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Find out how to highlight a cause, express a point of view, and tell a story with Adobe Premiere Pro and some essential documentary editing techniques. This course breaks down the documentary process into a series of stages that correspond to the milestones of a real client project. Starting with existing footage, you'll discover how to identify the key messaging concepts and log the footage. Then find out how to assemble rough and fine-tuned cuts, and layer in motion graphics and a credit roll. The final phase explores color correction and audio mixing, before exporting your final movie.
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 Avid Media Composer and Documentary Editing with Final Cut Pro X.
We're beginning to dig deeper into our footage, but before I start to assemble it on a Timeline I want to make some notes or annotations on the B-roll, or observational shots. We've already started a pattern with our interviews, and I want to continue that pattern in our annotations but also adapt it so it works better for the B-roll. Let me show you what I mean. For each one of these the B-roll shots I want to open up the shot and take a quick glance, and I always want to add in the description just a quick note of the framing. I find it very useful as an editor.
If I have a quick glance placed just to see is it a wide shot, a medium shot, a close-up what have you. So this is a wide shot, I'll usually skim through to see if it changes drastically, it does go to sort of a medium wide here but in general we're talking about wide framing, which is what I want. Also I want to note that, in this case, I'm pretty satisfied with the clip names already. With the interviews I wanted to change all of these to match exactly what they were from my point of view, but in this case, just to see Carp_Farm_Loading, that's fine for this, I don't need to change anything there.
In this case, we have a wide shot, but there is something very specific going on here and sometimes when that happens, especially in this case, I think we might be able to use this for establishing the location. So I'll just make a little note, but I won't make these notes every time just when it's very specific like that, something in the footage or something that I want, of course. This is not a wide shot, it's more of a medium shot so I do want to be precise. And so on, here I have this shot that's called Tour, where he is working, and though what's important here is that this is the medium shot, and that the B angle goes much tighter.
You see that, that's going to match up nicely with the wide shot. So I want to make sure that I have medium here and close-up there. Now these terms, they're not ironclad, right, there is no exact rule when does something become a medium shot and a wide shot. I mean that's pretty clearly a close-up but what's important here is you know what you're looking for, not that you match some exact thing out of a textbook. This process continues. When there is a very clear camera move, like that pan that follows the truck, I will also note that.
So this one would become wide shot pan. Just like to check them, see what happens in the course of this shot and then make my little annotation. Start with medium shot here but if we follow it through you see that framing change, we go to close-up, I actually kind of like this close-up shot and the medium shot. I think I might get two shots out of this one clip, so I'll make a little notation.
This one works the same way, so we start with the wide but we also have a close-up before the end. On each one I like to scan through just to see if there is a framing change. So here we go from medium, and then we also have wide at the end. Starts with the close-up, and then we have a pan at the end.
So I get to this one, and I really like it as a wide shot with little bit of a pan in there, doesn't start to pan right-away, but a little later on. This part here I like, that pan yeah. I think that might really be useful, I'm liking the look of that.
So in this case I want to mark it as wide shot pan, and I'm just as I'm looking at this, and I'm logging, I'm thinking that could be my opening shot. So I'm going to make a log note of it right there and go ahead and mark it good. And that's pretty much my pattern here, I mark things with their framing, occasionally with a good check mark and then if there's a note that I find really, really, relevant. Just keep working through the whole thing. So you can see that I've got into the bottom of my list just going through each clip and adding the same information.
Sometimes I like to glance at my entire list, so the shortcut for that is to be over the Project Pane and the Tilde key, and we can see absolutely everything, and I like that sometimes just to scan down and take a glance. at what's the distribution of my shots, how many times did I mark something that was good, here are my specific notes when I realized there was something really important. Here's a good example, so it's Farmers_ Market_Broll, but it's got BD in the shot. I thought that was important enough to go ahead and make an extra note, because BD is my important character.
I find it very organic to work this way, I'm not worried too much that I capture every single piece of information. More I'm trying to put down the things that I see is important, editing is a very personal process, and it is down to your opinion. So don't be afraid to inject those opinions and thoughts that you're having while you look at the footage right in your logging. It's actually very helpful.
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