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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.
This movie is about timing during the fine cut stage. Now I kind of hear you saying, timing? I thought all editing was about timing, and technically that's correct. However, our focus here is to look at some detailed issues with the timing and see how we can improve edits from just simply saying what we want them to say to actually singing and really working in the rhythm of a piece. I want to look at two specific spots that are important, but I want you to apply this type of thinking to your entire edit.
The first spot I want to look at is actually the ending, and endings are important and so timing will be important here. There's also a clear improvement to be made. Let's look at this last shot, and I'll show you what I mean. (video playing) Two things catch my eye right away. One's obvious, the music cuts out way too early. So while we can't finalize that right now, we can briefly fix the problem.
I want to go ahead and extend the music more than what I need. There is still going to be some more content at the end. In particular I need a callout or a URL as a graphic, and the music is not going to fade out for a while. That's not my concern at the moment. My concern is getting the timing of this shot vis-a-vis the shots before it and the music just perfect. So the second thing that's bothering me here is we have a rack focus, but it just seems to linger a little too long before it resolves itself. (video playing) It's just a little too long before it really comes into focus.
And there's a few ways to adjust this, but I'm going to start with slipping the shot, so it resolves and focus a little sooner to the transition that precedes it. You have to look closely to see the focus issue, but I'm making sure that I start out of focus and then pretty quickly resolve that focus. Let's see how it looks. (video playing) Yeah, that's better already. (video playing) Now I just want to figure out when to fade this out, and I do want the shot to linger, and I think I also want sort of a slow fade-out, because it is the end of the piece, and I definitely wanted to time well with the music.
I'm going to open up the waveform here and see if I can see anything else about this music. Let's listen mostly this time. (video playing) Okay, I'm sort of looking for an opportunity for that graphic to come in, and I think there may be a good music sting around here. So maybe I can just fade out in a long way during this section of music that's just a little bit repetitive.
So I'm going to extend that transition, and I'm going to extend the transition a little more, almost close to 2 seconds. Let's see how we like this. When you're doing this type of work, I often find that you really need to take it back a shot or two to get the feeling of the pacing, and you can't really do timing just watching one shot at a time. (BD Dautch: ...to community...it becomes a celebration of life, as well as a culinary celebration.) It's better. I want to do some similar work at the beginning of the piece.
It's a little more complicated, but I think it'll work well. If we watch our beginning, a lot of it is really working in our favor. (video playing) I'm liking the natural sound, and I'm liking the timing when the graphics come up. The one area that I think we could improve -- or at least I want to look at--is changing the timing of the background shot.
In particular, I'm interested if we can slide things around so that we get a little more of the mountains coming in, and if we're lucky I think we can get the mountain silhouette to sort of touch the name a little bit and make it feel little more integrated. Now what's going to be important here is that we don't mess up anything that's already working, and in particular, I want to lock those nat sounds, because I'm already really liking those bird sounds exactly where they come in. Also, I'm not too worried about moving this pan out of sync with the natural sounds, because there really is no sync here. We don't see anything that indicates the birds.
So that should be no problem. So with this locked, I can slip the shot, and it's going to be similar to the last one in that during the slip, I'm just looking to slide those mountains a little more into the shot before we cut away. I don't want to go so far that we lose the tree, because I like the tree also. So with that change, let's see what we get. (video playing) Yeah, I think that's better.
I mean, it's subtle, but I like the way we're just getting that little bit of interaction there. I think I want a little more. We are slipped about 3 seconds out of sync, maybe I can slip about closer to 4 seconds. Let's see what we think. (video playing) Yeah, we can work a little more on the actual interaction between the layers. We'll do that later when we look at the composite, but for now I think we've made a subtle improvement here.
And that's really the key to this movie. These improvements are subtle, but they are improvements, and if you diligently work through your timeline doing this type of fine cutting, the cumulative effect will really make a difference to the viewer.
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