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Bernard Newnham
About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 18, 2013 at 1:05:22 pm

I asked this on the PPro Basics forum but had no luck. Its not a troll, I really want to know the answer. I teach this stuff, and I'd like to know what I'm missing ..............

About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"

I was just reading the article, and am wondering if someone can answer a question that has puzzled me for many years. Why does it all take so long?

A couple of quotes - "...but I only had a couple of weeks to work on it....." and "...We had a lot of dailies for a 30 second spot, so there was a lot of footage to quickly review..."

The world I've lived in these past 45 years would regard the piece as a one day shoot, one day edit job. So the people who make this sort of stuff must know some things that I don't. Can anyone take me through the process?

Bernard Newnham
(40 years at the BBC)







Bernie


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Santiago Martí
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 18, 2013 at 3:14:31 pm

It is not what it actually takes to make the job, but the turn around times between the creatives at the agency and the client. Well, editing, grading and sound are not made by the same guy usually, so there you have some days.

Santiago Martí
http://www.robotrojo.com.ar
Red One M-X, Red Epic X waiting for Dragon update, Red Pro Primes, Adobe CC, Assimilate Scratch


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Gary Huff
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 18, 2013 at 4:22:20 pm

[Santiago Martí] "Well, editing, grading and sound are not made by the same guy usually, so there you have some days."

That's not necessarily the case.


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Jok Daniel
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 18, 2013 at 4:26:25 pm

I edit a lot of this kind of stuff, so hopefully I can provide some insight.

First of all, digital cameras mean a lot of material. If you want every shot to be perfect, you need to shoot a lot. Especially if you're shooting cars, animals or working with less experienced actors (e.g. amateurs or models). All common scenarios in advertising.

On an average job, I get about three times as much material today compared to say five years ago, when commercials used to be shot on film. For a 30-60 second spot, that means several hours worth of rushes. Usually around five but anything up to maybe 25 hours.

Viewing rushes is real time. No software in the world can change that. Making a selects roll takes me anything from 150%-200% of real time. So the first day or two on a job is typically spent just watching and selecting material. If you want to do a good job, you need to know your material, and that means watching it properly i.e. no "skimming", "hover scrub" or other cheats.

Assembling the edit is the quickest part of the process. Usually no more than an hour or so.

The next couple of days are typically spent working with the director, refining and/or exploring different editorial options. And constantly going back to the rushes, looking for new angles on the material, really getting to know it inside out.

We would probably be listening to a lot of different music, trying it against picture. And we would be building a temp sound edit as we go along. A lot of ads are shot without sound, so that means building the track from scratch. If the spot is effects heavy, we would probably already be working with the post house, sending edits back and forth, incorporating temp effects etc. Usually, we also have to edit several different lengths, e.g. a 60", 30" and 20" version.

Once the director is happy, the agency will want to spend anything from a day to a week (or more) in the editing room, exploring different options and sometimes making tens or even hundreds of versions in the process. The edits will then move through the agency approval hierarchy until finally locked and presented to the client.

Add anything from a day up to a week for the spots to make it through client approval and revisions.

That's how you spend several weeks cutting a seemingly simple commercial. And incidentally, that is also why I am extremely skeptical of the huge time saving claims made by some FCPX fans. In my world at least, the "speed" of the software is simply not a major factor. I can already edit almost as fast as I can think, it's all the other stuff that takes time - watching and re-watching the footage, and working with people (who are generally way slower than any half decent NLE).

At the end of the day, I really do think that all this time is well spent. I could easily edit a 30" spot in an afternoon (and no doubt FCPX would be a good and fast tool for such a job). But how could I possibly be sure that I got the best out of the material, especially if there's 25 hours of it?


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Bill Davis
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 18, 2013 at 5:04:44 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Nov 18, 2013 at 5:06:25 pm

First, I think Jok gets most of this exactly right.

Just two thoughts to add.

Have you ever had a project crash at the tail end of the creation process such that you had to rebuild everything from scratch? Happened to me once or twice back in the FCP Legacy early version years. I was surprised that it took me about 1/10 the time to recreate than to originally create the work. This supports Joks point that it's not the "doing" of the edit that takes the time. It's the deciding how to do it.

And secondly, FCP-X does save me that much time in production compared to how I worked for the past 20 years. it's because the central design bolted a flexible asset retrieval database directly into the edit interface. Which, in turn, caused me to revise my traditional "get to the timeline to start editing" orientation. Now, I begin every new project asking myself how my new tool might help me be more efficient - and I get better and better answers as I learn more about the tool. The upshot is that when I finally get to the storyline to create the actual work, my creaive flow is better, because it lets me focus on arranging and perfecting, rather than searching and finding.

