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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 have gone through and organized your entire project, you may still find that it might be difficult to find what you need. However, if you've taken the time up front to intelligently name your clips as well as add custom data to your clips, you will be in luck when you need to find exactly what you are looking for. That's because Media Composer contains a really nice Find tool which has capabilities to search for both the written and spoken word. So you can find the Find tool from the Edit menu or just press Command+F, and up here at the top is where you're going to put in your initial Search criteria.
Before you do that, however, you want to look down here in the Bin Index, and if you use PhraseFind, which we'll take a look at in a second, you want to make sure that these are fully green. When you open up a project for the first time, it actually has to go through all of your bins and analyze all of the clips and get it all logged, it might take a little bit of time, same thing for PhraseFind, it actually goes through and analyzes the spoken word, so that might take a little time as well. You will also want to make sure that you have the appropriate language selected. So if you come up here and put in your first search criteria, for example, let's say we want to find a clip that I was looking at the other day, and it's of BD, the documentary's subject and talking to his friend Jonathan.
So I am just going to type in BD, and right now we just want to press Find, and you can see here that it found 59 instances of BD. So I can go through and try to find the one that mentions Jonathan as well, or just come right down in here and filter it further, and I am just going to type Jonathan, and you can see that I've got it, it automatically filters it. So it found 59 and then ultimately came up with one result.
I cannot drag this anywhere. This is just a result list. So it's not like you can use this to bring footage from bin to bin, but what you can do is load this into the Source Monitor and here we go, okay. So basically, Find is pretty easy. You could also filter on a specific column, if you wanted to make sure that you were searching for columns of information that you input or one of Avid's own columns, you can certainly dictate that in this pulldown menu.
Okay, so that's the Find tool, it's fairly intuitive. Right now we are looking through Clips and Sequences, which means that we're looking for all of the clips and sequences in our Bins. We are going to take a look at Script Text later where we actually import digital scripts and search for words on those scripts, and we'll also take a look at Timeline and Monitors later, once we have actually edited something and have something in our Timeline. But I do want to also go over the PhraseFind. Now PhraseFind is $500.
So it's an extra $500, but it sometimes just can make or break your experience, especially with documentary editing. So it actually will go in and analyze the spoken word. So that's really great if you don't have the money to send a way to do transcripts, you can actually have Media Composer go in, analyze every clip, and when you put in a keyword here, it's going to bring up the moments in all of those clips that match that keyword. Let's go ahead and say that we want to find some clips where they're talking about Santa Barbara.
We really want to focus in on the parts of the documentary where we're talking about how Santa Barbara is the up-and-coming region for farmers markets, so I'm going to just type in Santa Barbara, and this time I am going to press PhraseFind. So, it's going to go through and find all of the instances in which it found Santa Barbara being spoken, and you can see that there is only two. Now look, here it says Found: 68, after filtering: 2.
The reason for that is because Jonathan is still in here. So we want to take him out, so he says Santa Barbara twice--ah, here we go. So here we have all 68 results of people saying Santa Barbara, and if you take a look in this column here, the Score column, this is basically Media Composer's guarantee that it got it right. So here it says that I'm about 98% sure that right now he's saying Santa Barbara. So if I go ahead and load this, let's just check it out.
(BD Dautch: ...Santa Barbara, the first one--) Yup, that worked out fine, and I'll keep going. (BD Dautch: ...the Santa Barbara, the first one--) And that actually is from the same moment, and you can kind of go down. (BD Dautch: ...Santa Barbara market--) All right, so I would say that pretty much anything above 80% is really, really accurate. If we come down here, let's just pick something more towards the cusp. Let's do here 81% sure that this says Santa Barbara. (BD Dautch: ...Santa Barbara, a slow growth area--) Yeah, so pretty good. And let's pick something way down the list.
(BD Dautch: ...come to the market, rather than--) See, didn't exactly work there. So my experience is that if you pick from the top of the lot there, it will work out really well. And again, this is really, really nice if you don't have the opportunity to send away for transcripts and match your Master clips to your transcripts. This is really great because you can sift through the spoken word, and it's doing that for you. So both Find and PhraseFind are tremendous time-saving tools when you need to immediately find a specific shot of B-roll or that perfect sound bite.
I really think you'll find that you use them often, especially in documentary projects like Farm to Table.
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