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Putting B Roll into a sequence

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Jeff Rouric
Putting B Roll into a sequence
on Sep 12, 2012 at 12:51:05 am

Hi, I don't know if this is the place to ask this but since I use FCP7 I came here.

I'm a young freelance editor and there's probably a lot for me to learn...

This week I'm picking up where someone left off, and just filling in the b-roll for a doc-type production. Normally I edit the entire project from scratch with already ingested and converted footage, with my workflow being :

(Before I even open FCP)
- Transcribe interview clips on a notepad so I know where everything is (I hadn't seen the footage before)
- Put together a rough essay using only pieces from the transcriptions along with the clips they came from.

(Open FCP)
- Make a radio cut that mirrors the essay.

(While waiting for approval on the radio cut)

- Organize B Roll into bins based on what it is. (Like "Subject 1 > Upper Shots > CUs", etc)
- Skim B-Rolls and rename the clips (not the source) in this format

"SUBJECT_TYPEOFVIEWANGLE_WHATITSDOING_CU/MS/WS/ETC"

And maybe some other parameters but usually following that. That way when I get to the actual edit I already know what to look for and it's quick, easy, and fun. Then I just throw those into other bins and start putting b roll where it should be, then filters and audio and other post things....anyway.

For this project I find that nothing is labeled, but a sequence called B Roll has some unorganized selects I am assuming...

So now I have to....what, skim through the 4hours of selects everytime I need a certain type of shot? Then match frame, bring it up in the viewer, go back to the actual sequence and drop it in?

How do you work like this? I've seen people say they prefer it this way. I just don't get it...maybe if the selects were in different sections based on what they were but this just makes no sense to me. But I've got to learn it...

Help? Have I been doing this the wrong way or something? Should I not organize everything? How do you do it?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Putting B Roll into a sequence
on Sep 12, 2012 at 2:17:23 pm

I guess I'm more like one on the "bad" examples you give, where not everything is logged in detail - where I work and under the conditions I have to work in, long logging sessions are an occasional luxury. I do some basic logging during ingest when I can, sometimes I have to grab live video into the system and worry about organizing it later. For quick news package edits, this isn't so bad, much of that work is very linear, you're just cutting out the dead bits in between...

Maybe it helps that I got my start working in linear, tape-based editing systems where you did a LOT of tape shuttling back and forth and so had opportunities to "osmose" what was on which reel. So I'm used to a lot of scrolling back and forth thru clips and kind of "memorizing" what's on each one. JKL keys are a blessing for that today. Call it a bug or a feature, but having to scroll thru entire reels in high speed often shows me stuff that was never intended to be used in the edit, but that turns out to be the perfect cut-away or whatever. And you'd never know you had that clip without the skimming process.

A feature I used to love in my Discreet Edit system was that you could re-name clips on the timeline anything you wanted, and they always knew where in the bin they linked back to. So in some cases, I would just dump one long clip on the main timeline, razor it up, and then name the razored clips as and where needed, either with a descriptor, or just a couple words of the dialog. For me, this worked very fast and easy. I can see that for others, it's chaotic. You can't do that in FCP7; as far as I've tried, re-naming one clip on the timeline re-names all of them. But you can drag a razored clip into a bin to make a copy of it. I find that I do that a lot on certain projects where a clip is going to get re-used multiple times. Still can't re-name it, tho. Someday I'll have to try FCPx and see if it works like the old Discreet did.


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Putting B Roll into a sequence
on Sep 12, 2012 at 11:16:30 pm

I'm a lot closer to your way than what you've picked up. I don't always rename clips though, but I will separate them into bins by subject matter set the bin view to large icons. I often find it useful to put similar subject shots onto a sequence to skim through but I don't tend to match frame to the rushes to edit - I put that sequence video up onto video layer 2, then mark in/out and copy/paste from that sequence to my edit, so that the b roll goes above the sync shots (I'll eventually drop them down to layer 1 when I'm happy with the cut). Just a habit which might not suit everyone but it can be quite quick to do it that way.

TBH, I've always found the idea of approaching a predominantly visual media as spoken words illustrated with wallpaper rather odd. The way I'm cutting my current project is to edit the story visually (my action has been mostly filmed mute), then add sound effects (starting the sound design), then the contributors' interviews, then we'll write the commentary because we don't really know what commentary we'll need until we get the first rough cut together.


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Matthew Nothelfer
Re: Putting B Roll into a sequence
on Sep 13, 2012 at 3:22:16 pm

Well, everyone's wired different so there's no magic formula for editing work flow. Also, the content and story sometimes dictate a different approach wherein you edit visuals before the audio. Or, small projects with just a few hundred shots that are edited in one afternoon might not require much orginization; just do it, y'know?

However, for what it's worth and the logical progression/organization you're adopting for your media management, IMHO, you're doing it right, they're doing it wrong.


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Nick Meyers
Re: Putting B Roll into a sequence
on Sep 16, 2012 at 1:59:33 am

"So now I have to....what, skim through the 4hours of selects everytime I need a certain type of shot? Then match frame, bring it up in the viewer, go back to the actual sequence and drop it in?"

i work a little bit like this,
ONLY in that i like keeping my footage in timelines for skimming.

HOWEVER, my timelines are much smaller than 4hrs!

maybe you can spend some time organising that 4hr timeline, with some help from the director/producer / someone who was there.


nick


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