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Screening and assigning qualitative information to clips

From: Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer

Video: Screening and assigning qualitative information to clips

When editing a documentary, screening is so important because it allows the editor to emerge into a world where stories can literally jump from the footage. Indeed, it is in this story carving process where the ability to find specific moments is crucial, but unfortunately not everyone has the memory of a steel trap. Often you need help, and that's where appropriately tagging your footage becomes such an important part of organizing your project. Okay. So I'm in a project, and I have gone through, and let's look in our Assets folder.

Screening and assigning qualitative information to clips

When editing a documentary, screening is so important because it allows the editor to emerge into a world where stories can literally jump from the footage. Indeed, it is in this story carving process where the ability to find specific moments is crucial, but unfortunately not everyone has the memory of a steel trap. Often you need help, and that's where appropriately tagging your footage becomes such an important part of organizing your project. Okay. So I'm in a project, and I have gone through, and let's look in our Assets folder.

I've organized it into basic categories, which is what my bins are named. And inside each one of these bins are the clips and they are appropriately named. And I have some other information here, which is really going to help me out, because it's information about how much I like the clip, and its information about the Shot Composition, and its information about what type of footage it is. We'll talk about Process Footage later. So this is really great. It gives the clips more depth and more searchable data, and so we are going to figure out how to actually add this custom information.

All right, so if I drill down into exercise files and go to Chapter 3, 3.2 is an exact replica of the bin we just saw. So, this is an exact replica of the farm picking and pruning. Okay? But as you can see, here, we don't really have any information yet. You might have something that has a bunch of information about the clips. In fact, if you come into the Fast menu and go to Choose Columns, there is over 100 pieces of data that you can add about all of your clips.

So it can be really, really overwhelming, all of the quantitative data that's available. But it's really through the qualitative data, again, how much you like it, the shot composition, description, keywords, that sort of thing that you can really dig deep and see what the clips are all about. So, depending on what you have here, we are going to just go to Custom, and that should clear it all out. And you can just click up here, and just type Rating.

And you can also type Shot Composition, and it actually cuts you off after a few letters. I am just going to do Shot Comp. And again, we'll talk about Process Footage later. But we have some columns here that are of interest to us, and you can literally just start typing in here. So, if you go through, and you can do this while you're screening, or you can do it later once you've gone through, and you have named all of your clips, you can come through and add this data. I usually do it while I am screening, I'll just name it, and I'll see how much I like it.

All right, so you can come in here, and I think this is going to be useful because I think that these first three have him picking the lettuce in various focal lengths. So, that's very helpful. So I can come in here, and maybe, I like all three of those three stars, and a starred system is very useful as we will find out later. But you can just go through, and if you want to have a shortcut, if you go through, and you know that maybe all of these get three stars, you can actually right-click in the bin, and you can say Set Rating column for selected clips.

And this is going to change based on what column you click in. I can just put three stars, and they all get added at once. Also, if you--let me just give it a couple more values here--if I then Option-click or Alt-click on a PC, the values kind of come up, and I can really quickly choose them. So, if you go through all of this, this is really useful in assigning this qualitative data to your clips. I'm going to just close this out. But feel free to go through yourself and assign this data.

But we have kind of an identical bin in Farm Picking_Pruning. And here we have it all assigned, and it doesn't take a lot of time to do. Again, if you do it during the screening process, it's just a little bit of extra time, and then if I come up here, and I double-click or double-click again, it's going to sort based on alphanumeric order. So, you can kind of see that it's sorting back and forth through the alphabet. But you can also sort based on rating. So, if I double-click here, I guess all of the worst shots are at the top.

But you can do it again to get all the best shots, and same thing here, kind of grouped together, all the clips based on your shot composition, and so on. So, sorting is great. You can also right-click and Sort on Column, Ascending or Descending. But I think the real power comes in sifting this data. So, if I come to my Fast menu, and go to Custom Sift, I have the ability to drill down pretty deep. So if I want to just bring forth all of my three-star clips and four-star because it contains three-stars--contains means that four-star clips also contain three-stars-- and I will go ahead and move this out of the way, and I apply, it filtered out the clips that were not three-stars.

And I just put the footage that was useful to me into these bins, so most of the footage is three-stars or more. Now, I just want to find all of my three-star medium shots. So, I want all of the shots that are at least three stars and medium shot, and I can come in and like tell it exactly what column to look in. So, Shot Composition, and I'll say apply that. Now, I want all of the best medium shots, Process Footage Shots. So, I'll come in here and just type Y in the Process Footage category and apply that, and we are really, really drilling deep, so we can figure out exactly what we have and not have to search through it.

And a lot of times, you'll have bins with many, many more clips in it than this. If I wanted to cast my net wider, I could come down here, and I could say all of my three-star and Long Shot Process Footage. There we go, that should do it. And there we go. So basically, this will cast the net wider, basically we are performing an And search because it has to meet this criteria and this criteria and this criteria.

And we are also performing an Or search, because we're saying 'or' meet this criteria, and this criteria, and this criteria. So, this allows us to really get exactly what we want, but it does rely upon the fact that we've gone through and put in this custom data in the first place. So, my advice here is not to skimp on this step. I would say that most documentary editors will tell you that frontloading your prep on a documentary project will ultimately result with a good payoff.

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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 · 3784 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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