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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, by now you've laid out the entire audio foundation for each scene in your documentary. You've added supplementary B-roll to help advance your narrative. You've included additional visual elements that help deepen your story, like montage editing, parallel editing, and process footage. You've established a structured film grammar to define your film style. Now it's time to bring the scenes together and add finishing touches for the rough cut. Now logistically, combining your scenes is as simple as just editing them together.
You just need a master sequence, and you need this to contain as many tracks as your scenes do. So I think the most number of video tracks that I have is at least one more, maybe two. So I'm just going to press Command+Y twice, or Ctrl+Y on a PC, and I think the most number of audio tracks I have in any one scene is four, so I'm just going to press Command+U twice more, or Ctrl+U on a PC, and instead of double-clicking on the sequence to load it, I'm just going to drag it into the source monitor, make sure everything is patched correctly, and then splice, and just keep doing that on down the line.
You want to make sure that the playhead is at the very beginning, and there is no in or out points in the sequence that you are editing into your master sequence, so I'm just going to keep going. Okay, everything is looking good. All right, so I'm going to definitely I'm going to watch this a lot, I'm just going to run my position indicator over everything just to make sure that everything is there, everything is looking good.
All right, so now once I've combined them, it is time to watch and watch carefully. If the scenes work well separately, do they work well together? Spend a lot of time making sure that the structure actually works, you'll no doubt had to do quite a bit trimming and extracting material to make sure all the scenes flow well together. You'll also no doubt need to add transitions between scenes. Now these can be just straight cross dissolves, or you can imply some creative transitions like L or J cuts that we explored in a previous movie.
But bottom line, you want to make sure that the rough cut is really solid. After all this is what's known as the Editor's cut, so you want to show your best work. All right, so again this is about this 6 minutes, so we won't have a chance to go through and watch and watch and watch as we should, but you definitely, definitely should do that in order to make sure that we have the best product to present to the producer, the director, and other stakeholders. So also, once you've laid everything in and then have one master sequence, you may want to tackle the idea of laying in some temp music.
Most likely, you'll need to do some research about the type of music you'll ultimately want to include in the film and then plug it into your sequence in the location that you expect the music to go. We won't have time to do it for the entire sequence now, but I just want to show you the music that I am going to be working with for my temp music, right here just so you can see kind of where I'm headed. This Silent charm, here, is going to be for the first part, and I'm thinking just like a general music bed underneath everything, so I'm just going to kind of show you what this sounds like.
(music playing) And then I have this piece of music that I was thinking of bringing in at the farmers market scene. (music playing) All right, so again, this sort of sets everything up when we're talking about BD, we're talking about the farm, we're talking about preparing for the farmers market.
This is we're here, we're ready to go. It's a little bit more upbeat, and it gets us to the end. So I want to show you kind of how this looks in the finished assembly. All right, so like I said, it's just a general bed. There weren't a lot of edits that I made since it is just a background music, but there were a few, and I did kind of bring it up in a couple of places, and I just want to show you just in general how this starts out, how it starts to sound. (BD Dautch: There's definitely a movement happening. It's not just here, it's worldwide, and it's a renaissance, and there's so many people now are aware that getting it directly from the producer is the way to go.) (male speaker: I don't know how I'd run my restaurant without all these farms, that's for sure.
This is where the magic starts.) (male speaker: Eating local is the way we should be eating.) Once I've gone through, once I've made sure that everything is flowing okay, I've made my trims, I've made some extractions, I might have moved some stuff around that's totally fine, I've put in my temporary music, we're getting very, very close to the finished rough cut. After you are pleased with the layout of your rough cut, there are a few effects that you might want to add to enhance and correct your shots in the documentary. I will cover some popular ones in the next chapter.
And then the following chapter covers screening the rough cut which is a very, very important step in the process and then on to picture lock.
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