06 January 11, 2015

The Editing Process

Opening Items

Approaching the Editing Phase

Watch a (fairly lengthy) movie on the whole Post-production workflow in iMovie

Preparing for the edit

  • Naming conventions
  • Close unneeded Libraries (Right- or Control-click and choose Close Library X)
  • Making a Library
  • Decide where the Library lives (strongly suggest external drive)
  • Deciding on an Event strategy
    • All footage in 1 Event?
    • One Event for each Camera?
    • One Event for main footage, one for B-roll?
  • Creating a Project (“Movie”): Select the Event you want it to live in and choose File > New Movie


Previewing Footage

  • Adjust the Browser zoom (Command-+ or Command-- [minus])
  • Skim clips for any clip that MIGHT be useful: I, O, F (In-point, Out-point, Favorite)Alternatively, you can drag an In-point and Out-point, then “F” for Favorite). Don’t worry about being precise on the I and O, but better to be a bit fat than thin. 
  • Sort by Favorites (you can always go back to All Clips)

The Basic Edit (Making the Rough Cut)

  • Build the basic story first; don’t worry yet about cutaways (B-roll), green screen [put the green screen clip in for storytelling purposes; leave the background out for now], etc. yet.
  • Find your first clip, put cursor over clip and type “X” [select all]
  • Type “E” to add to the END of the timeline
  • Rinse and Repeat
  • Advanced:
    • Possibility 1: Command-A to select ALL Favorites, then “E” to Timeline, then drag clips to the proper order
    • Possibility 2: “X” to select the first clip, then hold down Command Key as you select the other clips IN THE ORDER YOU WANT THEM. Then press “E” to add all selected clips IN THE ORDER YOU SELECTED THEM

Moving in the Timeline

  • Sort/Delete clips as needed to tell your story (drag and drop)
  • Up/Down Arrow=Previous/Next Edit
  • Right/Left Arrow=Plus/Minus 1 frame
  • Command-+/-=Zoom In/Out to Skimmer
  • Shift-Z=Full Timeline (up to a point)
Making Edits
  • Drag Head/Tail
  • Option-/=Trim to Playhead (whichever end is closer)
  • Select Edit >, [comma]/. [period] to add/subtract 1 frame at a time
  • Clip Trimmer (Right- Control-click or Command-\)
  • Precision Editor (Double-click between Edit or Command-/; clip must be selected)
Overlays (Green screen, Picture-in-Picture, B-roll [Cutaway]
  • Q=Connect Edit at Skimmer
  • For green screen, you can use the green screen clip alone until you get your edit right and then Insert Edit (W) the background clip and drag the green screen clip on top.
  • Use the same trimming tricks that you use on the main timeline
Titles and Transitions
  • The most used transition BY FAR is the straight cut (i.e. no transition); use a different transition only if it help tells the story
  • The second most common transition is the simple cross fade (dissolve)
  • Make SURE your transitions don't cut into content you care about; that's what the the extra "handles" on your clips is for
  • For titles
    • As few words as possible
    • keep fonts/styles consistent (choose one, or at most 2, throughout the piece
  • Use headphones to make audio decisions
  • Set Volume with professional material (e.g. Apple trailer or YouTube video)
  • Use waveforms to help decide levels: yellow is OK, but stay out of the red
  • Set dialog/narration first
  • Set music/SFX relative to dialog/narration
Color Correction
  • Artist's Palette icon to enter corrections
  • A little goes a long way; don't overdo anything
  • Work first on light/dark, the warmth/coolness, then contrast, then saturation
  • Keep skin tones as natural as possible
  • For clips shot under the same light, correct one clip really well, select that clip and copy (Command-C), select all other clips shot in same light, then Edit > Paste Adjustments > Color Correction