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Old January 9th, 2007, 07:36 PM   #1
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novie question: loud/quiet/loud troubles!

I'm editing a sequence in a movie where I need to effectively juxtapose footage of quiet, tense dialogue with footage of an incredibly loud, fast, and droning black metal band from another location. I've attempted to reduce the amount of times I need to cut back and forth between the two sets but still haven't found a solution for how harsh the transition hits the ears. I don't know if adding music in the quiet scene will help or hurt or if i should come up with some kind of continuity sound, like a muffled version of the band playing. How can I ease the shock?
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Old January 9th, 2007, 07:37 PM   #2
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That's meant to say novice, by the way.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 07:56 PM   #3
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You might try:

Reduce the band by several db

Use a fast cross fade between cuts

Cut to the band on a downbeat
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Old January 9th, 2007, 10:57 PM   #4
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Right. Turn down the band until the balance works. And turn up the quiet dialog a bit.

Ty
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Old January 10th, 2007, 01:53 AM   #5
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I agree with the previous posters that the actual levels of the two sounds should probably be fairly close to one another. Loud rock will "read" as such even at low levels.

It might (or might not, depending on the scene--I obviously can't see the actual footage, so it's hard to say for sure) also be a good idea to try a few L-cuts from one setting to the other. Maybe the music cuts in as the actor speaking the quiet dialogue finishes a thought, but we continue seeing him for a moment before the video cuts over to the band. Maybe we begin to hear the actor speaking while we're looking at the singer's face. This might actually make the transition more jarring, or it might smooth things out quite a bit, because it will enhance the juxtaposition between the two scenes. The contrasting emotional dynamics of the edits would either blur or else contrast even more. Again, it just depends on the actual footage you're dealing with, but it might be worth a shot.

Another thing to consider would be the idea of having the quiet dialogue continue to be spoken off-screen while the band footage is cut in, with the band turned way down below the dialogue.

I realize that these are suggestions with/for aesthetic effect, and that you were really sort of maybe looking for technical advice. However, in my experience, technically difficult cuts are often best dealt with by finding a purely aesthetic solution, oftentimes something you hadn't originally thought of. Practically all of my favorite cuts in my own work were things that came out of creative solutions to things I thought would work a certain way when I shot them only to find out that my original idea just didn't quite work. You should never be afraid to completely re-invent a scene in post-production if doing so will improve the scene.

It's good to keep a completely open mind while cutting. A maxim of mine has always been "try to plan everything to a ridiculous degree before you shoot, and then get ready to throw those plans out the window when you edit."

Your mileage may vary, but this kind of thinking works extremely well for me.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 07:48 AM   #6
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Try an L-Cut.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 02:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David W. Jones
Try an L-Cut.
Thanks for giving the short version of my long-winded jabbering. :)
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Old January 11th, 2007, 06:43 AM   #8
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In addition to the suggestions to set the levels of the dialog and the music a bit closer to each other, instead of using a simple straight cut, overlap the outgoing and incoming audio by 5 or 10 frames at each edit and do a fast crossfade between the clips.

Was the dialog recorded clean, without the band, or was the band playing in the background while you shot the dialog? In the final scene, are we to understand that the band and dialog are at the same place and time like two spies meeting at a club talking while the loud noise of the band prevents eavesdropping or are the cuts cutaways to show events at thee same time but two different places, say something like Mother and Daughter are in the kitchen talking about Daughter's new boyfriend the Drummer interposed with shots of the boyfriend's band auditioning at the club across town that we understand is going on at the same time? For the first we'd want to have the music running continuously, fading it down during the dialog and up in the spaces and during cutaways. For the second, you'd want to checkboard the dialog and crossfade at the transitions.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 07:14 PM   #9
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I originally expected that I would need to resolve this problem with some form of processing but I ended up realizing that the conflict between the two sets of footage arose from expectations set by the structure of the song, which involves enough creschendo and motif development that it really needed to play itself out before it could be cut. The song was long enough that I had to do some fine-tuning to shorten it substantially, but this version does more justice to its dramatic clout than cutting away every twenty seconds, and inflicts less fatigue. I also used a crossfade and L-cuts to ease the pain. Thanks!
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Old January 15th, 2007, 08:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarrod Whaley
also be a good idea to try a few L-cuts from one setting to the other. Maybe the music cuts in as the actor speak

I've been editing audio for longer than I care to admit. Is L-cut a film term? I've never heard it before.

Thanks,

Ty Ford
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Old January 15th, 2007, 09:03 PM   #11
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Yes, it comes from Film Editing. Refers to a edit where the sound portion of the film is preserved. The cut is in the form of an L.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 10:01 PM   #12
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Or in the shape of a J. It depends on if the audio startes early or late.

Put it on your timeline and you'll see the shape for yourself.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 10:40 PM   #13
 
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Ty,
An L cut means that the audio relating to a picture continues after the picture ends, and a J cut means the audio portion of the video begins before you see the frame

VVVVVVVVV
AAAAAAAAAAAA

Creates a "J" cut.

VVVVVVV
AAAAAAAAA

Creates an L cut.

make sense?
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Old January 15th, 2007, 11:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
Ty,
An L cut means that the audio relating to a picture continues after the picture ends, and a J cut means the audio portion of the video begins before you see the frame

VVVVVVVVV
AAAAAAAAAAAA

Creates a "J" cut.

VVVVVVV
AAAAAAAAA

Creates an L cut.

make sense?
Hey DSE, HTML doesn't allow for back to back space characters so your 'Vs' didn't indent like you intended for the J cut example. Oddly enough, they display correctly here in the editor inside the quoted portion of your message. That's how I can tell what you meant.

But hopefully Ty will understand, given the text descriptions that go along with it.

-gb-
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Old January 15th, 2007, 11:23 PM   #15
 
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Well...it looked right when I typed it, but you're right, it doesn't display correctly. Oops.
I'm sure he'll figure it out.
Just in case, here is a pic from my Vegas book. ;-)
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