Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started
Viewed by members. in countries. members currently watching.
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.
Now that we've looked at our interview content in a detailed way, I went into at pass where I look at all of the B-roll or observational content in a similar detailed way. Now often these processes overlap. It's not accurate that I only look at the interview and then only look at the B-roll. In fact, it's necessary to massage these in order. So I want to look at a specific part of the timeline where I noticed an opportunity during our evaluation, but because we've changed the bites in this area, the things have changed, and we need to adapt to what's really going on. So it's this shot right here.
It follows the new bite from the chef, and it's this cash register shot. Let's watch, and then we'll discuss some more. (male speaker: I don't know how I'd run my restaurant without all these farms, that's for sure. This is where the magic starts.) So originally this found its way into the cut as a transition between the farmers market and the restaurant. In other words, purchase happens, and now we find ourselves at the restaurant with the food.
It's an okay editorial idea, but it's a little on the nose to me, and visually I'm just not enjoying this cash register shot. At the very least, we could use it shorter and just see the part where it lights up. But I want to see if we can do a little more with our content here. This bothered me when we first evaluated, but it bothers me even more now that we have another strong bite that ends with all of the magic, and then we go to a cash register. It's just not working for me. Let's go back in to our B-roll bin and see what might help this situation.
I feel like I want something opposite of the cash register. Something with people, and I'm noticing that we have this B-roll shot, it's unused, it has people, it's nice and wide, and I want to open that up and see if it might work for us. I can get this bin out of the way here. There we go. (video playing) There's a little bit of motion in the shot, which is fine. I just want to find a place that, that kind of fills up the frame with people.
Also, I think I preferred the end of this pan where we have more depth in the shot. Yeah, maybe need just something like this. I think this will create more of a breath movement in our piece. I think I want to use this slow pan back in the other direction and maybe end when those folks exit frame right around there. So let's put it out. I am not sure yet how much of this I want. I'm going to start by inserting it on the timeline, but it might wind up replacing that other shot.
Let's see. (video playing) So I'm going to mark it at the beginning of the pan, and it might be a little bit much for what we want, but we can work it out on the timeline eventually. So back on the timeline I'm going to go ahead and insert this. My music tracks are already locked, and that's a good thing. I don't want to be breaking my music track here. I need to insert so everything else pushes down. But I also want to place in this clip on the right video track, which is the B-roll video track and the natural sound down here.
So I'll go ahead and properly target and go ahead and do an insert. Let's see how this plays out, and it's definitely going to need some adjustment, and I'm going to go ahead and do that adjustment now, because it doesn't pay to just chunk something in at this stage of the game and not make it work. (male speaker: ...without all these farms, that's for sure. This is where the magic starts.) (video playing) Okay, I think this is going to work with both shots, but I think it in total, it needs to be about half the time.
In fact, I would like both of these shots to fit roughly in the time that the original shot was taking up, and that's going to take some ripple work. So let's start with our original shot, and I will zoom in a little bit. And what I want to do is just reduce this by about half, and in particular I want to see the part where the cash register lights up. So looking up top there, I want to come into it right before the light goes on. And you can see on the timeline that I'm reducing the shot by about half.
Now same basic deal, and I think it's more to the end of the shot that I like this. So let's remove a little from the beginning, and I'm not sure exactly my edit in point, but I'm also not sure that it matters a whole lot. So let's try it about there, and let's just watch this through and see if we do indeed have an improvement. And you know what? We've been working on this section quite a bit here, both with the bites and the B-roll. So I'm going to take it back a full bite so we see with the flow is like here.
I'm going to play these two bites, and then I'm going to play all the way through the beginning of Downey, and let's see if we have indeed improved this part of our edit. (male speaker: We're serving our local customers our local product, and so--since we can, and since it's an amazing product-- we're happy to do it.) (male speaker: We definitely have access to some of the nicest produce around. I don't know how I'd run my restaurant without all these farms, that's for sure. This is where the magic starts.) (video playing) (John Downey: We opened this restaurant in 1982, and in about 1983--) Okay, it needs a little bit of work on timing and quite a bite of work on audio, but I think we have improved this part of the cut.
We took sort of a throwaway moment with the cash register and by adding some interview content and also some better B-roll, we created a real moment and also a pause in the flow where people can sort of take it in between the comment about magic, and when we really go into the restaurant scene. This is what fine cutting is all about.
There are currently no FAQs about Documentary Editing with Premiere Pro.
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.