Editing has a huge part in the way that a film or TV show is presented to an audience. It can make the difference between the final production being classed as a success or an unsuccessful piece of work. This is why it is crucial to ensure that the person who is editing the footage knows exactly what they are doing and how the final result should be. In some cases, editing can be done in a way that it could cover up any mistakes in pre production or while on set as new software’s and techniques have developed over time for such eventualities. With this in mind, editing is a long process and certain steps must be taken to ensure a good quality of work.
Before even opening your editing software, it is important that you have an organised system for file management. Not only does this ensure that you have your work in a safe area that can be easily found, but it will also save you time whilst editing as there will be no need to search for missing files. Time efficiency is absolutely crucial whilst editing as creating a sequence that flows and works well to the specification of a clients criteria can take a substantial amount of time, therefore any distractions/problems that occur can be detrimental towards the quality of the final production.
One of the key factors of a good file management system is to have sensible and comprehensive names for each and every file. This will contribute to your time efficiency once you have a long path of files as it will help you navigate towards what is actually needed. The first file that I created was named ‘Harry Bartlam – Film&TV’, and would act as the first folder in my path. Here I would create more folders, one for each new task. I then created a folder for the first editing task naming it ‘Intro To Editing’. After this I created three more folders for Audio, Editing Files and Video footage.
The following diagram shows the paths and the folders I created:
Creating The Project File
Creating the project file is the first step in the editing process. Whilst setting up the document, it is important that you have all of the correct settings in order to have the best quality of production. To change the settings, click on ‘new project’. This will open up a new window giving you the options to change the format, aspect ratio, colour space, raster dimension, and the project name. The format setting will control which format the project will work with and how your sequence is setup/import media. As you open the format tab there will be a list consisting of 18 different formats. For our first task the most suitable format would be 720p/25. ‘720p’ signifies the quality of the footage and is used in a lot of today’s media as it is in the middle range of video quality. As the number increases, so does the quality, therefore 1080p is a higher quality than 720p. The ’25’ represents the frame rate. Frame rate is changed to suit the project as it can have a big impact on how it is perceived to an audience. In most cases, a frame rate of 25 – 35 is used as this is what would normally be used in a movie or any traditional media. Though for YouTube videos or any other video sharing websites, some editors choose to work in a 60 frame rate sequence as it offers a different perspective and quality of video.
The aspect ratio controls the dimensions of the sequence that you are going to be working with. By default, Avid starts with a 16:9 dimension which is used for most videos in today’s media, though a 4:3 ratio can still be used. Raster dimension and colour space are more settings that do not need to be changed unless there is specific types of footage, which is not needed for this project.
Avid Media Composer has a fairly easy to follow interface. In its default layout, there are five different windows that are used to help contribute to editing process. In the top left corner is the project window. This will show every single bin that has been created within that document, and can be used to navigate between each one. Below that is space for each bin you have. Similar to folders, bins are used to store footage and anything else that might be needed in the project. In most cases, there would be a bin for each type of footage, video, audio etc. Along the top are the two preview windows for footage. The window on the left wold be used to preview a piece of footage before put onto the timeline. The timeline is shown towards the bottom of the screen. This is where all of the footage is placed and put together to create the sequence. The sequence is then previewed on the other window, on the right side towards the top of the screen.
Avid Keyboard Shortcuts
Here is an image showing each and every keyboard shortcut that can be used in Avid Media Composer. Though there are many different shortcuts that can be used, there are several that are crucial and must be used in order to get the best use from the software. Firstly, J,K and L are used to pause and forward/rewind footage. When you press the J key, the footage will be rewind until stopped. To increase the speed, repetitively press the same key until you are at the point needed. The same applies for the L key which will fast forward the footage. I and O are also very important shortcuts as these will create an in or out point that will allow you to select which part of the footage is included.
(LLC, no date)
To practice using Avid, we were given a task in which we had to compile a selection of video and audio footage together to create a sequence. Overall I am happy with what I came up with and how I used transitions to make the sequence flow better. During the editing process I also used some of the keyboard shortcuts which was another one of the objectives whilst doing the task.
Here is the link to a video showing what I have done – https://vimeo.com/191649597
LLC, A.S.E. (no date) Avid media composer. Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjc3NLoh6bQAhXMvxQKHbmmCNMQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.shortcutstickers.com%2Fvideo%2Favid-media-composer%2Favid-media-composer-sticker-set&psig=AFQjCNERTKIbIHMPXWsVBqIjTqZN0WOw6A&ust=1479137787359092 (Accessed: 10 November 2016).