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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 things are looking good on paper, you may want to get started with your Radio Edit, working out the audio foundation for each scene in your documentary. And that's fine. If you're someone that just needs to get started, then by all means do so and skip to the next movie in this chapter. However, as you've no doubt caught on by now organization and preparation are a common theme for effective documentary editing. So I thought I'd throw one more big thing your way in case you wanted to really get everything inline for your edit. I'm talking about writing a script, specifically a two column script.
This is common practice if you have transcripts of all of your interviews. Now a two-column script is a documentary script with the left column tells us what we see and the right column tells us what we hear. Now this is just one possible format, but it's the one that we'll be exploring in this course. So based on the Paper Edit we know we're going to need an intro and a conclusion and the four main scenes in-between. So you can build your two column script to include that main structure. Now let's just take the first section, the introduction. After screening and organizing all of the footage, I am imagining a sort of audio montage of interview subjects praising the main principles of the Farm to Table movement.
Then I'm imagining the visuals to basically take us through the entire movement starting with a single piece of fruit and then we'll get bigger and bigger, and we'll see the orchard and the farm, the workers, the market, and so on. Now I don't have to write out specific shots here. I mean you can, some editors do, but I just like to work with visual generalities that I can later flesh out. So I just keep going like this with each scene. Again, because I have my transcripts, I can just go through them and find my favorite sound bites and then include them in the script just pasting ideas together and forming conclusions.
Then I can decide later how I'd like the visuals to play into everything that's being said. Now I'll just quickly show you the entire script scene by scene so you can briefly see what I'm thinking. Scene one is where we meet BD and learn about his ideas and get an intro of the farm and scene two is where we get a sense of the importance of the farm in a local growing movement and where we focus on what it takes to get ready for the farmers market. And scene three is the big one, we are at the farmers market, and we not only talk to BD, but with all of his workers as well as with the customers, this is sort of a culmination of everyone's efforts to make the Farm to Table movement happen.
So this'll kind of be the largest scene. And scene four is where we get to explore the relationship between the growers and the restaurant owners and chefs. And finally, the conclusion is short, just a sound bite by BD, but I think it sums up everything pretty well. So, again, the two column script is a great idea for documentary editors that have the luxury of transcripts for each of the interviews, because it just basically becomes a matter of copying and pasting the moments that tell the story you want to tell.
It gives you a chance to imagine the visuals, but again this part is slightly less important since you can always change the visuals later. You really need to see that to make it work. So again these are just generalities, but the part where you can really get specific is with the audio. It gives you a chance to lay an excellent groundwork for how you'd like to tackle the documentary, and if you'd like to check out this editing script that I've assembled for this documentary, you can check it in the exercise files if you're a lynda.com Premium Subscriber.
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