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Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer

Focusing on the preparatory phase


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Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer

with Ashley Kennedy

Video: Focusing on the preparatory phase

Because of the nature of documentaries you can often end up with hundreds of hours of footage and unless the footage was shot with a specific script in mind you're often carving through all this material to extract and shape the best and clearest story. Remember, in a documentary thousands of stories can exist, and it's up to you to find the best story for your purposes. So in order to set yourself up for the most success you'll need to prepare well. Let's take a closer look at the preparatory phase. Early on it's beneficial if you can meet with the producer and director so you can gain initial insight into the film's flow as well as be available to consult with on topics relating to the post-production schedule and budget.
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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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Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer
3h 16m Intermediate Sep 26, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Interpreting a creative brief
  • Exploring the documentary postproduction process
  • Organizing footage and using searching techniques
  • Setting up and using digital transcripts
  • Building sequences and scenes to form the rough cut
  • Adding effects to repair and enhance footage
  • Fine-tuning the sequence to reach picture lock
  • Receiving feedback
  • Finishing the film with titles, color correction, and professional audio
Subjects:
Video Video Editing Projects
Software:
Media Composer
Author:
Ashley Kennedy

Focusing on the preparatory phase

Because of the nature of documentaries you can often end up with hundreds of hours of footage and unless the footage was shot with a specific script in mind you're often carving through all this material to extract and shape the best and clearest story. Remember, in a documentary thousands of stories can exist, and it's up to you to find the best story for your purposes. So in order to set yourself up for the most success you'll need to prepare well. Let's take a closer look at the preparatory phase. Early on it's beneficial if you can meet with the producer and director so you can gain initial insight into the film's flow as well as be available to consult with on topics relating to the post-production schedule and budget.

It's good to also be aware of all the assets coming in from the production team and determine how much you will need to acquire and create on your own. You'll also need to start planning the distribution requirements. The research stage is an important part that you should not overlook. Without a clear script, you will need to spend time figuring out the story's thesis or main idea. You will need to determine how you'll be able to support this thesis, and you'll need to ask yourself serious questions about your documentary's audience. Additionally, you will need to work to construct a style, and you will need to see what tools and assets you have that can help you achieve your goals.

Now technically, you will need to be aware of all media formats, types, and frame rates that will be used to assemble the documentary. With documentaries, you'll often be working with a plethora of material of all different types. So it's good to know this information sooner rather than later. You'll also need to make decisions regarding the use of hardware and software in the post-production workflow, and you will need to figure out what you already have and what you need to buy or rent. You will also need to go through all your material and log all applicable shots.

Use the production crew's production notes and take plenty of notes yourself. Occasionally, you will get the chance to screen the material with the director, which is nice so you can establish a link to the vision of the project. During this process, you will ideally boil down the footage to 30% to 50% of its entirety to make selects. Essentially, you are mentally carving out the material that you think you'll need even if you choose to capture it all. You should however appreciate your role of objectivity as the person who was not in the field.

Detach yourself from the footage and judge it as the person who is delivering the product to the audience. Before capturing devise a precise labeling and logging scheme. If you're editing for a post house, there's most likely a naming scheme already in place. Perhaps the most common method is to devise a code that involves both the name of the show and the number of the tape or digital file for that show. Once the material is in your project organize it into content and subject specific bins. Also, add custom information to your clips, like rating, quality, description, and composition so that you can easily find clips based on qualitative data.

Remember, hunting and pecking through hundreds of hours of material is not good for the creative process. By the time you found what you're looking for the magic is gone, and you've lost your momentum. Finally, if you have scripts or transcripts, import them and then link your master clips to them using Script Integration. As you can see, there is an awful lot of things you need to figure out before you make your first edit. Indeed, organization of documentary projects is absolutely critical in order to maintain creative momentum and to tell the best possible story.

There are currently no FAQs about Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer.

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