Join Abba Shapiro for an in-depth discussion in this video Planning an editing strategy, part of Final Cut Pro X v10.1.x: Narrative Scene Editing.
- Now when you start to cut a scene you shouldn't start just throwing footage down on the timeline. It's important to come up with a strategy, and a style, and a design. Let's step into 03-01 Strategy and take a look at the first few shots that could be in our scene. Now the way the scene starts. - So, how's the coffee? - It's cold. - Did you finish it? - Now that's a traditional way that a scene could start, there's a wide kind of establishing shot as Mr. Dalton enters the room, he speaks, and then we see a reaction shot and a response from Joseph, and then we see a close-up reaction shot and a comment from Mr. Dalton.
We could go back and forth just trying to keep a variety of shots just to keep our viewer interested, but that's not necessarily the best way to cut the scene. It's important to look at all your footage and make a decision on the look and the feel before you lay down even your first clip. So let's go ahead and switch from the list view to the film strip view and shrink everything down to its smallest size so you can see it on my monitor. This way I can quickly look at the variety of shots that I have and make some decisions.
So we have our establishing shot according to the script where we start seeing some of the designs. I'm going to skip that for now, that's not one of my favorite shots. We also have a close-up of Joseph and it pans down to the table and the papers, again looking at his designs. We have this interesting wide shot of Mr. Dalton on the left and Joseph on the right, a very wide shot, and I really like this because to me it starts saying the relationship that's going on here. Again, I have a nice over the shoulder shot here and I see papers, and what I also see compared to the first shot is that there's something separating them.
In this case, it's the table and the designs. I have the close-up, but I want to keep distance. I want not just distance between my characters, I want physical distance between my characters and my audience. So this is an okay shot, but I like the effect created by the over the shoulder shot. For the reverse angle, I like this also because again, I see the table as a block and he just kind of comes in and steps out and comes in and dominates the scene. So the three shots I like to work with are all the real extreme wide shots with things in between.
As you see, we have an alternative take of this, and then we have a close-up of Joseph and his reactions. Again, I think I'm going to try to avoid this because I want some distance, I want all my shots to have something blocking the characters, and I don't want to get so close that I can read their emotions right in their eyes. I want to be able to feel it from the distance and the emptiness. So with that in mind I'm going to start cutting, and as we go through this chapter we'll see if we need to adapt to that initial vision or if we can make it work.
Note: This course was updated to reflect the changes to Final Cut Pro X v. 10.1.x. Although the course was not re-recorded from scratch, we updated each of the movies by adding text overlays to guide you to existing changes. We also updated the exercise files to work with the most current version of the software. Please watch the "Understanding this update and using the exercise files" movie to learn exactly what to expect from this updated course. Working with an earlier version of Final Cut Pro X? Watch Narrative Scene Editing with Final Cut Pro X 10.0.9.
- Preparing and importing your media
- Evaluating shots and performances
- Incorporating additional assets like images
- Editing a dialogue scene
- Adding reaction shots
- Using alternative takes
- Editing a montage
- Selecting and organizing clips
- Enhancing a scene with audio
- Replacing location audio or a dialogue track
- Transitioning between scenes
- Using creative color and effects