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Short film edit - PITFALLS

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Elias GwinnShort film edit - PITFALLS
by on Sep 15, 2015 at 12:04:35 am
Last Edited By Elias Gwinn on Sep 16, 2015 at 4:01:08 pm

Hi all,

My question is relatively general: what workflow/organizational/technical pitfalls I should avoid as I embark on editing my first short film?

The clips have already been imported and sync'd. Now it's time to start cutting the first assembly.

I want to dive right in, but I feel like I should first learn some general workflow wisdom for a scripted narrative so I don't make silly mistakes that I'll regret later (messing up the workflow / waste a bunch of time/work).

BTW, I'm (somewhat) familiar with video editing, although this is my first project on Premiere CC (was using FCP up until now). I'm not trained at all...basically self-taught. I've edited about 10 or so short 'docs' previously.

Let me know what other info I can provide to help this conversation.


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Elias GwinnRe: Short film edit - PITFALLS
by on Sep 26, 2015 at 11:48:08 pm


any wisdom you can share?

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Tim KolbRe: Short film edit - PITFALLS
by on Sep 27, 2015 at 3:03:33 pm

I guess I'd say that labeling and sorting can't be over-emphasized in a narrative piece...scene#s, take#s, etc. Any careful labeling you do now will help you spend more time editing than searching once you're in flow...

I'd say you want to consider using the nesting feature in PPro to create a separate sequence for each 'scene' (however you choose to employ that term).

As you get into revisions, one long timeline can be very cumbersome to manipulate, and if a scene changes length after changes, you can keep a 'master' timeline with the scenes laid out in sequence and simply make one trim vs a massive amount of rippling down-timeline material, which can make a hash of things.

Also...consider creating a separate audio track for each individual actor in each scene so you can do things like equalization/compression, etc. in the mixer for the whole track vs having to do it clip by clip. It also means to change those settings involves one adjustment instead of many.

Director, Consultant
Video Producer at I-CAR

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Elias GwinnRe: Short film edit - PITFALLS
by on Sep 27, 2015 at 7:51:47 pm

Awesome. Exactly the type of wisdom I'm looking for. Thanks Tim!

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Jon FrostRe: Short film edit - PITFALLS
by on Oct 24, 2015 at 2:18:34 am

What is your plan for BACKUP of your media and sequences?

I like to add metadata, markers, I/O points and confirm that I have a decent folder/bin arrangement as I log my original footage.

Are you more a mouse or keyboard based editor? Keyboard shortcuts are great no matter which platform and software you are using. There are some Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 and CC keyboards out there for about $125 US.

Did you use Plural Eyes for syncing audio to video clips??? Once a clip was sunc did you make a copy of all your sunc media. This step in the workflow is the most important point to back up your media. At this point, I always delete any bad takes, trash and other media that will only use up drive space.

No matter whether your project is 30 seconds or 3 hours, if you follow the same procedures/workflow on each project, you will save tons of time and be able to find that errant clip in the wee hours on your deadline day...

Best of luck to you on your project.

Jon Frost
Easthampton MA

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