Monday, August 27, 2012

How to Edit a Feature in 7 Days

How To Edit a Feature in 7 Days

DISCLAIMER: Editing a feature in 7 days is not necessarily a good idea. I would never chose to allott that time frame for a feature edit. However, sometimes extreme circumstances align themselves and you have to churn out something in a very short amount of time.  So, here’s my 7 day formula when you’re back is to the wall.

Day 1 & 2 – Hand Sync Footage/Review Footage

I know most editors will scoff. Why waste a whole day hand syncing when you can use something like plural eyes?  I use the sync process as a chance to review all the footage and takes carefully. I sync the shot and then watch it in its entirety, making notes of specific takes and bits that I may want to use.  You see, I feel that its super important to watch ALL the footage before cutting a single frame. You need to know what you have, before you can shape it. Even if you directed the material yourself, you can’t be 100% sure of everything you captured. If the clips were already synced the impulse to jump right into the cutting would be too strong and I would definitely miss certain takes.

Day 3 & 4 – Rough Cutting

Layout a rough cut. If I have reviewed all the footage completely and made proper notes and work hard, fast and concentrate you 1 cut 45 to 50 mins of material in a day. 

Day 5  - Clean up Cut
Clean up the cut. I tend to cut long in roughs, leaving handles and pregnant pauses. But I’ve also already captured the best angels and performances. So now it’s just a matter of cleaning up what I have.

Day 6 – Sound Design
I work with a top-notch sound guy in production, so I usually don’t have to worry about bad production sound. So cleaning up the audio is usually a breeze. I spend most of this day doing sound design. Adding folly and hard effects where they are needed.
**** The particular project I’m working on now is set in one room and is a drama. There is no complicated sound fx and much of the production sound folly work is actually usable.  Towards the end of the night, I will start and export and make a DVD.  The next morning, before starting color correction I’ll watch the DVD, making any final sound, or cut notes.

Day 7 – Review DVD / Color Correction
This is a task that normally takes weeks on a feature. In order to do it in only one day you have to limit you expectations. I’m simply looking to even out the picture as a whole. And fix any grievous miss-matches.
While working on this I’ll also implement any final changes from the DVD viewing.

Just before bed, I’ll start a new export.
That’s it.

Of course the next morning I’ll check that final dvd for quality control purposes before sending out, but the cut is done.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Things to Do While Waiting for Worth to Transcode

So I have to transcode a whole feature’s worth of footage from R3D to Pro-Rez . I do not possess a red rocket card, so this is going to take a while. At the current rate it will finish up sometime Friday.

In the meantime, I’ve got a few other things to occupy my time.

  1. Writing a new script. Last week a producer made me an offer to write and direct not one, but two features I figure tomorrow morning, I’ll start on the 1st. I should be able to bang out the 1st draft by Friday.
  2. Work on developing Eat. I can’t really work with any of the promo footage we’ve shot so far, but I can continue to develop our social network connections through FB, Twitter, Blogs and cast participation.
  3. Blog, blog blog. I’ve fallen behind keeping up this and the Eat blog.
  4. Watch The Dark Knight Rises. Yeah, I still haven’t seen it.