have this marked correctly. So I am going to go ahead and edit that in with a splice, V. And next up we have Owen, eating local is the way we should be eating, and you just keep doing this.
So, eating local is the way, like this is it so go ahead and double-click, and I am going to build this into the source. (video playing) All right, I think this is it, go ahead and mark an in. (Owen: Eating local is the way we should be eating.) All right, short and sweet, very good! And we'll go ahead and splice this in, and so on and so forth. So you just keep following the script, laying in the audio foundation.
When laying down the radio edit, you're mostly concerned with getting it in there, but once you've done that you can begin timing it out. You can add pauses in the appropriate places, you can tighten gaps. It is a good idea to work on that timing at least a little bit before you begin adding your video B-roll, but this is the main part is getting in your main audio. Again, it's a lot easier when you do have those transcripts, and you can search. But if you don't have them and you just want to find these moments, then you're just going to be laying it in using other strategies, using sub-clips, using markers, finding those moments in a different way.
But I do have a couple of finished radio edits here and some Radio Edit Examples. I have the Intro here, so you can kind of see that when it's done, and I also have the second scene, Meet BD. So I have basically a bunch of his talking heads edited, ready for B-roll as well. So definitely practice this out, and it's a great thing to start laying in your audio foundation, because that's the first step.
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