FWIW

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Gary Huff
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 18, 2013 at 5:32:15 pm

[Bill Davis] "Which, in turn, caused me to revise my traditional "get to the timeline to start editing" orientation."

So now you are slowing yourself down by keywording everything...do you really need to keyword? I was doing that on a project just the other day when I realized that it was wasting time.


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Bill Davis
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 18, 2013 at 7:29:42 pm

[Gary Huff] "[Bill Davis] "Which, in turn, caused me to revise my traditional "get to the timeline to start editing" orientation."

So now you are slowing yourself down by keywording everything...do you really need to keyword? I was doing that on a project just the other day when I realized that it was wasting time."


Gary,

It is ABSOLUTELy a judgement call.

And yes, there are simple projects that don't gain much if anything from key wording - (well, to be honest, just being able to sort takes by ratings is something I hardly ever skip over, but YMMV)

The overarching principal is that if an editor hasn't taught themselves HOW to use a keyword system like the one in X - and doesn't have strategies in place to meet a variety of organizational needs using the tool - then the benefits of it will remain obscured.

If projects in the modern era were getting simpler - fewer cameras, fewer shots, fewer takes - then I'd agree that the database would be more a "may use" than a "should DEFINITELY learn to use" deal.

But in my experience, the larger my budgets grow, the more likely it is that I'll need MORE organizational power, not less. So I think key wording time is still VERY well spent.

FWIW.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 18, 2013 at 9:44:49 pm

I agree that watching footage is real time. FCPX does not help here.

I cut spots (among other things) and I find that FCPX's Auditions are awesome. Sure, it takes some time to set up, but it's time well spent. If you have multiple takes of multiple shots, Auditions, as well as multicam (or even synchronized clips) makes the edit move much faster as all of your takes are stored in the timeline. When the director/agency comes back to explore, that's when Auditions will save you time.

Music Auditioning is particularly fast (and useful). There's no going to find anything, or track down more songs, and lay them in the right track, with no collisions, and making sure everything else is turned off. No, you simply hit the next Audition and start listening. You can even cycle the music while the spot is playing. Any timing or adjustments made are saved on the clip, so if you decide to go back to it, you don't have to redo all the work.

If it doesn't save you time, it allows you to make more decisions, or try more things (that is, it allows more creative decisions). I know that topic is a hot point, that an NLE can actually help your creative decisions, but I find that FCPX does help me stay in the creative zone rather than fighting an interface.

I also like that FCPX has a constant timeline and selection duration timers at the bottom of the timeline. When cutting for 20, 30 , or 60, this saves a lot of time for me. I know that seems simple and trivial, but it's true.

Can anyone link to the original article? I seemed to have missed it.

Jeremy


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Bernard Newnham
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 18, 2013 at 10:51:20 pm

Sorry - it's the first thing I keep seeing when I arrive at the Cow, but the direct link is - http://library.creativecow.net/adobe/Nicolas-de-Toth_Premiere-Pro/1

Old memories stir of racing in and out of Soho post houses, where the rates made our BBC eyes water, whilst the 30" commercial being cut next door was in its fifth day. I suppose there's a good bit of psychology in how long it takes and how much you can charge the client.

Bernie


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 18, 2013 at 11:02:40 pm
Last Edited By Jeremy Garchow on Nov 18, 2013 at 11:03:21 pm

[Bernard Newnham] "I suppose there's a good bit of psychology in how long it takes and how much you can charge the client.
"


You can also flip 30 seconds around many many times. As Jok said, there can be 100s of versions.

On a longer piece, you just don't get that many versions.

Thanks for the link!


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Bernard Newnham
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 19, 2013 at 9:13:30 am

Thinking a bit more about the commercial rather than the editing, and having seen the piece several times now, I remember -

A red sports car
Mario Andretti (somewhat retired)
A cliche police interception

What was the product they were advertising?

Haven't the faintest.

It was ever thus.

Bernie


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Herb Sevush
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 20, 2013 at 2:33:43 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "You can also flip 30 seconds around many many times. As Jok said, there can be 100s of versions."

Are we gonna end this thread without mentioning the obvious - that agency's make a commission on the cost of the spot and therefore have very little incentive to keep costs down? I haven't worked on spots in over 20 years but unless things have changed radically this was an open joke known to everyone but the clients. I could, and often did hire the same crew at literally 1/4 of the cost for a corporate job as an agency spot. Keeping costs down on production and post seemed trivial when considering the cost of airing the spots and to create "the perfect spot" no cost was too high. Under those conditions absurdly long schedules were the norm.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Jok Daniel
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 20, 2013 at 4:25:42 pm

[Herb Sevush] "I haven't worked on spots in over 20 years but unless things have changed radically this was an open joke known to everyone but the clients."

