I'm new to film editing. Is it supposed to take this long? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Final Cut Suite
Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 11th, 2007, 12:10 AM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Eastsound, WA, USA
Posts: 13
I'm new to film editing. Is it supposed to take this long?

Hi. I've read alot about film editing, and how it's done, and what to avoid and such, so I know I can manage editing my first film, I just want to make sure that I'm not doing something completely wrong or inconveniently, because MAN does it take a long time.

Alright. I have 8 MiniDV Tapes of footage, comprising about 5 hours of footage that correspond to the 7 "sequences" that I broke the script into for filming.

My plan is to have 7 bins in Final Cut Pro, named Sequences 1 through 7. Inside each of those bins will be a seperate bin for each "shot", and inside each of the shot bins, will be the actual subclips of the different takes and outtakes of that particular shot.

I wrote out a shot plan, consisting of the 101 shots in the film, and each shot is numbered, so if I want to know what a particular shot is without actually browsing through it in the viewer, I can just look at my shot plan to see which shot it is.

Today, I captured the first sequence into Final Cut Pro, and broke it down into bins and subclips the way I just described. It took me about 2 hours to do that. That means I have about 8 more hours of work simply creating subclips.

THEN, i'll have to go through all the subclips, picking out the takes that could potentially be used, and then I'll actually begin editing.

Once I begin editing, I have my "sequence 1", with it's 17 bins and 50-something subclips, and I have to use all of that to construct a 1 minute long scene. The whole process, from the initial experiments, to rough editing, to finally figuring out exactly which shot I want where, to fine tuning it, let alone audio mixing (a whole other story), doesn't seem like it could take less than 20 or 30 hours PER sequence.

Is that right? Or did I shoot too much footage? Or am I doing something inconveniently in FCP??

I'm all for putting dozens of hours of tedious work into a 5 minute film, I just want to make sure that that is how it's supposed to go.

Thanks!
Lennon Aldort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2007, 04:20 AM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hoek, the Netherlands
Posts: 67
I will never ever go shopping with you. Planning, writing shopping list, checking your shopping gear, dress accourdingly, do some exercise, check your wallet, picking the right cart, plan your route, etc...

Of course planning is right, it saves you a lot headache. But one can overstate. Mostly I ingest tapes of 40 min in two parts of 20 min each. I look at the shotlist/script and select the best shots in the viewer. If I find the right one I put it on the timeline. If I see shots that are not needed at that moment, I write their timecode in the shotlist for easy retrieval. After a few hours you have a rough edit. If you are looking for alternatives of a shot, you doubleclick on that shot in the timeline. In the viewer you scroll forward or backward to see if there are better shots surrounding the shot that you initialy choose.
I use one bin for video, one for voice-overs and one for music. That's it.
If I'm done I'll use the media manager to put the shots I've used into a new project. I save the (sliced) media plus the project on harddisk or dvd's. Then I clear the capture scratch folder. Ready for the next job. You need a lot of hd space for this way of working, but 80 euro for 320 GB (= 25 hours DV) is not gonna stop you.

So loose a bit up, and save lots of time.

Last edited by Klaas van Urk; July 11th, 2007 at 12:23 PM.
Klaas van Urk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2007, 09:37 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lace Market, Nottingham, UK
Posts: 194
Shooting too much footage is never a bad thing, but capturing too much footage might slow your process right down.

I might be a bit of an old schooler, but i like to log the tapes before i go anywhere near an edit suite, and use batch capture to only capture the shots i want to use, sitting with each tape and logging in's and out's may take a long time, but it only needs to be done once and it saves that clicking in and out of bins and clips that gives all editors repetitive strain injuries!

I think shooting more, but digitize less, you can still plan as much, but i think you can smarten up your editing times before even capturing a frame by logging more strictly.

Just my thoughts anyway!
Neil Rostance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2007, 09:46 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 755
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Rostance View Post
Shooting too much footage is never a bad thing, but capturing too much footage might slow your process right down.

I might be a bit of an old schooler, but i like to log the tapes before i go anywhere near an edit suite, and use batch capture to only capture the shots i want to use, sitting with each tape and logging in's and out's may take a long time, but it only needs to be done once and it saves that clicking in and out of bins and clips that gives all editors repetitive strain injuries!

I think shooting more, but digitize less, you can still plan as much, but i think you can smarten up your editing times before even capturing a frame by logging more strictly.

