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How to edit documentary ?

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vineet das
How to edit documentary ?
on Feb 15, 2012 at 4:17:05 am

Hi there Guys

I am am new in editing documentary.

I want to know about what are the key points i have to remember while editing a documentary (in terms of aesthetic).

A video tutorial would be a great help if someone have or else anywhere please share a link with me.

Thanks

Vineet
(Trying to Rise)


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Mark Suszko
Re: How to edit documentary ?
on Feb 15, 2012 at 1:48:31 pm

The aesthetic is really up to you. The underlying principle should be to tell a true story, showing enough information to let the audience make up it's own mind about what to think of it.

Editing begins, in a sense, much earlier than the editing room.
Every choice made in pre-production and production opens some pathways and closes others, because if it wasn't shot, as far as the audience is concerned, it never happened. You make an "editing" choice just in when you turn the camera on and off, on location. When you choose what to frame and how you frame the shot, how you light it. Every little thing you do or don't do, creates a specific set of results. Then the footage gets into the editing room and the options are even more drastically curtailed. The final product is the result of this cascade of choices, overt and unconscious, that began with you getting out of bed and deciding if you were going to go to work that day.


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Shane Ross
Re: How to edit documentary ?
on Feb 15, 2012 at 11:05:07 pm

Thanks for posting that link...but that is for how to be ORGANIZED in FCP...not how to edit.

Asking how to edit a documentary is like asking how to paint a picture. Something that is not easy to explain.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Richard Herd
Re: How to edit documentary ?
on Feb 16, 2012 at 5:22:44 pm

You're welcome. And thank you...

but it all starts somewhere. Might as well get organized first!


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John Grote, Jr.
Re: How to edit documentary ?
on Feb 16, 2012 at 10:03:15 pm

Shane is so right. Why, why, why does everyone think that there is a magic bullet for this craft? Why? Is it because for a couple thousand dollars you can purchase equipment? Really? Hell does that mean if I go out and spend a couple grand on a really nice fender strat that I can play like Eddie Van Halen?

People editing is a craft!!! It is a craft that needs to be honed like any other craft. Apprenticeships, watch other editors, flow, pacing, timing, nat sound, when to use an effect and when not too, how to save the client from themselves and most of all how to make the best product possible. Let me tell you, pushing buttons isn't gonna cut it at all.

I see the pendulum swings back to quality creative work, so what that means is that clients are now realizing that there are button pushers and then there are editors who can craft a piece. And guess what they are starting to pay for that again.

So in the end there is no magic bullet or book for dummies. It takes some actual time and effort to learn the craft that a lot of us love so dearly and paid our dues from the creative people who came before us so that we became good if not better editors.

Cheers,

John

J. Grote, Jr.


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Andrew Rendell
Re: How to edit documentary ?
on Feb 16, 2012 at 10:04:36 pm

The most important things are structure, structure and, er, yes that's it, structure.

Be absolutely clear with yourself (even if you aren't with anyone else) what exactly it is that you want to convey, i.e., what particular thing(s) you want the audience to remember the day after they see it.

[Hope that first sentence doesn't come across as glib; pace and timing are incredibly important but if you don't get your narrative sorted you'll be in big trouble.]


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Richard Herd
Re: How to edit documentary ?
on Feb 16, 2012 at 11:15:12 pm

[Andrew Rendell] "structure, structure and, er, yes that's it, structure"

What would Felini say? :)


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Andrew Rendell
Re: How to edit documentary ?
on Feb 17, 2012 at 9:59:30 am

"A good opening and a good ending make for a good film provide they come close together."
Fellini


... and a lot more, as well




I suppose I asked for that ;-)


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Andrew Rendell
Re: How to edit documentary ?
on Feb 18, 2012 at 9:07:00 am

[vineet das] "(in terms of aesthetic)."

There are unlimited ways to approach the aesthetic aspects of a doc, but it's safest (until you build up experience) to keep things simple. Well timed cuts and a uniform grade, rather than chopping about or loading up with effects. In general, effects tend to distract from the storyline unless you're using them to illustrate a particular point.

Try to respond to your material and cut the film that exists in the rushes, rather than force the material to deliver something that isn't really there. I had a doc go out a couple of weeks ago and talking to viewers I found that the part that was most highly regarded was a section that was edited very simply and allowed the contributors to express their emotions without interruption. [TBH, I had expected that to be the case. Despite the apparent simplicity of the cutting, it was the part that I had thought about how to cut the most carefully. Being "without interruption" from the viewers' point of view was "very carefully selected" from mine.]

Don't assess shots or music by their superficial appeal, assess them by what they add to the storytelling. Last thursday I removed the "best" shot in my current effort because it distracted rather than added to the flow - you have to be brutal sometimes. I know a director who uses the phrase "killing your babies" when you sit in the edit and find that something that he's spent time and effort on, and therefore has an emotional attachment to, doesn't work.


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Oliver Peters
Re: How to edit documentary ?
on Feb 20, 2012 at 12:08:05 am

I've blogged a lot about these subjects. If you are looking for a place to start, you might check out a number of the entries in these two categories on my site:

http://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/tag/documentaries/

http://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/category/tips-and-tricks/

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Andrew Rendell
Re: How to edit documentary ?
on Feb 20, 2012 at 2:28:58 pm

Some good stuff in there from Oliver.




I might just recommend those somewhere else if you don't mind :-)


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Oliver Peters
Re: How to edit documentary ?
on Feb 20, 2012 at 3:27:53 pm

Thanks. You're welcome and feel free by all means ;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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