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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
Most documentaries contain many interviews, and it can often be a challenge to find that perfect bite. But when you do, it can truly make a scene glow. Now before the age of digital editing with script synchronization, editors relied upon their copious handwritten notes with exact timecode linked to every single major sound bite that they took during the screening process. Fortunately, we now have the ability to immediately find any sound bite anytime through the incredible practice of Digital Script Integration. This is a very powerful tool, but it doesn't come without some prep work.
In this movie, we will take a look at how to set up your script in preparation for script integration. Before I do that, though, I just want to show you this in practice. In the Transcripts bin I have everyone that was interviewed for this documentary, and I am going to go ahead and open up the BD interview transcript. This is the main documentary subject, and this is about a 30-minute interview, and you can see that I've gone through, and I have made selects, basically those parts of the transcripts that I felt were the strongest and what I would add to my documentary.
So I can click on any one of these Script Marks, and it would basically link to this line. So if I double-click on this script mark... (BD Dautch: ...sell to caterers, schools, restaurants--) So as you can see, the written word is synched directly to the spoken word. Very, very powerful thing. So that's just clicking on a script mark, but mostly you would use this in conjunction with the Find tool. So we know that the Find tool is accessed via Command+F, and this time I am just going to go to Script Text and then type in here.
I want to basically bring up something about Santa Barbara. I know he talks about the Santa Barbara Farmers Market. So I am just going to type in Santa Barbara and Enter, and he talks about it quite a lot, so I can use this to really narrow down exactly where he does. But if I click on any of these and I go over to the script, you can see that it finds it. Now this doesn't have a Master clip linked to it, so if I just continue, here we go. So if I just double-click on this script mark...
(BD Dautch: ...market in Santa Barbara, the first one. And so we--) So again, every line is synched to one of these script marks which in turn is synched to the Master clip, a very, very powerful thing in documentary editing. So I am just going to close this out, and let's talk about how to bring the script in, and we'll go ahead and minimize Media Compose, and I'm going to go and get my transcript. I have it inside the Transcripts_Titles folder, and in Transcripts, and I just want to open up the BD interview document. It's a Microsoft Word document.
You will notice that my margins are fairly wide, and I've done that on purpose so that I have more lines to sync. It's just a case of simple math. The more lines you have, the more sync points you can have, which is very good for script integration. So we just need to save this into a format that Media Composer can read. So I am just going to go to Save As, and we need to save it as a Plain Text document and then when we click Save, we're going to choose Other encoding, Western (ASCII), and Insert line breaks.
Now if you're in Word, great. If you're in another Word Processing program, Final Draft or something else, you just want to make sure that get this right. You need a Plain Text document, a .txt, with the Western (ASCII) encoding and line breaks, and I will say OK. And here it's saved there right inside that Transcripts folder. What I have done is I have provided you a folder full of already formatted transcripts, so you can go ahead and practice on the Word documents if you want or just pull them straight from here. Or in Media Composer I have actually also imported all of them and they are ready to go and they also are all synched.
So depending on what you want to do, you have various levels of practice that you can perform. But basically now that we have our transcripts ready to go, in the next movie we are going to take a look at exactly how to get them into Media Composer and ultimately how to sync them to our Master clips.