Building a Rough Cut: Cut Planning
Building a rough cut, what is a rough cut? Okay, it's your starting point, you have a blank slate, okay, it's like I'm ready to tell the story, I have all my video, I need to now figure out what I want to do, now, you might have already done some kind of a plan it might be a situation where you wrote a script and you're cutting the script so you're just following an outline, or it might be a situation what we're going to work with, is an interview, we did an interview with another photographer, Mike Hagen, who does some great things on Creative Live, he just did a panoramic course, he's going to do a do it yourself studio course for those who kind of want to build a studio in their basement, and he goes on these great trips and takes photographers and they get amazing images, so I sat down with him the other day and we kind of did an interview, and we talked and we shot it with multiple cameras, and I got some B roll of his photography, as well as some underwater footage, and we're goi...
ng to try to tell a little bit of a story with that, but I don't really have a preconceived idea, and a lot of times, that's maybe a situation that you're in. What are some challenges, I'm going to throw this back out at you because I want this to be interactive, of things you may have shot and you're not really sure how to tell the story? Has anybody had any experience of like, okay, I got the footage, now what? Why don't we hand out a mic, I think.
Well exactly that, exactly that. I'm in the process right now of accumulating content, and the idea is to create something after the fact, I don't have, I'm not in this stage I'm not writing a story and filming it based on a script, I'm just, I have, the situation is just collecting the content, so to your point, I'm, what do I do next?
Right, you're lost, and I think that's a very valid point especially for people coming from a photography background, you're used to shooting things, and you just have the images, so you'd have to figure out the story first, and the first step you're going to do, is you're going to review your footage, now let's take a quick peek at what we're going to cover in this next lesson, this current lesson. We're going to actually learn the application, going to create a new project. And we're going to revisit the interface, we've looked at it a couple times already, we'll be revisiting things throughout the week. We'll be repeating it so it sticks with you, so you don't have to say oh, what is that keyboard shortcut that he said, three days ago, I'm going to repeat that stuff. That's a good way of learning. We're going to adjust a couple of import preferences, okay, gets very confusing, but we're not going to sit there and go okay, let's get through every preference I'm going to look at preferences throughout the course, as we need them because then they'll be relevant. Because the worst thing you can have is somebody saying, change these preferences, and you don't know why, okay. And if I change something, and you don't know why, please, you know, speak up, and say why are you doing this? What's the purpose behind it? Because there's usually a purpose, don't just give me a number. We'll look at importing some media, we're going to do deep importing much later on. One of the things I like to do is I put importing and ingesting another term we'll use for it, towards the end because once you understand how you work with the media, you'll have a better idea how to ingest the media, and have better idea of the variety of media you're working with and that's because you might be getting media off of a DSLR, you might have a video camera, it might be your iPhone, and every camera, every brand of camera, I should say, and even within brands, they might record video a little differently, so if you look on your SD card or your CF card, you're like, wait a second this is a movie, this is a MP4, this says MXF, this is AVCHD, it's very confusing, so what we're going to do initially is we're going to have the media on the computer, which is a case that you might already have, you might have figured out how to get it off your camera, we're going to bring it in that way, and just start working with it. So we'll get to ingesting and exhaust your brains later on. We're going to look at selecting the shots, how we go and look at the media, I preorganized some of it but how you would organize the media. Transport controls and keyboard shortcuts, well transport controls that sounds very complex. Anybody remember VCRs? Okay, you've got that play button, rewind, fast forward, transport controls. We do not have the blinking 12, for those people that remember that. Do not have the blinking 12. We're going to look at marketing in out points. Choosing the part of the clip that you want to bring in. Instead of bringing in the whole thing, because obviously you're shooting much more than you want to show your audience to tell your story, as a matter of fact, you use very small clips usually, to tell your story. Now there's different types of ways you can edit. And everybody has their own style. I like to say that the great thing about premiere pro is there's five or six ways to do everything, the challenging thing about premiere pro is, there's five or six ways to do everything. And you should do what works best for you. If you like dragging and dropping, you can do that, if you like keyboard