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Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer
Illustration by John Hersey

Putting it all together: Completing the assembly edit


From:

Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer

with Ashley Kennedy

Video: Putting it all together: Completing the assembly edit

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.
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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

Putting it all together: Completing the assembly edit

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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