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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 Premiere Pro and Documentary Editing with Final Cut Pro X.
- Interpreting a creative brief
- Exploring the documentary postproduction process
- Organizing footage and using searching techniques
- Setting up and using digital transcripts
- Building sequences and scenes to form the rough cut
- Adding effects to repair and enhance footage
- Fine-tuning the sequence to reach picture lock
- Receiving feedback
- Finishing the film with titles, color correction, and professional audio
Skill Level Intermediate
When all finishing stages of the post-production process are complete, you're going to need to reassemble your finished elements in a new master sequence. Then you've got to deliver the sequence to the specifications needed. And really, these delivery requirements are so important to the post-production process, so most good editors find this information out early as it can certainly influence your entire workflow. Now, delivery requirements run the gamut, depending on who you're delivering the product for and what they're going to do with it. You might need to deliver a high-resolution file.
If this is the case, you need to research the format and codec information that the file needs to be delivered at. Or you might need to deliver a master tape. Again, you'll need to research format and codec information, as well as tape stock requirements, as well as leader requisites, like your bars and tone and slate and countdown. Or you might have to prepare your project for a full online edit. This is where you deliver the Avid project folder, along with the Avid media files folder for someone else to perform an online edit.
And again, you'll need to do all necessary research for how you should deliver these project elements. So just a little explanation about this process, when you're working with low-res files, you're essentially doing the offline edit, making all of the decisions about how the sequence will be edited. When you've reached picture lock, the low-res files will either need to be relinked to already existing high-res files, or the sequence will need to be decomposed and then recaptured or re-imported at a higher resolution. If this is the case, then you would need to wait on the color correction phase until this was done, then the high-res files would be color corrected and then ready for delivery.
Now, it's impossible to go through all of these various scenarios for final delivery, but I'll just take you on a very high level set of options that you may be presented with. Ultimately however, it's up to you to do that technical research upfront to see how the product should be delivered. All right, so here I am in Media Composer, I have my final sequence, it has its final audio mix, as well its color corrected video, I'm ready to deliver. Now, I cover both exporting files and printing to tape in my Media Composer Essentials course. If you'd like a step-by-step process of delivering a product using one of these methods, please check out that course.
So just very quickly however, if I want to export a file, I would right-click on my sequence and choose Export, and then if I wanted to export, for example, a QuickTime movie, I would select that under Export settings. And then under Options I would match up these options to my delivery requirements. A lot of times you choose Custom, Format Options, and then under Video Settings you choose the codec that you need to deliver at, and there are other options as well. We won't go through all of this, there's lots of things to choose, but ultimately you need to make sure that it matches your deliver requirements. And again, if you need that step-by-step process just check out the Essentials course.
If I wanted to deliver a master tape, I would do that through the Digital Cut tool, which is in my Output menu. And again, this process is laid out step-by-step in that Essentials course. As you can see, I don't have a deck connected, so I can't go through this process. But as you can see, there are a lot of options that you need to choose in order to optimize your Digital Cut experience. Now, that last method I mentioned is something that I haven't covered in another course, and that's preparing a sequence for an online edit. Let me just briefly show you the files you'll probably be asked to deliver for an online edit.
On my drive here I have my Avid Projects folder. And again, this is the project where all of my bins are contained, and inside those bins are all of the clips and all of the sequences that define the decisions that I've made in putting together this documentary. So I'll definitely need to deliver my Project folder. I'll also want to deliver my Avid MediaFiles folder. In this case it's the low-res version of the files that I have been editing, and I want to deliver that so that the online editor can make sure that the online edit visually matches the offline edit.
So at the very least I need to deliver Avid MediaFiles as well as Avid Projects, and then any other files that I use that they don't have, I also want to provide those as well, like Images and Titles and Effects and all of that sort of thing. Back in Media Composer I want to take a look at a couple of things. Now, when the online editor gets your project he or she will do one of a couple of things. May relink your low-res files to the original high-res files, which they have. So if I right-click on this sequence and choose Relink, this Relink dialog box is often used to attach offline media to existing online media.
However, if you take a look down here at Video Parameters, Relink to, I can choose HD video format and Relink method, Highest Quality, so basically as long as my media files exist in an HD or higher quality format, I'm able to relink my low-res version to that high-res version, and it's as easy as that. Now, if no high-resolution files exist, you wouldn't do this, okay. In that case, the online editor would need to recapture or re-import those at this stage.
To do this the online editor will decompose the sequence, which actually sounds a lot worse than it is. Basically all a decompose does is break down the parts of the sequence that you edited, so not everything has to be recaptured or re-imported at a high-resolution just the elements you actually used in the sequence. So here I would just right-click and say Decompose. And I want both Captured and Imported clips to be decomposed. I can choose a Handle Length, so if I did want any flexibility in being able to trim these later I can choose 2-second Handle Length.
I am just going to put 0 here. And you can Create a New Sequence here as well. And I'd want to make sure that Offline media only is unchecked, because our sequence isn't offline so we want to make sure to decompose all of it. So I'll say OK and OK, the new sequence will be reeling to the new decomposed clips. And as you can see, here, I have got Final Delivery, which is currently loaded, and this is online.
And this one, Decomposed, this is offline, media offline. This is now linked to all of these clips, so I am just going to open up my Decomposed Bin, and I am going to click and then Shift-click to get everything in there, move it over, so I have my master sequence here, and my Decomposed sequence. So here you can see, here is all of the clips that I used in my sequence. Anything that I did not use in my sequence is not here.
And these are all video clips, my audio is going to remain my professionally mixed audio. So this is just recapturing my video. And again, I would do that at the higher resolution. Again, this isn't a process I am going to go through step-by-step, but I did want to show you how to effectively recapture or re-import your video via a Decompose. Also just so you know, this was more of a high-level logistical demonstration, because as I said before, I wouldn't have color corrected the sequence before performing the online edit, that would come after I up-rest.
So don't get confused by the fact that I left the color correction effects on the sequence in this example, I just wanted to show you how to decompose. So whatever your delivery method, you need to make sure that you do your research early so you're not surprised later. Even if you're not delivering the product for anyone else, and it's just for your own purposes, it's important to know where you're going, so the journey in getting there is relatively free from technical surprises.