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I'm a little overwhelmed...

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Marcia Falder
I'm a little overwhelmed...
on Oct 23, 2009 at 6:29:12 pm

I've been working as an editor in the industry for about 4 years. I've cut a whole bunch of shorts, docs and even a few features. This week, I've been given my first music video and I'm a little overwhelmed by the footage.
I can't figure out a good way to organize and sync the footage.
There is a scratch track, but no slates or timecode. I started syncing using the waveforms in an FCP sequence, but there is so much footage, and FCP can only handle 8 video tracks without rendering...
and then I started to edit directly from this sequence but this method just feels so clumsy and inefficient...
I just feel like I'm in over my head.

Does anyone have any tips or tricks on how to organize and edit music video footage?
Any advice you can give would be so appreciated, thanks!




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Phil Balsdon
Re: I'm a little overwhelmed...
on Oct 23, 2009 at 8:55:36 pm

This might help with syncing audio

http://www.singularsoftware.com/autosync/

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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grinner hester
Re: I'm a little overwhelmed...
on Oct 24, 2009 at 12:12:40 am

You'll find Ps are the best consanant to sync with. Bs work too. If there are folks playing, use the kick drum. You can sync these shots one time and place em on different video tracks, then just go throu em subtractively. This way you don't have to do as much syncing.




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Marcia Falder
Re: I'm a little overwhelmed...
on Oct 24, 2009 at 1:50:18 am

Thanks for the tips guys! Phil - I will try out that software.
But syncing the footage isn't really my problem (I've spent my fair share of hours syncing as an assistant editor in the past).

I am more concerned with finding an efficient organization system for editing the footage. Would you recommend syncing the footage and then merging the video clips with the music track and editing from bins? Or syncing in a sequence and editing straight from the timeline? Or does anyone have another idea?

It isn't a multi-camera shoot, but there are a LOT of takes per shot.


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grinner hester
Re: I'm a little overwhelmed...
on Oct 24, 2009 at 3:27:07 pm

I'm not sure what you are asking. You'll make a bin per topic. In this case, you won't havea bin for broll, SOT, graphics, music, ect but perhaps per location or per part of the song that shot was intended for. You only shot footage for a 3 and a half minute piece so it's not like you have hours to sift through. I often just use two bins for music videos... one for elements and one for sequences. Today, much of my raw footage is brought in as one clip. Don't get lost in it. Explore it with an open mind, If it grabs you, throw on a rough timeline and then use that timeline as an element. If the shot does nothing for ya, just move on. This way, you can select from maybe 8 minutes of footage and not feel so overwhelmed.



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William Meese
Re: I'm a little overwhelmed...
on Oct 24, 2009 at 5:59:26 pm

Overwhelmed is good. Congratulations, you're stretching yourself - you'll learn more than usual on this gig.
Do what Grinner says: Go through the footage, pull the juicy selects. By then some concept/theme/story/treatment will have percolated up to conscious thought. Attack, using your selects. When you get stuck, either technically or conceptually, try reviewing the NG / non-juicy footage for alternatives and new ideas.
Be open to chucking everything and starting over (but save that sequence).



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Marcia Falder
Re: I'm a little overwhelmed...
on Oct 26, 2009 at 7:43:51 pm

Thanks for the encouragement everyone.
I guess I didn't articulate myself very well - I wasn't overwhelmed creatively so much as organizationally. But I think I figured out a system that works for me. It's not the most efficient (I still think there must be a better way to do this), but I just synced and merged clips and am editing straight from the bins...

If anyone comes up with a better way in the future, I'd love to hear it!


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Ryan Mast
Re: I'm a little overwhelmed...
on Nov 4, 2009 at 7:28:10 am

Hi Marcia,

Here's what I normally do for editing music videos. I organize mostly on the timeline, not in bins -- but that's just what works for small-mid size videos for me. YMMV...

Sync all of the performance tracks to the studio audio track. Doesn't matter how many tracks I have -- it's not a multicam edit.

I watch each of the takes of the song and cull the obviously unusable footage. My timeline looks like this: http://twitpic.com/2jr4g

I watch each take again and start selecting clips that look exceptional, and drag these to a newer track above the other footage. Timeline starts to look like this: http://twitpic.com/2wgqv

Edit story. If there are certain sections that I know are going to be taken up by narrative, lock that in.

Go watch through the performance tracks again and cull more unusable footage, and find any great shots that might've been missed on the last pass.

Now start assembling the performance sections. You'll now have at least some framework of story to edit around and some killer shots you know you want to use. Focus on the feel of the music, which musicians you want to highlight when, etc.

Hope that helps!


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Marcia Falder
Re: I'm a little overwhelmed...
on Nov 11, 2009 at 11:12:11 pm

Hi Ryan,

Sorry I didn't notice your response until today.
Thanks so much for your advice - that is exactly what I was looking for.
The pictures illustrate your process very well. It's so valuable to see how other editors work, especially when you are working on a certain type of project for the first time.

I ended up figuring out a system of my own, but I think I might try your way next time.

Thanks for taking the time to explain everything!

Marcia


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