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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.
There are a lot of approaches to planning an edit, and this is a good thing, because there are lot of different types of projects and a lot of different types of editors. For myself, I definitely do different things on different projects. For instance, on a longer piece with a lot of sources, I may do a more traditional editing script or paper edit, including all of the time code details for the important bites. I am also a big fan of more visual techniques, like Index Cards, which are classic, or working with a team on a big Whiteboard. Whatever the tool, the goal is always the same.
You want to find a way to organize your content prior to starting the edit, to create some sort of guideline or road map, so you have an idea of the structure before you start to execute. In this case, I want to work very simple and organically for the amount of material we have. I am just going to start by listing some of the highlights from my logging process, I am going to organize it into shots and also bites. I'm not being terribly detailed, and I'm not trying to get everything, it's just the things that have jumped out at me that I know are going to be helpful to tell this story.
So some of the shots that I really enjoyed, including that open, and also some of the things that I think will go into scenes like on the farm and prep and pack where everything gets packed up and ready to go. I think those are going to make good scenes and separately I've listed the bites, not by the exact bite, I've already done that with the markers, but by some of the ideas that I want to incorporate. In the second round or if these were on index cards, maybe just by shuffling, I start to organize these and they sort of fall into a natural order.
So I've put the order of the scenes and shots and also kind of the bites or ideas that I think will go with them, and I'm just sort of alternating here and making little notes like, this is a mini-scene or history is based on stills, and again, I'm sort of seeing a progression here. So, when we get to the market, I think we're partly talking about how the market is a place for community and connection, but we're also starting to transition to our final idea, which is the farm to table concept, that this is a full path from the farm to the kitchen, to the table, and by the time we are at Downey's Restaurant, we are really going to be making that point strongly.
And then I still have a note for my clothes, which I'm not sure about, and I'm actually okay with that. As we edit, we're going to notice more things and although nothing is jumped out at me as the best way to close this piece, I'm confident that when I continue working, I'll realize a way to fill in those question marks. The idea here is simply to apply a little bit of nonlinear thinking before we actually get to the nonlinear editor. Sometimes I do it this way, sometimes I use other techniques, and sometimes I come back to the stage later in the process, if I feel like I need little space from the edit, and I want to go back to that whiteboard or those index cards, shuffle them around again and just think about my structure.
You don't always need to do an exercise like this, but I find that I tend to, and I find that it's helpful.
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