Just my thoughts anyway!
Neil - do you note the clips that you require via the timecode?
I should do a little more batch capturing - I tend to review the tape before hand then find the spot on the tape and 'capture now'.
David Scattergood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2007, 12:25 PM   #5
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Eastsound, WA, USA
Posts: 13
Hmm... I guess my conclusion in response to reading your replies, is that i'm doing nothing "wrong" and that it's just my super-strict organizational mind that makes me do it the way I do it.

See, for me, when I begin editing, I want EVERYTHING at the tip of my fingers. And I can't put together a rough edit until I have in front of me, a subclip of every different take, so I can pick and choose completely freely.

Let's say I shot a particular scene from 7 different angles. When I rough edit, I'll take bits of the scene, from the different clips, and put them one after another, and see whether I like the angle changes or not. There's no point in dropping clips down into the timeline for me, because they'll be completely changing order later anyway.

Overall, I shot about 400 "takes" corresponding to 101 shots, and if I don't have direct access to each of those 400, I can't efficently edit.

At least that's how I feel. So it's good to know that what i'm doing isn't "wrong" by any means.

Thanks!, i'm off to break down my second sequence into subclips!
Lennon Aldort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2007, 02:00 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Central, OH
Posts: 207
There's nothing wrong with capturing everything you've shot and certainly nothing wrong with organizing it.

It can take an entire editing TEAM of people months to edit a 90-minute feature that was shot with a lower shooting ratio than what you've got going on. The fact that you've spent a couple hours of one day capturing footage is completely fine and normal.

I don't think anybody should expect to complete even a 5 minute film in a single day or even a weekend. Give it time, let the footage work. Investigate the performances, listen to the dialogue, tweak your edits, feel the pacing, think about what you might foley, work out your credits, figure out your music. Any one of these things can take hours and hours and then, after you're done, step away from it for a day or so and look at it again, you may be amazed at what you see still needs tweaking.

Whether you have OCD or any psychological issues is up for debate :) but editing is a time consuming process, as it should be.
David Garvin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2007, 02:07 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Healdsburg, California
Posts: 1,138
I basiclally follow the way Neil laid it out. I have no problem with shooting ALOT, but now the bulk of my efforts goes into storyboarding before any shooting is ever done.

If I storyboard effectively, then I already know exactly what I'm looking for when I begin the log and capture process. I capture everything I NEED, plus a few shots that are questionable in terms of their potential usability. When I get the flow together in the timeline, there are always a few alternate takes that I might prefer over the others, but for the most part the tedium of storyboarding and an efficient log and capture process makes the editing process go far more smoothly.

If I only have a basic concept in my mind, then I overshoot everything, and capture everything, I find that the editing process gets bogged down with too many options at every turn, along with trying to 'fix' things that seemed to work in my mind, but didn't quite turn out on the screen. This makes the editing process a very challenging chore.

-Jon
__________________
"Are we to go on record, sir, with our assertion that the 'pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers' are, in point of fact', magically delicious?"
- Walter Hollarhan before the House Subcommittee on Integrity in Advertising - May, 1974
Jonathan Jones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2007, 02:48 PM   #8
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Eastsound, WA, USA
Posts: 13
I think what's great about this whole thing is that FCP really leaves it up to the editor to decide how they want to do things. There is no "one way" of editing.

I just spent another 2 hours and 10 minutes, breaking down my second tape into subclips of takes and outtakes.

I now have 47 bins and 194 subclips, as well as my shot chart. Now, I can look at my chart, and say "I wanna look at that shot", and it's right there, numbered and labeled, in FCP.

I guess i'm just a super organized person...

Thanks for the help!
Lennon Aldort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 12th, 2007, 06:04 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 755
I think you probably require OCD in this game!
Lennon - I don't suppose you can post any screen grabs of your methods...even a photo of your shot plan?
That would certainly help me out a bit....I thought I was organised (and imbibed with a healthy dose of OCD - seriously) until I read of some of the methods posted by folks on here (yourself included).
As my projects are getting larger and more convoluted it would help, nay be necessary if I could organise correctly.

Cheers.
David Scattergood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 14th, 2007, 10:27 AM   #10
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Eastsound, WA, USA
Posts: 13
Here are 8 screenshots from FCP.

