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In Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training, author Chad Perkins shows not only how to edit video with Premiere Pro, but he also explains how to use video to tell compelling stories. This course covers the Premiere Pro workflow from a high level, providing a background on how projects go from start to finish before diving into basic clip adjustments, such as color correcting scenes for more dramatic impact, applying transitions effectively, and slowing down and speeding up clip playback. The course includes creative techniques, such as making titles and removing a green screen background from a shot. Exercise files are included with the course.
Now we're going to take a brief look at what constitutes a bad edit, so you know and not to make those. This is one of the worst edits I've possibly ever seen and this is a clip from "Ninja Death 3." And here a guy and a girl are playing coy, kind of flirting a little bit, and then it cuts to something else, a different scene entirely, which is a little jarring just because it seems like they were kind of like flirting or kind of here. Not the worst edit ever, but they are somewhere else, and then all of a sudden it cuts back to the first couple, and all of a sudden they are embracing.
So we didn't really tell the complete story. We don't know how they went from being coy and flirty and far away to embracing each other and being really close, and he is kind of like in mid-sentence arguing with her. So, emotionally there was a huge section there that we didn't see and we're seeing another part of the story instead. So we're not really seeing the complete story. Let's look at that edit, and see if you could feel how uncomfortable it is as we go back and forth without really giving the viewer the complete story. (Music playing) (Female speaker: Brother, where are you going?) (Male speaker: To go talk to a teacher!) (Male speaker 2: So tell me, what am I? Why do you treat me so well?! Tell me!!) So again, emotionally as we cut back to these people, we missed something.
The editor did not give us a clue about what's going on. So, be aware of that. And sometimes you're given a movie to edit where it wasn't written very well or wasn't directed very well and there's not too much you can do, but that's still, again, as an editor you're the last line of defense with the story. So, you've got to try to come up with the way to tell a better story than that. Now, let's talk about jump cuts. Jump cuts are when we jump from one frame to the next and from one frame to the next it just doesn't make sense visually.
In this clip from the "Night of the Living Dead" they are fiddling with the TV set, and this guy here our main character is fiddling with the rabbit ears, and as we advance frame by frame, there is a frame where he goes to sit back down again and then in one frame he is sitting down, and then in the next frame he's completely sitting down. Now, that's totally okay, because we assume that he's going to finish sitting down, so it's not the end of the world. However, the audio is consistent from that frame to that frame, so we refer to this when it's just kind of an extra leap like that, as a jump cut.
So, again it's very subtle. It's a very small thing, but let's see if we can detect that jump cut. (Male speaker 3: Play with the rabbit ears!) (Tv announcer: As incredible as they seem?) So, it almost seems like as he was about to sit down that he just warped into sitting position. So, again, if there wasn't consistent audio, then it would be okay but because there is consistent audio, it doesn't really make sense. He kind of like warped into a sitting position, and so again that's referred to as a jump cut. Here is a more glaring example of a jump cut.
In this clip from "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians," this robot enters this room here, and he breaks down Santa Claus's door and then he enters in. And we have this medium shot of him coming in and he enters. He takes several steps into the workshop there. And then in the next cut, when we cut back to it being a wide shot, he is right in front of the door. So again, that's a jump cut. It's jarring. That's not what happened. We saw him take several steps into the room and then we cut back to him he is by the door and he is not moving as much.
Like here he is in walking formation, like his arms and legs are in the process of walking, and then when we cut back here he is standing still, almost like the director said "action," and we needed him to take a few steps in and the editor should have cut it like right here or something. Let's watch this scene, and see if you could see the jump cut in motion. (Dramatic music playing) So, again you can see that it kind of warped backwards when we cut.
Again, that is a jump cut. Now, this next idea isn't really avoiding bad edits. It's avoiding bad pieces of footage. Here in this clip I have footage of a hopping ferret, very cute. And then towards the last half of the clip he is kind of off-screen most of the way. And then this is me doing the camera work, by the way. I did a terrible job. Admittedly I'm an awful cameraman. Also too the first little part of the clip we don't even see the ferret. So, this isn't really a bad edit, but we take the chance of boring or fatiguing the audience, because we're showing them something they don't really need to care about.
So, make sure that every frame of video is juicy. As good as it can possibly be. So, I might start there with the ferret just about to come on screen, and then he comes on screen, and then he runs away, and the audience is going to assume that he ran off screen, because he is going that way and most of his body is away anyways. So, really this is the best part of this clip. We might even consider jumping off or cutting it there. But anyways, we don't want to show the audience anything they don't absolutely need to see.
Here's another more humorous example from "Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter." Apparently, he has to go out and find somebody named Wanita and I don't recall the plot line why he needed to do that, but this evil scientist is trying to get him to remember Wanita and so she keep saying it over and over, and it's hilarious. (Male speaker: Wa-ni-ta?) (Female speaker: Yes! Wa-nita.) (Male speaker: Wan-ita? Wan-ita?) Okay, so we probably could have done with one or two less Wanitas there and I'm not sure how that could have been done in editing, but we could have maybe cut away to something, as we'll talk about later in this chapter.
We could fix some problems by cutting away to other things, but this is just long. I mean as an audience member, I'm sitting here and watching this saying, yes I get it, I get that you're trying to pronounce Wanita. I get that that's who you are going after. I don't need to be told this over and over again. Let's move on with the story. So, again, only the best. When we're making our edits, we want to give the users the best of our footage, the best of the story. Anything that's extra, let's get rid of.
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