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speeding up a slow interview

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David Lewis
speeding up a slow interview
on Jul 19, 2011 at 7:07:32 pm

As I create the skeleton of a documentary I'm editing, I've come across a very good interviewee, yet at times he is VERY slow.

I recall there is a way to dynamically speed up the sound and picture, while keeping it still looking "normal". I'm talking about a good minute to two of interview time at once... not a quick sentance here and a slow sentance there...just constistently slow for a couple of minutes.

Does FCP7 offer this option as a plug-in effect?

David C. Lewis
Editor- Director
DCL Video Productions


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Bouke Vahl
Re: speeding up a slow interview
on Jul 19, 2011 at 8:55:46 pm

Most of the time i use 'mark in' and 'mark out', followed by some form of 'delete' action.
Worked swell for the last 33 years of my career...

If you can't miss the content and don't have duration problem with the entire show, adding some visual support to the image might work, or, if you really know what you are doing, just the opposite.
(Read about Wember's scissors)

Adding sound fx (or even just process sound like compression) can build tension as well.

Speeding up is always the last option, and i have never ever used it on spoken content.

Bouke

http://www.videotoolshed.com/
smart tools for video pros


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Shane Ross
Re: speeding up a slow interview
on Jul 19, 2011 at 9:00:21 pm

IT called doing "pull ups." Or "trimming." You cut out all the pauses, hesistations...all the nonsense. Then open with them on camera...cover the rest with b-roll and cutaways...

We all have to deal with slow interviewees. And having someone on camera the whole time they talk...booooooring!

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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David Lewis
Re: speeding up a slow interview
on Jul 19, 2011 at 9:14:05 pm

All good points. This is the 5th episode in a series, which by the way, has some foreign experts (professors) speaking in English, which is not their native tongues, so I've had a lot of "uhms" and "ahhs" to edit out during the course of the cut.

I have used "pull ups" a lot and do cover most of my interviews with some great footage our research team acquired (this is a historical documentary and we have hit many rich archives for footage including photos and films) making for terrofic visuals.

Yet in this particular case he not only just talks with pauses (very easy to eliminate) but he actually slows the words he is saying. So, I thought that in addition to our usual "MO" of multiple trims and b-roll images, I could speed him up a bit (5%-10%... gotta experiment) to help the cause. I thought I remember hearing about an application, plug-in or some effect that did this.

Thanks for the input, always appreciated.

David C. Lewis
Editor- Director
DCL Video Productions


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Mark Suszko
Re: speeding up a slow interview
on Jul 20, 2011 at 3:12:55 pm

There is a system the networks use for this in brioadcast TV and radio, in radio they call it "the moneymaker", because by speeding up the program it opens up more time to sell ads. SpikeTV is norotious for using this on their reruns of "Star Trek, The Next Generation" on cable tv. You can actually see the slight periodic bursts of micro-increases in speed in certain scenes like when people walk down a long corridor. They look like someone is shuttling a tape in little pulses. The system apparently works by shaving off entire frames here and there, after analyzing frames for changes, and it discards frames that have little change in them. Kind of a bastardization of the compression schemes for B-frame/ I-frame video codecs.

As far as what you can do in a timeline, I think the project is ill-advised and will just waste your time for poor results, but as an experiment I would try using a speed-changing program like twixtor, which usually is used to slow DOWN video by morphing extra frames between keyframes, and then I might run the audio thru a speed-change without pitch shift, using the free audio program called Audacity. Getting the sped-up video and audio to stay matched may be a challenge. Or maybe you transcode the interview into 24p:-)

My editing instinct would be to leave this thing alone, do your best to cut around the dead parts with frame re-sizings and b-roll, and tolerate the slowness, if the material is good enough to hold viewer attention. Our modern society is so used to eyeblink-length cutting, we may be over-sensitized to cuts that appear "slow" to us. Look back at shots and edits from award-winning films and TV of the 70's and even 80's and you often think: "MAN that pace is SLOWWW". And actually it may be just fine, we're just too hyped up on caffiene and internet today:-)


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