Teach Me Tuesday: Your editing process

(Bri Castellini) #1

Welcome to Teach Me Tuesday! Today’s topic is…

What is your typical post-production process?

How does the sausage get made? What have you learned to make it more efficient/ productive?

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(Bri Castellini) #2

My process goes something like this:

  1. I rename all the audio and video clips from the project by their take and scene so I can easily tell by file names what I need
  2. I sync all takes to their respective audio
  3. I slowly start to assemble a first rough cut by dragging all the clips from a section or scene into my timeline, cutting to just the takes, and then picking my favorite version of each line/exchange.
  4. If I like two takes or have two different directions I could go with a particular exchange, I’ll mute those clips and leave them in the timeline underneath the take I use for the assembly, so if a viewer later says they’d like to see a different take, I have a few others I liked ready.
  5. Repeat step 3 and 4 until I have a full movie
  6. Clean up the full movie so it’s watchable, paying attention to using the production audio and room tone as much as possible to make audio alright, maybe a quick basic pass at color correcting, trying to get the timing in a good place, etc.
  7. Assign a few members of production and maybe one person not involved to watch a first cut of the film. I call this team of people (usually the director, one of the producers, the DP, and a friend who does film and film editing) “Blue team”.
  8. After getting their notes I recut the film and do a deeper dive into audio and color correcting.
  9. I will go back and forth between 7 and 8 maybe one more times before introducing a Red Team of more of the production crew for a fresh viewing. It’s important to me to separate viewing teams because you always catch more if you have viewers that aren’t burnt out or looking for something they saw in an earlier take. The more fresh eyes you can preserve, the more valuable the feedback will be.
  10. Finish editing, submit to festivals, profit (eventually, I’m sure)
(Kyla) #3

I… cry, mostly.

(we’re still in production for TTM but I was editing my macbeth dramatization for class and editing with no experience and also no laptop space is the worst thing in the world)

(Bri Castellini) #4

Get you an external hard drive!

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(Bri Castellini) #5

I have five!

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(Herman Wang) #6
  1. Rename video clips to include scene and take numbers, and subdivide into folders based on script segment. (Audio clips are usually adequately named already because our sound recordists are on the ball).
  2. Set up with the script in one monitor, editor in the other.
  3. Drag all the video takes for one scene into the editor.
  4. Assemble a rough cut of that scene using the script as a reference.
  5. Repeat 3 and 4 until the episode is complete.
  6. Avoid watching or thinking about the episode for about a week.
  7. Render the rough cut and watch it. Make any changes that come to mind.
  8. Once I’m happy with the rough cut, sync the audio clips into the edit, paying attention to J and L cuts.
  9. Add VFX, titles, credits, etc.
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(Bri Castellini) #7

Wait you don’t audio sync first? Why is that? I’m fascinated!

(also I know you know everything which is honestly a real bummer for me, but if you have any Qs, even ones you already know the answer to, I’d love you to add them to this threadddd: Seeking community Qs for the podcast!)

(Herman Wang) #8

Our camera records audio, so for a rough cut it’s enough to get an idea of the flow. Often we only end up using one half to one third of all the takes, so I don’t have to spend time syncing takes we won’t use.

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(Bri Castellini) #9

Interesting! I think I end up using almost 75% or more of my takes, usually because I don’t call cut, I just reset once or twice so there’s several takes per clip. Also I like the audio to be synced because I make a blooper reel as I go and I like those to be as audible as the rest of the project.

(Herman Wang) #10

I prefer to cut so the take files don’t have any of the resetting process in them, taking up precious disk space.

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(Bri Castellini) #11

Disk space is a thing that people are always mad at me about even though I’m the one editing haha. I’m usually more concerned about timing/momentum for actors/crew, plus I like the resetting process. Always something funny happening because we’re such idiots

(Herman Wang) #12

Also, I’m very used to syncing audio from my time as a music “producer”, so it’s a fast process for me, not a chore.

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(Bri Castellini) #13

Oh it can absolutely be both things :joy:

(Kris Dyson) #14

And those five are all nearly full, amiright?

(Dan McNamara) #15

For my first episode I edited a storyboarded version with rough audio and music a few months before I started shooting. It helped make clear the pacing I wanted and the helped make jokes and moments hit better. I did not do it for every episode but it clearly helped with the edit because it was just a matter of dropping the shots and doing a little bit of rework if needed. Storyboarding really helps with clarity especially when working with visual effects, puppets, and complicated stories. Clarity before the edit is key!

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