Join Ashley Kennedy for an in-depth discussion in this video Editing dialogue: Building the basic assembly, part of Narrative Scene Editing with Avid Media Composer.
Making decisions about the character's nonverbal language is important, but so is working with the character's words. Analyzing line delivery is a crucial part of the editing process, and that's what we're going to do now in continuing to lay down our basic assembly. So, I have here Scene 2 assembly begin, and this is just basically where we left off. We are nonverbally building tension, like so. Now, we're going to start in on their conversation. So let's go ahead and open up the script. And again, if you're not working with the script, then you'll just do all of this manually, loading in one take after another.
But I do feel it's important to check out the delivery of each of these lines from each of the camera angles. So, we're going to start with Mr. Leavitt's first line, "So, how's the coffee?" And we're just going to lasso across all of these script marks. And then we'll just press Play, and watch all of these shots taking into account both shot composition and performance. (Mr. Leavitt: So, how's the coffee? How's the coffee? So, how's the coffee? So, how's the coffee? So, how's the coffee?) Okay, and I'll press Spacebar again to stop. So I want to be on Mr. Leavitt during this line.
So we actually only have two options, the long shot and the medium shot. I think I am ready to punch in on the medium shot to sort of give this emphasis. Let's go ahead and double-click on the script mark. So I'm going to go ahead and just rock back with J and then go forward and mark an in and an out on the fly. (Mr. Leavitt: How's the coffee?) So, I think I'm going to edit that in. I'll press V to splice. I'm just going to go ahead and check this out, making sure that it looks okay with the previous shots.
Again, we'll tweak it later if we need to, but just generally, I want to make sure that this medium shot looks good. (Mr. Leavitt: How's the coffee?) I think it's fine. So, let's go back to the script and get Joseph's line here, "cold". Again, we're going to go ahead and lasso all of the script marks, and pay attention to shot composition and performance. I'll press Spacebar. (Joseph: Cold. Cold. Cold. Cold. It's cold. Cold.) All right so, there are a lot of good options here. While I really like, the close-up, here, I don't think I'm quite ready to punch in that close yet.
So, let's take a medium shot. I'm going to go ahead and just lasso just these two lines and see if there's much difference between them. (Joseph: Cold. Cold. Cold. Cold.) So, not much difference, but I think I'll go ahead and take this first one. And again I'm going to rock back with J to go backwards, and then mark an in and an out on the fly, including some pause before and after. (Joseph: It's cold.) So again, we'll tighten that up later.
But I want to include just a little bit of extra frames on either side. I'm going to press V to splice. And let's go ahead and go to the next line before we look at everything in succession. So, I'll go ahead and lasso and take a look at Mr. Leavitt's line, "did you finish it"? (Mr. Leavitt: Did you finish it? Did you finish it? Did you finish it? Did you finish it? Did you finish it? Did you finish it?) All right, so again, I think I'm going to stay in on the medium shot here.
I think it's the strongest performance, and we want to make sure that Mr. Leavitt is on screen as he delivers it. So again, I'm going to go ahead and double-click the script mark. I'm going to rock back, include a little bit of pause before and after just like we did before. (Mr. Leavitt: Did you finish it?) Okay, and I'll press V to splice, and let's go back to our sequence here. We're definitely going to need to tighten this up. I know that already. But again, I'm just looking to see if I like what's on screen, and we'll fix the timing and pacing a little bit later.
So, I'm going to go ahead and play through these three shots. (Mr. Leavitt: So, how's the coffee?) (Joseph: It's cold.) (Mr. Leavitt: Did you finish it?) So, I am pleased with that, I think medium shot to medium shot to medium shot for this part in the scene is good. And then, we'll get in and out on some close-ups a little bit later when the agitation increases. But this is basically how we're going to continue. We're going to make decisions line by line laying in each shot. Again, we're not paying too much attention to the pacing of the scene quite yet, but don't worry, that's coming up very soon.
For now, we just need to make important decisions about performance, and get everything laid in appropriately to create a good-looking basic assembly.
- Evaluating the goals of the project
- Working with digital scripts
- Understanding coverage, shot composition, and camera movement
- Editing dialogue
- Adding cutaways and reaction shots
- Building a montage scene
- Editing a flashback
- Laying in off-camera audio
- Adding effects
- Color-grading a scene
- Receiving feedback and refining the rough cut