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As you edit, ALWAYS choose the best shots. Avoid editing shots that are shaky and otherwise distracting to the viewer. Don't use shots that draw attention to bad photography or to the editing itself. Otherwise, the viewers will become distracted and can no longer follow the story.
Additionally, use shots that have the best audio. Audiences are less tolerant of bad audio than they are bad video. Otherwise, you could lose your audience for good! It's in your interest, and the audience's benefit, when you apply the standards of broadcast excellence to your work.
As a rule – NEVER insert a bad shot or leave a bad edit that could draw attention to itself. Otherwise, viewers will think that you don't care enough about your work. If you don't care, then why should they?
Streamline Your Editing
Whether you're editing a news package or a documentary, the following tips will help streamline your editing and give you more time to become creative. These tips were compiled based on testimonies from professional reporters, photographers and editors:
Get familiar with the footage
Don't do any editing until you have logged your sound-bites and have written your script. Write to your visuals, so get to know your b-roll. In some cases, commit your footage to memory, or you can log it. But don't edit a thing until you have a script because you're going to make changes anyway.
The novice often starts editing video first and they write the script as they edit. Trust me, this will only slow you down because it's not an efficient use of your time. Know your footage and SOTS and then write.
You should have some knowledge about how you want to tell the story from beginning, middle, and end. Think visually how the story can be told. Remember, TV is a visual medium. Always write to your video and be sure that your narration advances the story.
Build your audio sequence first and then add your cover shots
This method is particularly useful when trying to edit your story to a precise length. Also, it’s a faster method to match your cover shots with the audio instead of editing video and then adding audio. Building the audio first is a good reason to save your editing until after writing the script. It will give you the chance to listen to your story as a 'radio cut' -- to know that it makes sense and that you haven't left out important information. Also, it's easier to make changes at this stage before the video is added. Why do more work than you have to?
One of the most efficient methods to accelerate your workflow is to use
Let your story “breathe!”
Don’t assemble back-to-back SOTS and reporter track so close together that the viewer doesn’t have the chance to absorb, even for a moment, on the information you just conveyed. One way to open up your package is to include a quick montage sequence of two or more shots using NATS. Or just hold on a shot for a second or two before you begin the next audio.
Don't use bad shots
Sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised! When selecting shots, avoid using improperly white-balanced, over- or under-illuminated video, out-of-focus shots, or jittery pans and zooms in your final edit. If the shots are photographed poorly, then they must be discarded. Hopefully, among all your footage, you have more good shots than bad – another good reason to get a variety of shots of the same subject rather than just one.
Use shots with good audio
Along with good video it is essential to select shots that have good audio (another reason to use headphones). Do not use shots that have distorted audio, excessive hiss, crackling or popping sounds. Use your audio metres in Final Cut Pro to determine whether the audio peaks much above –12dB (dialogue can be at about -8dB). Sometimes you might need to raise or lower the audio in Final Cut, but the audio should be free of distortions and have clarity above all else.
Properly mix the NATS with SOTs and/or track
THIS IS IMPORTANT! Adjust the levels of your NATS so that they are not competing with your other audio (reporter track or SOTS).
Include video padding at the front and back end of your video, whether you’re doing a PKG, VO/SOT, or Look Live. This padding is necessary to allow the studio director time to transition between video-to-studio and studio-to-video.
- Add 2 seconds of video pad at the beginning;
- and at least 10 seconds at the end.
For VO's, always pad them with at least an additional 10 seconds of video. If you don’t have the available video, then it is acceptable to make a freeze frame.
With respect to padding, the first audio in your package (that is, audio narration or SOTs, excluding NATS) should occur two seconds after the first video.
Exporting Video - The Slate
Export only after you have been given the OK by your instructor or TA. You need a slate prior to the first video, but no black in between the slate and the first video. The slate is bumped up against the first frame of your video. The slate should include the following information:
SLUG (and indicate whether it's a PKG, VO, SOT, or LLPKG)
TRT (total running time)
Energy Drinks VO
TRT 35 sec
29 November 2011