shortcuts, you can do that, if you like menus, if you like control clicking, or right clicking, all of those options are available, whatever works best for you, and you don't have to use just one style. If my hand is on the mouse, I'll drag and drop or right click, if I'm on the keyboard, I may use a keyboard shortcut. So you'll figure out what works best for you. I am going to give you some keyboard shortcuts, premiere works on both Mac and the Window operating systems. Most of the keyboard shortcuts are the same, I'm going to show you where you can look them up, if you haven't remembered them all, and I'll probably create a cheat sheet that we can download at the end of the course of my favorite keyboard shortcuts, because sometimes it is more efficient. So we're going to look at keyboard editing. We're going to look at something called overwrite and insert edits, I'm not going to really get into what they are now because we're going to see them in practice, very confusing thing for folks, editing video is all these tracks of video and audio, now if you come from a background with Photoshop, it's a good start because you're used to working with layers, so that's the same thing for video and audio is just layers of sound. And we'll explore that, and how you put things on different layers, and then, you know, adding B roll, adding a cutaway, we're going to look at adding cutaways, and then something called three point editing, which is a very precise way of putting the exact part of your clip exactly where you want it in your sequence, so let's go ahead and start by looking at the footage I have and some of the organization I've done. And if you do have a question feel free to raise your hand, and I think it'll be good for me to answer it, and that'll help folks out. So what I've done is I have a folder and if you have bought the course, you'll have access to most of this media, so you can follow along, and I've organized this media, and I want to set up something, just to make it a little easier, because you know, that's a little bit hard to see, so on a Mac I can go ahead in my system preferences. And... We're going to turn on the ability to zoom, oh, it's already there, good, excellent. So, in this folder I have a bunch of media, and I've preorganized it, okay. So what are the elements, and this is a good cheat cheat, as you see, what are some of the elements that you use to create a story? To create a rough cut? You can cheat, you can look at this wall.
Sound! You'll have audio, you have audio, whether that's music, sound effects, or just a voice over, or voice and video together, such as an interview or maybe it's an event, okay, and somebody's talking, so that's one element that, one set of elements. What else?
Storyline, so now you have to think of a structure, okay, it goes back to like if you're writing anything. The first thing you do is you do an outline, now you may do a mental outline, and you may modify that but you're gonna sit there, and you're going to go, okay, I want to tell a story, how can I start telling the story, and there's a lot of different ways to do it, depending on the type of story you're telling. So if it's something scripted, you already have it, you probably will break it down into scenes, and you can cut them as I'll cut together a scene, and then I put together multiple scenes, and I have an act, and you put together multiple acts, and you have a whole movie, and you're done, it's that easy, right, that's why we can all do that. In other cases it's not so easy, you might be doing a documentary and you're just recording lots of events, and now you have to figure out what is the organizational structure so a lot of times what you'll want to do is you'll say, okay, what's the story I want to tell, and you, again, you do it in little chunks, you say, okay, this was a cool event, this was a cool event, this was a cool event, so you create sequences, of video and audio, and then you can organize them. And that's going to be something documentaries are one of the hardest things to cut, because you really start from no idea, and the idea is developed based upon what you've recorded, and what you've learned. Another way is an interview, which is what we'll be working with. And in this case the interview tells the story, but you manipulate the story, and I don't say that in a negative way, but you tell the story by what you choose to put in. The order that you put that information in is, and what you choose to leave out. Because nobody wants to watch two hours of somebody talking, unless they're me. No, I like to watch two hours of people talking, I just sometimes, just call up time, anybody remember that, there'll be lots of references in this, by the way, to old movies, and things before the year 2000, and probably even before that. So what we're going to do, is we're going to do what's called a radio edit. And a radio edit says, I'm going to take my sound bytes and I'm going to lay them down on the timeline, to tell my story, and then I'm going to start bringing in things like B roll, to cover up edits. Or maybe I want it to breathe a little bit and develop a rhythm, okay, so that's another way that you would attack it, you'd say, okay, let me look at the sound bytes, and organizing that before is very useful. Especially if you have a lot of audio interviews, we don't have a lot, it's about a five or six minute interview, I'm probably going