Question for the Film Makers 101 at

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 22nd, 2004, 02:09 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 1,854
Question for the Film Makers 101

If you were going to make a film feature (term "film" used liberally, I mean video), which way would you do it?

A.) Assemble the video clips, then dub in the narration.


B.) Narrate the story, and then dub in the video clips to illustrate.
Tom Roper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 22nd, 2004, 02:54 PM   #2
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Wildomar, CA
Posts: 89
When using voice overs, I start with the video then add the narration. Sometimes you may have to fill in spots with some still shots, etc. Works for me, but I also don't create scripts or storyboards for our trainig films. Just basic outlines.
Josh Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 22nd, 2004, 02:58 PM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 1,929
When going the "audio-first" route, wordiness will be your project's downfall. Unrestrainedly lengthy narration forces the video track to fill in with oftentimes irrelevant or repetitive images.
All the best,
Robert K S

Search for quick answers | The best in the business: sponsors
Robert Knecht Schmidt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2004, 07:38 AM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,707
personally, I think that's a question you can only answer after playing
around on your own. There are conventions to everything, but it might
work better for you to switch around. When I do commerical production
work I always write a script and get shots acccordingly....then I do a
voice over. You might might end up getting some visuals that'll
slightly change your script, so having a blueprint (which is exactly
what a script's not a book, it's a blueprint that is a living
and breating document) is important, so you stay on track of your
mission. However, when it's all shot...and you go to do your voice
over, then you can tweak a little based on what you know you got and

I always expand and contract video to the audio. Like if I were
shooting exteriors of a business and I didn't get the sign (always get
the sign!) I'd make a graphic and make sure I said the name to
re-inforce the visual. You always do that..

My point is...if somehthing happens to the video you can tweak the
audio. I think the general rule is script matter what.

Christopher C. Murphy
Director, Producer, Writer
Christopher C. Murphy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2004, 09:48 AM   #5
Major Player
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 581
Robert made a good observation. Many editors cut the video/film first, without sound, trying to tell the story visually. Dialogue is only added to enhance the story but you hope to be able to achieve the ability to understand the story without any dialogue at all, though that is difficult to do. Walter Murch works this way.
Rob Belics is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 24th, 2004, 09:17 AM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 4,448
I had a client one time who was an audio guy but had no experience in video, and he had a totally completed sound track, music and all, before we shot a frame. It was a nightmare trying to get all the action to match. Probably doubled my production time, because many of the shots had to be continuous and I couldn't rely on cutaways to compress or extend time in many cases.
In TV commercials, however, it is sometimes common for us to get in a completed audio track. That's generally not much of a problem. With a real movie, however, the visuals need to come first. That doesn't mean you can't lay down your narration track and start laying visuals over it, but you don't want to do that with a mixed track, because you'll have to slip audio around a lot to make things work out.
Bill Pryor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 24th, 2004, 09:35 AM   #7
Inner Circle
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
Flexibility is the key here I think. Depending on the nature of the project, one can cut to video or audio first. In a documentary, it's not uncommon to make a "radio cut" first. Even without a narrative VO. Sometimes, its easiest to cut all the interviews and commentary so that it makes sense. THEN go back, lay in B roll footage over the commentary... feeling free to extend and overwrite teh "script" you have crafted from the audio sequences.

How many ways can you skin a cat?
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 27th, 2004, 06:13 PM   #8
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 1,854
Thanks to everyone for replying

I've been following silently. Good points made by all. We seem to agree there's more than one way to do it, having a good outline and flexibility are keys, and don't forget to get the sign...Lol!

Your jobs are safe...I'm never going to be doing this for anything but fun. Accordingly, my voice-over morphed into an instrumental music track. No one will accuse me of mucking it up with wordiness now. But it was truly shocking how adding something as ubiquitous as a music track transformed ordinary, non-descript footage into something that can successfully masquerade as art.
Tom Roper is offline   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

Omega Broadcast
(512) 251-7778
Austin, TX

(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

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

(800) 238-8480
Glendale, 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 > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:02 PM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2015 The Digital Video Information Network