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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.
Many times, you'll be working with documentary interview footage that doesn't contain the best audio. However, perhaps the production team recorded higher quality audio with a different camera or sound recorder. Let's take a look at how to marry a video clip that contains poor audio with an audio clip of higher quality. Okay, so I have here a bunch of interviews of our main documentary subject BD Dautch, and if I go ahead and play this, I'm going to show you what this sounds like. (BD Dautch: ...certifying organization, and we grow about 100 different--) Okay, so obviously we can hear it, we could use it if we don't have anything better.
But I was able to locate some audio that sounds a lot better than this. If I load this one, let's go ahead and just play this. (BD Dautch: ...and 5 acres in Carpinteria that we're farming on. It's all certified organic by--) Okay, so I actually pulled this from a different camera that was on him at that time. So instead of having to edit this into the sequence kind of haphazardly, let's go ahead and pre-marry it. So this is also just part of our prep phase. So, what I'm going to do is go ahead and load this in.
I'm going to clear my in and out points. You may or may not have in and out points in your footage here, but I'm going to clear them. And then when he says his first word, I'm going to mark an in. I'm going to help myself by actually putting the Caps Lock key on so that I can step through the footage with the left and right arrow keys and find exactly when he starts talking. Now, sometimes you'll actually have clapsticks and make this job easier, but you can easily do it with a word. So, I'm going to go ahead and just press Play and figure out where he starts talking.
(video playing) Okay, so he starts saying okay right about there, and so I'm going to just step forward one frame at a time. I'm going back, and I'm just going to press an in point where I know that he starts talking. Okay. So, that's basically where he starts talking. I was able to hear it because I have the Caps Lock key on. I'm going to make an in point there. And now let's go ahead and load the corresponding audio from a different clip.
I'm going to clear my in and out points here, and let's do the same thing. Okay, now I'm going to go ahead and step forward and make sure that I get exactly when he starts talking. (video playing) Okay, so right about there, I'm going to go ahead and mark an in there. It's important that you spend the time to make sure you have a perfect sync point at this stage, because honestly, tweaking this later isn't really an elegant solution.
So, you want to make sure you get it perfect, and you do that by stepping back and forth through your footage at an exact moment with the Caps Lock key on so that you can hear the specific digital hits of audio. This is usually pretty easy to do when you line it up at the beginning of a word or sound. If you don't get it exactly right, you'll need to do it again. So I can go through all of the interview clips and do this together. If I wouldn't have already split all of my interview clips into different portions of the interview, I could just do this once, and then sub-clip it.
So, depending on your workflow, you may have to do this a couple times or just once. So, what I'm going to do is click on both of these, so I can just Shift-click so they are both selected. And then I come up to Bin > AutoSync. I want to sync clips using in point, and I'm just going to use A1 to A1 and A1 to A1. So basically, what this is doing is saying I need to replace this audio on A1 with this one.
So, this is kind of overwriting here. Okay. So I'm all set. I'm going to say OK. I have a new sub-clip, and it says .sync.01. So, I'm going to just load this, and let's see how he sounds. (BD Dautch: And we've got about 10 acres in Ojai and 5 acres in Carpinteria that we're farming on. It's all--) All right, so we have the high quality audio married with the video that it's associated with. And as you can see, this is a sub-clip.
If I burrow down into my Assets and take a look at my interviews, you can see that all of these are sub-clips because I've already done this with the footage. Okay, so it's all set to go. You can definitely practice on your own if you like. Everything is here, ready to go. But this is a really great way to associate higher-quality audio if you have it with video clips that contain poor audio.
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