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Defining the project approach

From: Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer

Video: Defining the project approach

So we know we're slated with the task of relaying several important points within the parameters of the Farm to Table project, and we have a general idea of the assets that are available to us. In order to figure out our approach and style, let's take a look at some possible options and then decide how we'd like to move forward. Given our assets we're probably going to let the interview footage and B-roll tell a large majority of our story. The interviews have been shot rather traditionally. So we've already got that part largely decided for us. They will serve as the backbone of the piece.

Defining the project approach

So we know we're slated with the task of relaying several important points within the parameters of the Farm to Table project, and we have a general idea of the assets that are available to us. In order to figure out our approach and style, let's take a look at some possible options and then decide how we'd like to move forward. Given our assets we're probably going to let the interview footage and B-roll tell a large majority of our story. The interviews have been shot rather traditionally. So we've already got that part largely decided for us. They will serve as the backbone of the piece.

We have one main documentary subject and about a half a dozen secondary subjects and they'll each get there chance to help tell our story. The video B-roll as all of the primary and supplemental video footage that was shot that'll be inter cut with the interviews. B-roll can be anything from beauty shots to intricately shot process footage. We'll explore all of this later. What else do we have? Narration, or voice over, is common technique in documentaries to relay information to the audience. The style amount and content of the narration can vary drastically from project to project, but in general voiceover narration gives a documentary a somewhat observational feel where the audience is getting a guided look at the topic at hand.

Text is another tool that can help relay important information to the audience. Text has the ability to slow down a piece, allowing the audience to soak in essential information. Usually, filmmakers tend to use text more as a punctuation device where there are fewer instances of it, but it can really feel like its own character within the film. Sometimes documentaries don't use any formal channels of information relay. Indeed you can just let the footage tell the story, and that's what cinema verite is. A technique commonly used in documentaries from the 60s is truly a secret look inside the lives of others.

Now because we already have a somewhat formal or a traditional method in the form of our interviews, we won't be employing true cinema verite in our documentary, but I think it could be great to use a little bit of this technique. Sometimes documentary film makers choose to take a very creative, artistic approach to their storytelling technique perhaps in the form of eccentric graphics, cartoons, or music. Being a little out of the box can really make a documentary interesting and exciting to watch. So let's keep that in the back of our minds. Of course, many documentaries choose to take a combination of these approaches and may even employ techniques we haven't mentioned. As I said we have an arsenal at our disposal.

So we shouldn't be afraid to use what we've got. Give it all of these considerations we need to figure out how we're going to tell our story. Sometimes the technique is boiler plated for us, and we don't have too much freedom, but in this case, we do have some leeway. So how do we decide? We want to take a look at a few things our content, our audience, and our intentions. Our content, or subject, is a progressive movement involving focus on agriculture, cuisine, and ecology. Nothing too formal about this. In fact, it's got a very organic natural feeling to it.

Our audience is mostly people who would likewise be interested in this type of progressive practice and lifestyle. Also, the Mayor of Santa Barbara hired us. So we've got to try to appeal to his basic desires. Again, we'll probably be going with a more organic approach here, but we also have to be concise and educational. Now our intention is to paint the farm to table process in a positive light while trying to educate and enlighten, and it'd be great if we could also try to be a little artsy about it. So based on all of that our basic strategy is going to lead us to go for an organic film to try to match our subject matter, but we still need to be educational and concise, and we'll let the interviews tell the story.

It'd be great to use some cinema verite where we let the footage speak for itself, and we probably won't be using any narration or text. So we definitely have a combination of tools we can use here. So we know we're going to keep it fairly organic and natural, but also be concise and informative. So hopefully we now have a good approach and know our project goals as well as the tools we have to make these goals reality. Let's be sure to remember all of that as we continue to fashion a plan to craft our documentary.

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This video is part of

Image for Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer
Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer

39 video lessons · 3802 viewers

Ashley Kennedy
Author

 
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  1. 6m 12s
    1. Welcome
      1m 36s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 36s
  2. 10m 49s
    1. Interpreting a creative brief to establish goals
      3m 3s
    2. Examining project assets
      3m 43s
    3. Defining the project approach
      4m 3s
  3. 11m 52s
    1. Understanding the documentary postproduction process
      2m 15s
    2. Focusing on the preparatory phase
      3m 33s
    3. Focusing on the rough cut phase
      3m 27s
    4. Focusing on the picture lock workflow
      2m 37s
  4. 36m 51s
    1. Beginning a project
      10m 28s
    2. Screening and assigning qualitative information to clips
      7m 3s
    3. Looking for stock footage using the Avid Marketplace
      4m 27s
    4. Marrying high-quality audio with video
      4m 54s
    5. Using the Find tool and PhraseFind to search the audio in a clip
      5m 58s
    6. Understanding transcoding
      4m 1s
  5. 14m 11s
    1. Preparing a script for script integration
      4m 17s
    2. Syncing a script using ScriptSync
      5m 9s
    3. Manually syncing a script
      4m 45s
  6. 59m 56s
    1. An overview of the rough cut process
      3m 38s
    2. Making the paper edit
      3m 9s
    3. Using a two-column script
      3m 33s
    4. Assembling the radio edit
      7m 15s
    5. Building scenes with B-roll
      9m 30s
    6. Editing process footage
      6m 29s
    7. Using montage and parallel editing to manipulate time and ideas
      8m 20s
    8. Adding natural and environmental sound
      6m 11s
    9. Correcting audio
      6m 22s
    10. Putting it all together: Completing the assembly edit
      5m 29s
  7. 32m 52s
    1. Dealing with multiple formats in a project
      5m 2s
    2. Adding movement to static images
      6m 6s
    3. Stabilizing shaky footage
      3m 23s
    4. Changing and fixing portions of the video frame
      8m 7s
    5. Compressing and expanding time in video and audio
      5m 23s
    6. Repairing jump cuts using the FluidMorph plug-in
      4m 51s
  8. 22m 25s
    1. Getting feedback, making adjustments, and receiving approval
      3m 16s
    2. Creating multiple titles and lower thirds
      5m 39s
    3. Understanding the finishing process
      5m 46s
    4. Delivering the project
      7m 44s
  9. 1m 28s
    1. Next steps
      1m 28s

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