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Focusing on the rough cut phase

From: Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer

Video: Focusing on the rough cut phase

Once you've screened your footage, taking detailed notes, and properly organized and labeled your footage in appropriate bins and folders, it's time to begin editing the rough cut. The rough cut is the fun part. It includes all the major story formation in which the editor constructs the scenes and assembles the narrative. Often, once the main project goals are defined the rough cut is constructed in relative separation from the film's other invested stakeholders in order to let the editor flesh out the documentary structure. Because of this the rough cut is often called the editor's cut.

Focusing on the rough cut phase

Once you've screened your footage, taking detailed notes, and properly organized and labeled your footage in appropriate bins and folders, it's time to begin editing the rough cut. The rough cut is the fun part. It includes all the major story formation in which the editor constructs the scenes and assembles the narrative. Often, once the main project goals are defined the rough cut is constructed in relative separation from the film's other invested stakeholders in order to let the editor flesh out the documentary structure. Because of this the rough cut is often called the editor's cut.

Later in this course we'll discuss many elements of creating the rough cut. For now we'll just take a fairly high-level view of the story creation process. So after you've gone through some of the first stages in finding out the style, audience, and intention of the documentary, you should have a pretty good idea about how'd like to tackle the process in terms of the formation and enhancement of your thesis and supporting points. Now different people approach this phase in different ways. Some people prefer to loosely assemble a basic structure of the entire film in order, which is called a rough assembly, and then refine it further until arriving at a solid edited version of the piece called the rough cut.

With the documentary editing, however, because there's often no script many editors tend to take a more granular approach. Instead of laying out the entire movie in a general sense, they spend some time figuring out the general film grammar of one or more scenes and then take that basic approach and apply it to the rest of the scenes in the film. Now here are the elements that make up the grammar in which you will define your film. First, you have the frame, and you can think of that as the most basic unit.

So it's like a letter. Then you have the shot. A shot is a single continuous recording made by a camera, and you can think of that as a word. So we've got a frame, which is just a single still image, a shot, which is a continuous recording, and then above that you have a scene and a scene is a series of related shots, and you can think of that as a sentence. Then finally you have a sequence and a sequence is a series of scenes, which together tell the major part of an entire story. So that would be equivalent to a paragraph.

So as you see here it really is a lot like writing. By using these elements you're basically establishing a set of codes that become the universal backbone of the film language for your documentary in terms of style and pacing, and conventions, and repetitive elements, and so on. Just like writing the style that is established early usually follows a basic structure throughout the book, or in this case, throughout the film. So how do you arrive at this grammar or convention for your film? Well, in the beginning the editor often spends a bunch of time combing through all the footage and trying out a lot of ideas and different combinations with different emphases and approaches and ultimately arrives with the general conventions.

Finding the style by trying many ideas is both fun and rewarding, but also very challenging. Once you've worked out the film style, and if constructed the thesis and supporting materials, then you can begin building out the rest of the film. Once you've arrived at your cut of the project, the rough cut, it's time to show other people and get feedback.

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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 · 4155 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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