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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.
Once you've gone through the steps in setting up your script for entering into Media Composer, it's time to bring it in and then sync it to the associated Master clips. So I just go to File > New Script and then in the Transcripts formatted folder I've gone through, and I've prepared and made them all Plain Text documents so that you can bring those in. So I'm just going to click BD interview.txt, and I'll click Open, and here it comes into the software. And you can see this is just a 30-minute interview, and we're going to sync our master clips to this using ScriptSync.
So here I have six interview selects, and I've basically gone through and chosen the parts of the interview that I felt would work best for the documentary. So what you need to do is actually find the moments in the script that match with these Master clips. I'm just going to load this into the Source Monitor and play it so that I know what part of the script this covers. (BD Dautch: My name is BD Dautch.) All right, so the beginning and then we come to the end here, and I'm going to play and see how far it goes. (BD Dautch: ...in the community.) And I'm just going to back up a little bit and play a little bit more just to make sure.
(BD Dautch: ...so it's all staying in the community.) Okay, great! So I'm going to come back here. Okay. My name is BD Dautch, and it goes to, "So, it's all staying in the community." And I'm going to just lasso this, you can see it just becomes a light gray color, and you just drag the clip from the Bin and release it within that lassoed section, like so. So we have six more to go. You could definitely go through and again just test what section it is, lasso it, and then drag it, and so on.
I do have kind of a finished version here in the 4.2 folder, and I'll just show you this here. So here we go, we have all of these clips just synced to these moments, that's the longer one, and so on. So we have six moments synced to this script. Again, a lot of times it's the entire clip synced to the entire script, but for this we do have some sections of this interview.
So what I'm going to do is just click in the script and press Command+A so all of them are selected. Basically, you're looking for this little take box right here to be highlighted, and you can see that when I do that, all of the take boxes are highlighted, so we're ready to go. And if I come up to Script > ScriptSync, we have this ScriptSync dialog box. Now ScriptSync does not come without a hefty price tag. This used to be included in the price of the software for several years, the licensing ran out, and now it is $1,000.
So a lot of post houses will have like one station that has ScriptSync enabled, and that becomes the syncing station, because you can use synced scripts on any version of Media Composer. So as long as you have one station that has ScriptSync enabled, you can do that, and boy is it worth it. Okay, so you come in and enable the Language and then the Tracks that the audio is on that you're going to sync. And this is nice because I'm able to Skip lines that only contain CAPITAL letters, which, as you can see, are my speakers.
You can also skip things in parentheses or brackets or before a colon, so this is all set up to basically ignore stuff that you don't want synced. You can also come in and say Select Dialog and then basically select a line of dialog, and it's going to know that this indentation level is going to be the dialog and anything at a different indentation level is not going to be there. All right, so we were ready to go. I'm going to just go ahead and press OK, and it's going through, and it's going to sync those six clips to the script. Again, this is very, very fast.
You can do a 30-minute interview or a 2-hour interview in just a matter of seconds, and let's go ahead and just choose one of our script marks, and we'll double-click and play. (BD Dautch: ...certifying organization, and we grow about 100--) So you can see that, that worked perfect. Now we'll try one more. I just like to spot check it a little bit. So we're looking for the still of the morning. (BD Dautch: ...the still of the morning. It's a time, a contemplative time, and a good time to really--) So, a really tremendous way to find exactly what you need.
Again, you can use this with the Find tool. Just press Command+F and type in a few keywords, find that moment on the script, and then double-click the script mark and then load it and then work with it. Really, really fast, really, really easy, and if you have a station that has ScriptSync enabled, again it is $1,000, but if you have one station that has that, you can go for it, and it is included on the trial version of Media Composer. So at the very least, you can try it out.
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