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Workflow with an Assistant editor

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Workflow with an Assistant editor
on Nov 23, 2006 at 11:54:05 am

hey there,

I'm usually cutting on my own but recently have been lucky enough to have an assistant to digitize and organise my footage. This is a new workflow for me and while it saves a whole lot of time and I dont have to do some of the more laborious tasks....i do find that i am putting a lot of trust in the decison making of the assistant as to what gets digitized, with the potential that they miss some of the gold on the rushes.

I am used to logging and capturing all my own footage and therefore get a good idea of what I have to work with...what workflows do others use when working with an keep the speed and efficiency benefits but still keep some control as to what gets captured.


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Timothy J. Allen
Re: Workflow with an Assistant editor
on Nov 24, 2006 at 3:08:00 am

I actually would have them capture the whole tapes (at least at low-rez) and have them "subclip" the portions they think will be useful. (If I do this, and there are multipe shots from multiple tapes, we organize the project bins by a 6 digit reference number for each tape. One bin per tape.)

It's my opinion that being able to at least scrub through the rest of the footage is an important part of the creative process. Unless I absolutely have to get something out of the door so fast that there's no time to look at the "extra" footage, I'd rather have it there just in case. Hard drives are so much cheaper these days that it makes sense to buy as much spacce as you can, even if it's for "luxuries" such as that.

Once I'm done, I consolidate the programs so that only the portions I used are taking up space on the hard drives.


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Shane Ross
Re: Workflow with an Assistant editor
on Nov 25, 2006 at 6:49:16 am

I agree. Having been an assistant editor for 3 years this is what we did. We captured full tapes, but broke up the footage into separate clips and labelled them descriptively, and put them in separate bins by footage type. There is a uniform way to organize footage that most assistants know, coming from post houses that employ many assistants and editors who are used to certain levels of organization. But I have also worked with editors who lay out to me how they want things done, and I follow their guidlines. Very interesting when working on a show with two editors that have very different organizational styles.

Assistants are useful. Glad you have one.


Littlefrog Post

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Christian Glawe
Re: Workflow with an Assistant editor
on Dec 5, 2006 at 9:27:12 am

Yep, I'll second capturing whole tapes....


This may sound weird, but I generally prefer to do the initial capture myself... while the footage is being ingested into the edit computer, it's also being ingested into another computer... my brain! Granted, there are many sitautions where you don't have the luxury of time to do this yourself, but I find that edits go faster when I've already screened all the footage myself.

Years of editing have destroyed my eyesight, made me somewhat absent-minded, and stunted my social development - but, I've developed an amazing visual recall of shots.... If I've done the initial capture, and rough cut, I've gotten to the point where I am faster than any producer with a tape log at finding a shot. I just *know* where it is, and will remember whether the person is looking screen left/screen right, who else is in the shot, the fact that the shot is handheld, goes out of focus 4 seconds into the shot, etc.

Depending on what types of projects you work on, I'd maybe think about getting the Assistant familiar with Photoshop, so they could be scanning/resizing pictures (very helpful with historical documentaries), or creating lower thirds/credits, etc.

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Pixel Monkey
Re: Workflow with an Assistant editor
on Dec 14, 2006 at 3:19:46 pm

Recently I've been getting away from the need to see everything as it comes in. I've jumped with both feet into the "scene card" process illustrated on page 140 in Murch's "Behind the Seen" book. If I have the luxury of an assistant editor on the project, great! If not, the workflow is the same but I'm doing both jobs.

Here's what it entails:

(workflow for a documentary - assumes that an associate producer logged the tapes with Avid Media Logger)

Assistant Editor does:
1.) Digitizing of all footage at 10:1.
2.) For A-ROLL, adding Avid locators for interview bytes and roomtone.
3.) For B-ROLL, adding Avid locators for useable environmental (or "nat") sounds.
4.) Sub-clipping all interviewee answers, head-to-tail.
5.) Assembling the interview clips exactly as written in the script and exporting that as a QuickTime for the producer(s) to review.

Editor does:
1.) Review the producer's tape logs.
2.) Makes scene cards and organize them by location/interview.
3.) Go through footage and make selects. Organized them to coordinate with scene cards.
4.) Edit.

Sure there's a lot of steps not shown here, but you get the idea.

I'm now finding that being as hands-off as possible with the digitizing allows me to build an expectation of what I would want to see as an audience member. When I then begin examining the footage, it's more from the mindset of a restaurant chef working with the food and resources at-hand to match the expectations of the customer.

It's not a right or wrong, it's just what is working for me... this week.

`(=)`/...Pixel Monkey

A picture says 1000 words. Editors give them meaning.

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