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- [Instructor] In previous lessons on NLE organization we covered how to keep your main bins organized, your different files, and also how to keep a clean timeline in both your video and your audio tracks. Now we're going to go down another path and I'm going to walk you through my process for organizing raw dailies, and this is going to be for a scripted workflow. As with many of the other lessons in this course, I'm going to show you my way but that doesn't mean that it's the way. Hopefully my way can inspire you to choose your own path based on the foundational setup that I prefer, but don't feel like this is your only option.
And for point of reference I'll be demonstrating this in Avid but you can organize in a similar fashion in other NLEs, even if some of the buttons or the features might be in different locations. Before I even get started and open the bin of footage I want to mention that this is going to be one scene's worth of material. When you get dailies you're generally going to get between five and 10 scenes for any given day. The first step is you need to just take all of those clips and sort them into individual bins per scene. So assuming that you've already done that we're going to go ahead and open up the scene number one bin that I have, and you'll notice that this is kind of gibberish.
I don't really know what to do with this. If I want to be creative and I want to start cutting a scene this is all kind of meaningless. It's a bunch of numbers, it's a bunch of locations, hallway, kitchen, B124, I don't know what this means. So the first thing we need to do is we need to organize this in a more manageable way so we can be creative and not be bogged down in finding information, and as a side note if you want to be a great editor you need to be able to access information quickly. If you're sitting in the room with a director or a producer and they want to see a specific take, a specific performance, a specific setup, they don't want to wait for you.
So being organized is incredibly important if you want to be great at what you do and have the time to be creative. So the first thing that I want to do is show you a couple of different views available. When I first started I just edited this way and it took me forever until I discovered other ways to do it, the first of which is going to be the frame view, and immediately you can see we have so much more information than we did before. I can see the characters in the shot, I can see the framing of the shot, but I still don't quite have this narrowed down yet.
But this is already a much better place to start. The other view is kind of a hybrid and this is the script view, or I like to call it the thumbnail view, where I still have all the clip names, I have all the metadata, but I still have the thumbnails. The reason I don't prefer this as much is because it's very hard to change the order of the clips and move them around, whereas with this view you can basically move everything around as much as you want. But before we start organizing this visually we have to get the clip names right.
So we go back to data view and the common way that you're going to name your clips is going to be based on camera setups, the camera that shot it, and the take. And you'll see that a lot of these just kind of have a data number and a location and then another number. They all however have a C at the end of them which means they were shot with C camera and if you're wondering, well what about cameras A and B, in a future lesson I'm going to demonstrate how to organize multi-camera scripted footage, but for the sake of this video it's just going to be single camera.
So the process that you need to go through is naming these in a more conventional format, which means the scene number, the setup number, the take, and the camera. So you'll see I've already done this with a couple where the master shot is just scene one, take two, camera C, and then when the camera moves and it's a new setup it's scene one A, take one C, and then you would go master shot, setup A, setup B, setup C, D and so on. Luckily I've already done all the naming for us so you don't have to sit here for five minutes and watch me rename the rest of these clips.
So I'm going to close this bin, I'm going to open up the single cam named, and you'll see that already this makes a lot more sense. So if I wanted to view these clips chronologically the way that they were shot on set that's pretty simple. All I have to do is sort by name and now I can see all of my footage exactly the order that it was shot on set that day. But this still isn't going to quite get us there if we really want to be organized. So I'm going to go back into frame view and this is where you can really get creative and do this however you prefer.
The first thing that I like to do is make these as big as possible if I have the screen real estate and for this scene I definitely do. So I'm holding down Command + L to make these larger, so L is pretty simple to remember, L for larger, and based on the screen resolution I might want to make it just one step smaller and by doing that I hit Command + K. So I'm going to open this up larger since we don't really need the timeline at the moment. And the way that I first like to have this bin organized is by setup chronologically, so that means that we're going to go through these and we're just going to organize it by the master shots.
So we add this master shot, here's take two, here's take three, here's take four. So the way that I do it is kind of like reading a book from top left, to the right, down, down, down. So I'm going to put my A setup here. I always do I guess what you would call a carriage return if this were writing, I do setup B. Here's B take two. Here's C take one, C take two.
Oh, I missed one, here's A take three, A take two, D take one, E take one, and F take one. And you'll notice that what happened is that I ran out of screen real estate. I'm a big fan of having everything on one screen. So let's say for example I made these bigger and I have all these organized.
Okay, great. I don't actually see that there is more footage down here, so I might actually in a hurry be working with somebody and they say, hey where's that one insert shot? And then you look at, ah, I don't think that you shot it, I don't see it. And guess what, 'cause you were in a hurry and you weren't thinking it might be buried down here, so my philosophy is I want everything in front of me. So I'm going to do, again, Command + K, I'm going to make everything smaller first. There's two ways to do it. You can either make it smaller or because I have all of this real estate you can actually break this in half, so maybe you could put it over here.
One further thing that I want to show you when organizing these dailies, just because I'm very self-proclaimed OCD and I like everything perfectly organized, there's this really great hot key that's going to organize and space these for you in one keystroke. So if I hold down Command + T watch what happens. Everything is lined up perfectly. It's an OCD editor's dream. So you'll notice that I have this one random clip here. This is the final edit. All I wanted this in here for was to show you very quickly the different setups in the scene so you get a sense of what this coverage looks like.
We're not going to watch the scene. I'm just going to do a very quick scan, but you'll notice all the different coverage that we have where we have this medium shot, this wider shot, this close up. It's a very short scene, it's about a minute and a half, but now visually I have everything lined up here both chronologically the way that it was shot but also visually I can see, like for example scene one B take one and scene one B take two, well wait a second, there are different people in this.
How can it be in the same setup? Well guess what, when I go through this and scan through it starts on our male lead but then the camera moves over to our female lead. So this is like a storyboard sequence telling me that it goes from here to here, and the other shots, obviously this is a master, the camera doesn't move, camera doesn't move, but these different storyboards tell me the difference in the scenes. And to set these, what you can do is you can select an individual clip and you just use the J, K, L keys, no different than if you were playing through your footage, and you'll actually hear it like you're scrubbing through it and you can change your thumbnail.
So if I wanted the thumbnails to be the same I could stop there, but my choice was to be able to see both of them to remind me that this setup changes characters. One last thing that I want to show you very quickly that can also be very helpful is organizing by the flow of the scene rather than just chronologically the way that the scene was shot. Very often because of scheduling reasons, location reasons, they'll choose how they're going to shoot the scene differently.
For example, the director might choose to shoot a master shot last, so let's just pretend that the master shot would actually be the last setup and they shot the medium master shot even after that, so let's say chronologically your bin looked kind of like this. To me this doesn't help as much because in general when I watch footage I want to be able to watch the footage chronologically the way that it would flow in scene, meaning most likely you want to see the master shot first so you understand all of the action, then go deeper into each character's performance after you understand the blocking and the action in the entire scene.
So if this were the way the scene were shot chronologically what I would do, so I would ignore the fact that the master shot and the medium master were shot last and I would say, you know what, even if this is my final shot in the sequence I don't like to watch it that way. I like to watch it in this order, so I just move it around based on the chronological flow of the scene from master to close up rather than the way that it was shot on set. Now just as a final reminder, there are an infinite number of ways to organize this kind of material, and the best way to organize dailies is going to be the way that works for you.
In a future lesson on dailies organization we're going to learn a similar process but this time I'm going to go deeper into the multi camera setup dealing with synced and grouped clips.
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- Selecting apps to help you with task and time management
- Filtering email messages and paperwork
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