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In Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics, Adobe Certified Instructor Chad Perkins explains how to take video editing from simple nuts and bolts to an art form. He shares tips for shooting video in the field to get the most from a subject and get the best footage for a project. He demonstrates how to build a project through the careful use of cutaways, pacing, and suggestive edits. He covers special effects, color correction, and keying and compositing, integrating all these concepts as he builds a music video project from scratch. Exercise files are included with this course.
In this tutorial, we are going to look at J and L Cuts and I think these are really handy, especially if you're doing interview-style work, documentaries, that type of thing. Let's look at out little project here, first. We have some ocean waves and then a surfer interview. (waves crashing) (Man: My name's Matt Bovard. I've been...) So, a pretty standard video edit, here. We have waves and then we have an interview with the surfer, and as you could see by the cuts here, that we see the video and audio of the waves and then we have a clean cut to the video and audio of the surfer interview.
And originally, back in the 1920s, 1930s when sound was introduced into movies, this was the way that edits worked. But movies like Citizen Kane changed all of that and made it so that audio could come in before or after certain video cuts. So, that's actually what we're going to do here. I have this clip for the surfer interview and what I am going to do is I'm going to trim just the video, when he says that his name is Matt Bovard. Let's skim and see if we can find the cut point for that. (Man: My name's Matt Bovard.) I want to get it right there on that D if I can.
Now, I want to trim just the video. What I could do is right-click and Unlink this, but I still want to actually link the video and the audio. I just want to, temporarily, get rid of just this first part. So, I am going to hold down the Option Key on the Mac, Alt Key on the PC and then trim the video and that will kind of temporarily unlink them. So, now what I could do is click on this clip and drag it to the left. As you can see, we're inserting the audio of the interview to start while we're still looking at the waves footage.
Now, you could kind of start to see the reason why this is called a J edit, because it creates a J as the audio comes in before the video does. And it creates a much more engaging presentation. Let's watch it. (Waves crashing) (Man: My name's Matt Bovard. I've been surfing about 19) So, you see how the audio from the surfer interview just kind of pulls us in to the video from the surfer interview. So, by the time that we're seeing his face here, we're already interested. We're already engaged in what he has to say, because it led us into what he was doing there.
Now, we could also create something called an L cut, at the tail end of the clip, where we hold the Option key or the Alt key again and trim the video at the end, and we have the audio from this clip kind of leading us out. And so we could - I'm going to double- click the waves on the coast clip and I'm going to drag just the video from this clip, and just put that over here. So, then we have the video of the interview and then the audio from the interview kind of trails out while we're looking at the waves on the coast footage. (Man: Teen years. I'm from Newbury Park, California) So again, you could see the L-ness, the L-shape in the cut here, as we have the audio trailing out longer than we have the video.
As we will look out later in this training series, oftentimes, you're so obsessed with what you're seeing, here on the screen, you forget what you're hearing but, so much of video, so much of like big blockbuster Hollywood films is what you are hearing. So, J cuts and L cuts really give us an opportunity, as an audience, to become more engaged in what is happening. So, we don't have to just hear what we're looking at, we could have the audio trail us, take us to the next segment of video that we are going to be looking at. I'd be willing to wager that you'd find this technique in use in most modern documentaries.
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