You really don't think that clients would have sussed it over the course of those 20 years? In fact, wouldn't this "open joke" represent a fantastic business opportunity for anyone willing to clue them in? So where are all the upstart companies producing top commercial work at corporate rates?

Just like in any other market, you get what you pay for. Simple as that.


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Herb Sevush
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 20, 2013 at 4:55:47 pm

[Jok Daniel] "You really don't think that clients would have sussed it over the course of those 20 years?"

Well they hadn't sussed it out for the previous 20 years, so I don't know what has changed. When clients were spending millions on air time it was easy to convince them that they had to spend 200K on a spot even though it could be done properly for half that cost.

[Jok Daniel] "In fact, wouldn't this "open joke" represent a fantastic business opportunity for anyone willing to clue them in?"

Not for large corporate spots, no. It was not just the agencies that profited from the high costs, the product managers were treated like royalty and had no incentives to keep costs down. Their mandate was to sell products, not to watch the budget.

[Jok Daniel] "So where are all the upstart companies producing top commercial work at corporate rates?"

Doing test spots and starving, back in my day.

[Jok Daniel] "Just like in any other market, you get what you pay for. Simple as that."

True that. In this case, as in sales of luxury items, what you got for the money was the impression of quality, and how good could something be if it didn't cost a bundle?

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Shawn Miller
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 20, 2013 at 5:25:34 pm

[Herb Sevush] "[Jok Daniel] "Just like in any other market, you get what you pay for. Simple as that."

True that. In this case, as in sales of luxury items, what you got for the money was the impression of quality, and how good could something be if it didn't cost a bundle?"


That is absolutely true. I have had days (in the past) where the company I worked for charged a client $100.00 an hour for me to prep graphics for an Avid edit (3 minute interview)... and then later that day, charged a different client $35.00 an hour for me to edit, create graphics for and encode a three minute talking head video. Guess which was for an agency, and which was a corporate piece. :-)

Shawn



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Bernard Newnham
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 20, 2013 at 5:34:02 pm
Last Edited By Bernard Newnham on Nov 20, 2013 at 8:07:40 pm

So - I thought I'd got the idea, but I didn't want to be blatant about it.

But - without looking back, can anyone name the product? How easy was it to remember? What about the piece did you remember first?

The most qualified focus group around makes its conclusions.......

Bernie


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 20, 2013 at 8:02:08 pm

I only watched it once a few days ago when this thread came up.

At first, I had no idea what was being advertised. It's OK, it's a story, and events unfold in real time and you can't know the story before it's told. I thought it was a car dealership commercial at first blush. I remember the turning point being the cop saying "I know speeding when I hear it" or something like that, and there's the lightbulb moment.

Then there was a product name like magna flow or some sort of mag flow. I don't remember the name. It might have even been spelled 'flo'.

At that point, I had to deduce that it was for either performance exhaust or some sort of aftermarket engine component. Since one of the last shots is of tailpipes, I would bet on some sort of performance exhaust.


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Jok Daniel
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 20, 2013 at 9:09:16 pm

[Shawn Miller] "I have had days (in the past) where the company I worked for charged a client $100.00 an hour for me to prep graphics for an Avid edit (3 minute interview)... and then later that day, charged a different client $35.00 an hour for me to edit, create graphics for and encode a three minute talking head video. Guess which was for an agency, and which was a corporate piece. :-)"

Sure, different types of productions have different needs, and that will be reflected in the going rates of their respective markets. Big budget agency work (e.g. a commercial starring a celebrity, as in the OP) is a long hours, tight deadlines, high stakes kind of market. That is reflected in the rates.


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Herb Sevush
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 20, 2013 at 10:07:58 pm

[Jok Daniel] "different types of productions have different needs, and that will be reflected in the going rates of their respective markets. Big budget agency work (e.g. a commercial starring a celebrity, as in the OP) is a long hours, tight deadlines, high stakes kind of market. That is reflected in the rates."

Right. 25 years ago the exact same DP would charge $500 for a 10 hr day for an industrial and $1500 for an 8 hour day for a commercial, not including equipment. One DP I know explained it as being based on the ass*ole factor for working with an ad agency. The difference for the rest of the crew wouldn't be as big, generally a 25% bump in rate, but then again the crew sizes were always bigger, so the cost per department was often 2-3 times as large as a corporate gig. This was simply considered normal. The deadlines weren't any tighter but yes the stakes were much higher, which again is why there was no downward pressure on costs - there is no price too high for success nor low enough for failure, especially when the agency was charging the client a 17.5% commission on costs.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Richard Herd
Re: About - "Seasoned Film Editor Takes Adobe Premiere Pro CC For a Spin"
on Nov 20, 2013 at 10:53:59 pm

In corporate culture (aka commercials), money actually defines value. They said, "It must be a good commercial. Look how much it cost to produce."


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