Pictures 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are a sequence of showing Sequence 2 being opened, all the way until reaching actual clips. Pictures 6 and 7 show Sequence 3 spread out like that, with the shot plan for sequence 3 right next to it. Picture 8 is just a shot of Sequence 4 partly open, because there were reshoots involved with that one.

http://img241.imageshack.us/img241/742/picture2zu3.png
Shot at 2007-07-14

http://img66.imageshack.us/img66/403/picture3of8.png
Shot at 2007-07-14

http://img241.imageshack.us/img241/8831/picture4np5.png
Shot at 2007-07-14

http://img66.imageshack.us/img66/9402/picture5ha1.png
Shot at 2007-07-14

http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/3094/picture6ys1.png
Shot at 2007-07-14

http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/2846/picture7xh0.png
Shot at 2007-07-14

http://img54.imageshack.us/img54/9777/picture8iu9.png
Shot at 2007-07-14

http://img54.imageshack.us/img54/4335/picture9ft6.png
Shot at 2007-07-14
Lennon Aldort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 14th, 2007, 02:11 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 755
That's great Lennon. Yes - ever so slightly OCD'ish, :) , but I guess in the long run your life will be a whole lot easier.
I'm not a quarter as organised as that but I really should aim to be.
Thanks for posting those.

ps: what are the slightly 'frazzled' film icons for (shown below in 14 and 16)?:

http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/3094/picture6ys1.png
David Scattergood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 14th, 2007, 05:17 PM   #12
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Eastsound, WA, USA
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood View Post
That's great Lennon. Yes - ever so slightly OCD'ish, :) , but I guess in the long run your life will be a whole lot easier.
I'm not a quarter as organised as that but I really should aim to be.
Thanks for posting those.

ps: what are the slightly 'frazzled' film icons for (shown below in 14 and 16)?:

http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/3094/picture6ys1.png
Those are subclips. That's what subclips look like in FCP.

As you can see, inside each "Sequence" bin (there's 4 of them), I have one large clip named "Sequence 1" or "Sequence 2". Those clips are the entire tape, captured from beginning to end. Then I went through the whole clip creating subclips of each take, and sorting them out in the folders.

I guess my question was "Is there a way to be this organized without so much work?" and the answer i'm getting is "No".

However, i'm happy to put the time in to have my stuff be organized.

Thanks!
Lennon Aldort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 14th, 2007, 05:21 PM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brookline, MA
Posts: 1,447
You'll get faster as you go along. I can now cut a 5-10 minutes a day, if it is a narrative work, but I used to take more than a day to cut a minute before. It's just a matter of experience.
Emre Safak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 15th, 2007, 06:12 PM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 2,053
Cutting down a tree doesn't take very long.

Slicing it up into quartersawn lumber and other portions doesn't take much longer than that.

But sorting the wood into the proper grades, then building a nice set of cabinets with perfectly mitered joints. Well THAT will take some time.

Same with production and editing.

Editing is the finishing part. And the closer you get to a finished product, the more time you'll spend. You'll find that applies to a lot of other artistic mediums as well.
__________________
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
Dean Sensui is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 15th, 2007, 08:15 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Portland, ME
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lennon Aldort View Post
I think what's great about this whole thing is that FCP really leaves it up to the editor to decide how they want to do things. There is no "one way" of editing.

I just spent another 2 hours and 10 minutes, breaking down my second tape into subclips of takes and outtakes.

I now have 47 bins and 194 subclips, as well as my shot chart. Now, I can look at my chart, and say "I wanna look at that shot", and it's right there, numbered and labeled, in FCP.

I guess i'm just a super organized person...

Thanks for the help!
As the others have affirmed, vast patience, an affinity for detail (OCD, perhaps), and the lack of aversion to repetition are all essential qualities in a film/video editor. And just as the keystrokes for the editing functions you use most often will become second nature to your fingers, so the most useful organizational systems for your media will become apparent in time.

Everyone has technical cutting techniques of their own, as you say, but -- it seems to me the breaking of raw footage into "take" subclips is wasting you a little time. Personally, I leave strings of takes intact for each camera setup, then just play them back and set Markers at the heads of takes (hitting M as the clip plays), and then at any point in the clip where I like a line reading, or the camera move worked best, or the action timed out right, etc. So I end up with a clip for each set-up and a reveal-able list of "take markers" and "good stuff markers" strung beneath it. This method has the added benefit of allowing you to scrub through other takes on the way to extracting the one you want from the master clip, which is not such a bad thing -- undiscovered jewels have a tendency to wink at you from the river of footage.

Anyway, I'm sure you're well into the process by now, so I hope you're having fun!
Sean Mewshaw is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:26 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network