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Looking for Editing Strategy Ideas

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Bill Moore
Looking for Editing Strategy Ideas
on Jan 18, 2013 at 5:05:49 pm

Are there any good online resources for documentation of various editing strategies used in the industry? I have to turn about 20 hours of footage into a 5 minute doc/reality-ish highlight video. I only have 20 hours budgeted to do this. I did the same project last year, but I had about 40 hours budgeted. I'm trying to find a way to make this work by going into the project with a smart strategy. I just got Boris Soundbyte, to help with finding the clips I need. Any other suggestions? Reality/EFP workflows that might work?

This was the edit I did last year, and they want something identical this year: https://vimeo.com/35533354

My strategy last year was: Scan footage for selects, make subclips of those selects and organize them visually into chunks in chronological or themed bins. Cut out all redundant and weak clips. Trim subclips and arrange in rough order in bins. Transpose to timeline. Fine tune the edit.

Any ideas or thoughts are appreciated!


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Shane Ross
Re: Looking for Editing Strategy Ideas
on Jan 18, 2013 at 5:31:19 pm

Ask for a more realistic budget. 20 hours to sort through 20 hours of footage (looking for good soundbites), find selects, make creative choices how to use those selects, add music, titles... Sorry, they need to budget more time. Why did it get cut in half?

If they don't have much of a budget, you won't get transcripts that will help find bites, or a producer who can help find bites.

Well...half the budget means they won't get the quality that they got last time, they need to realize that. All you have time to do is do cursory looks at b-roll, and listen to the sound bites at 2x speed.

Don't give them more than they pay for. THat will set a precedent and they will come to expect that they can get by with half the budget.

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


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Bill Moore
Re: Looking for Editing Strategy Ideas
on Jan 18, 2013 at 5:47:15 pm

Thanks for responding Shane.

That's just the way it is for this project unfortunately, I think it's more related to scheduling and turn around for the post company that hired me to do the edit. I still want to find a way to deliver the best possible video, and thought this would be a good opportunity to also learn any tricks/methods/workflows for really fast turn around on these types of projects in the future.

Oh, and I never get the luxury of transcripts or a producer for these types of jobs. It's just me and an edit station for X hours. I'm also cutting a few additional rough-cut videos, transcoding XDCam footage of two games, and authoring the DVDs in that same amount of time. The only thing I don't have to deal with is sound, the audio is finished in house by someone else, and media duplication/distribution.


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Shane Ross
Re: Looking for Editing Strategy Ideas
on Jan 18, 2013 at 6:06:26 pm

Make one long sequence to put all the B-ROLL on so you can scrub through footage quickly. Saves from having to open clips in the viewer, scrub, open another, scrub. Copy and paste from that sequence to your main sequence, or load that into the VIEWER and make sure to map OVERWRITE WITH SEQUENCE CONTENT to the F10 key. Avoids nesting.

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


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Bill Moore
Re: Looking for Editing Strategy Ideas
on Jan 18, 2013 at 6:24:33 pm

Good call.

Once I get everything into basic bins, (B-Roll, Interviews, Game Footage, etc) I will make "scrubbing timelines" for each to pull selects and make subclips.

Thanks for the tip!


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Bill Moore
Re: Looking for Editing Strategy Ideas
on Jan 18, 2013 at 6:26:16 pm

Also, thanks for the tip on "Overwrite with content", I wasn't aware of that feature.


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Adam White
Re: Looking for Editing Strategy Ideas
on Jan 21, 2013 at 7:36:39 pm

This may or may not be the way you like to work, or are used to, but in any scenario where there is lots of footage I generally find that some simple log notes are invaluable. They can be added to any clips of particular interest quite quickly as you take your initial scrub through all the rushes.

In an ideal world, when I feel that I have a good ammount of time on a project, I add a log note to pretty much everything. Where the project isn't going to afford me the luxury of plenty of time, I tend to be a bit more selective and add simple notes to any shot that has something of particular interest that I have a good feeling will be needed later.

The reason I think these simple log notes can be so invaluable is that the Search tool in Final Cut is an incredibly fast and quite powerful way of immediately finding exactly what you need. Say that you know, for example, there was a B-Roll shot of something relevant to a sound byte you've used, and you need it to illustrate what's being spoken about - you could just bring up the search tool, punch in a descriptive word that you used for the log note, and any relevant shots will appear in a new tab for you. Likewise, you can also order the log note column alphabetically as another quick way to get the project browser in a coherent order so you can quickly see what you need. For best results with the search tool, it's a good idea to keep your log notes simple and where you have multiple shots of the same thing(s), use the exact same keyword on each clip so that when you search ALL the relevant clips appear.

The only obvious caveat to the log notes is that it's a bit of a front loaded task that requires a bit of time up front (but to be honest, if you add them as you do your initial pass + keep them simple they don't have to take too long) - but I would say they nearly always save you time later when trying to find material. At least, that's always been my experience and now I cannot live without them.

As has already been noted, sub-clips are a really great way to immediately start whittling down the material and begin making choices. A little side note with sub-clips, any log notes you add to a master clip will carry over on to any sub-clips you make from it.

Log notes work great for me as I like to work more within the browser and viewer as opposed to timelines, but I know many editors who don't particularly like working this way so it's just whatever works for you.


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