to play the whole thing for you, just so you can get an idea of what we're working with, okay? We're going to work through this. So that's an important thing, where do we start with the story? Okay, other things, and I think I've kind of guided us here you know we have the sound, we have music, sometimes you'll have graphics, whether that's a lower third, a title, that you know, to ID somebody, maybe it's the show opening, so graphics can be created within premiere, there's a titling tool within it or you can use outside graphics, something you've created in Photoshop, or Indesign. Or Aftereffects, those are all very useful tools, and if you have those skill sets, you can use them, but if you don't, a lot of that can be self contained, so you're looking at titles, you're looking at B roll, just footage, cutaway footage, you're looking at music and sound, and I've kind of divided this into a preorganized structure. Okay, and that's a good way to start, is at least organizing your media, so you can find it once you have it on your computer. Okay, and that's what I've done here, and it also makes it easier, once I start ingesting it, so I'm going to show you what's inside these, and by the way, I think that's pretty easy, you all can see this pretty well? So for instance, in the B roll, I have footage, video footage that he gave us, that I'm going to use some clips from, as a matter of fact, this was just a group of things that he gave me that were already strung together, so I'm going to have to cut it up to choose what I want. In reference to my sounds, I actually got a bunch of underwater sound effects, and I'll revisit where I got this, in a later episode where we do audio, but if you have the creative cloud, which means you have premiere, you have Lightroom, you have Photoshop, you also have a program called Audition, which is a sound editing program, we're not going to learn Audition, it's another animal, may hop into it for a cool little trick at the end of the four weeks, but Adobe has all this free audio, all you have to do is Google it, okay, and you can say you know, Adobe Audition free sound effects. And free music beds, and it's gigabytes of stuff, gigabytes, and so I just went there and I downloaded a bunch of underwater bubble sounds from Adobe, they're royalty free, so you can use them to create your projects, you're not going to go out and package them and sell them, as a sound effect slide Adobe would not like that, but you can use them royalty free, and that's great, that's the big question people have, is like, where can I get resources? And so I'll use that underneath when we work with the audio, so I'm keeping in mind what elements I need, as I'm starting this rough cut, what footage I might need, and I may go back and add to it, okay, but I want to at least get you know, an idea, I know what footage I have. I also have photographs, we'll be working with photographs let me go ahead and zoom back here. Make that a little clearer. So Mike sent me a bunch of his images. These are all JPGs, now let's talk a little bit about the type of media that you can work with. Premiere can almost work with everything, I mean tif files, Photoshop documents, pix files, JPGs, not a big fan of camera raw, because it's not developed yet, so if you're shooting camera raw, but JPGs are really useful, because they're small enough and they're easy to work with if you're really a purist, tifs, but JPGs work great, and we'll talk about resolution a little bit later, about the size of the pictures as you start working with it so I just have a bunch of photographs he gave me, and we're going to be using those as cutaways, and maybe to do an opening montage, and this is what I'm thinking in my head, I'm trying to say okay, what elements do I need, and I don't have them all. And then finally, I'm going to take a quick look at my interview clips and so what we did, is we sat down and we set up four cameras. This is four cameras, one for this side of the audience, one for this side of the audience, no. Four cameras, actually, I'm lying, we set up three cameras, because we did a really cool trick, and when we shot this interview, and you don't have the luxury of always having four cameras but you will be doing interviews I'm sure, is we have a camera on me, we had a camera on both of us, and a camera just on Mike, so you know, that's a standard, you know, over the shoulder, master shot, whatnot. When you do something like this, if you don't have more than one camera, you can recreate it, you can say okay, we're going to do this, we'll do an interview from this angle, and then we're going to do a closeup and see your answers, or you do cutaways, so you don't necessarily have to record multiple cameras simultaneously. If you do, and another lesson that we will, again, get to, is you can merge them together into what's called a multi camera edit, where you sync everything up and you switch it like you see on the Emmy awards, in the backroom, so we're going to look at that but those are different ways that you're going to get materials, so this is audio and video, we're going to be working with that, a lot of stuff I just said, going to get to catch your breath, we're going to take a look at this interview, but before we do that, have I raised any questions? Yes.
You talked about the over the shoulder and master shots, could you just talk a little bit about those types of shots?
That's a great question, and this goes back to if I say something that's jargon, because I say it, I've said it for so many years, I forget that we don't use this everyday, you don't go, oh, I'd like a cup of coffee, and could you give it to me with an over the shoulder shot? Well if they're working as a barista, they're probably an actor or a director, so they probably could, but. Let's take a look at this footage, and so as you see, I have four elements here, master, over the shoulder, close up, close up. So this is the master shot, I'm going to just open up these quick time movies. So obviously we started rolling before. So this is just a two shot, this is like a run for cover shot, always a safe shot to have, both people are in the frame. We shot this in a very small room, and this will be the interview that we watch. Let's go ahead and take a look at the next one. I'm going to save the over the shoulder for last, because I want to build the drama. Okay, so we have a shot of Mike.
Oh yeah, I started with film and I have slide cabinets, full of slides.
Okay, standard shot, lockdown, these are all lockdowns, I'm a big fan of using a tripod. We have me asking the questions. Tours, tell me a little bit about that. Okay, so that's our three basic shots. And in addition to that, I have this, and there's variations of the over the shoulder shot. You see this in news all the time, and it's actually a very you know, one, it's useful, it creates a relationship with the people that are being interviewed, and the interviewer, sometimes, if you don't see my mouth, you could put any question there as he's listening, or he could be answering something, so it actually allows you to, you'll notice this all the time, that you know, the person's head, you see the back of their head, and they're talking to the person, and since you don't see their mouth, you actually tighten up the question or whatnot. So an over the shoulder, and there's a variety of different framing, medium shot, long shot, wide shot. Just gives you some visual variety, too. There was another question.
Can you clarify what a lockdown is?
Yes, so a lockdown, or I said use a tripod, is, I'm old school in that, yes, we have people do this moving camera thing, this slightly moving camera, there is an art to that, I see a lot of people like, oh, well it's a moving camera, so I don't need a tripod, and you end up seasick after awhile. It's a very gentle move, so usually, just like you would for a long exposure, I put things, my camera, on a tripod. And frame it and I'll stay behind it, because if people move you want to be able to adjust slightly, but you don't have that constant motion, so it's a safer shot, it also allows you to focus on what they're talking about, instead of having all this strange stuff happen, so I'm a big fan of keeping it as stable as possible, and usually if you're new to video, being able to just not have to fight the fact that your camera went out of focus or flew out of the frame, you can tell your story, it's, get good at using a tripod then you can go handheld. One more question then we'll get moving on.
Define B roll for me, please?
B roll, again, these are all great terms, or great questions, B roll, is usually what we would call the cutaway stuff. It can be, it came from a lot of different roots, but B roll could be like, cutaways of photographs, or cutaways of Mike working in the field, or the underwater footage. It comes from different areas, one is there's always a B camera crew in movies, that will shoot like, all the things without the actors, that they would use to kind of fill in, and also in the days of linear editing, now this is another jargon term that is thrown around, linear versus non linear, when you used to record things from tape to tape that if you wanted to use a piece of footage that was on the same tape, you'd actually have to copy it over to a second tape, or a B tape, or B roll tape, so you record onto the master. So you could lay it over, so it's a jargon we use, but basically think of B roll as your cutaways, okay, as your coverage shots, or your shots that would overlap somebody being interviewed that tells the story, visual that tells the story. All good questions, so I've organized this, I have these four shots, I told you we cheated a little bit that was really three cameras even though it looks like four and this is a great trick and I want to be able to throw some of these out at you, this shot was shot with a 4K camera, which is an ultra high definition camera, which, in this case was a camera that was about this big, okay, technology is amazing, well, high definition video, is 1920 pixels, by 1080 pixels, okay, about two megapixels, not very big. Ultra high definition is basically four of those. Okay, it's if you double 1902, it's 3860 by 2160, I think my math is wrong somebody will probably dial in and say no, you did the math wrong, but, I'm close, I figure it's about 4000 pixels wide, so what it allowed me to do, is actually, have my wide shot and shrink it down to 1920 by 1080, and I grabbed a closeup of his face, and so now I actually have two shots to work with with one camera and I bring that up as a trick, because some of you won't have the luxury of multiple cameras, and if your camera does shoot this ultra high definition, this 4K video, you can leverage that because you can actually use just part of the frame without losing resolution. So again, it's a great trick and it gives visual variety, and that's what you want to do sometimes, you want visual variety, and you also want the ability that if I want to cut something out, I can cut from this medium shot, to a close up, and it will feel smooth, so let's bring this stuff in, let's actually start creating this rough cut.