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Syncing Your Footage

Lesson 23 from: Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Victor Ha

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Lesson Info

23. Syncing Your Footage

Set up for a successful edit by creating "goal posts" and allowing enough time to reach each one. Start working on the edit by laying out the timeline and syncing footage.

Lesson Info

Syncing Your Footage

We're gonna talk about setting up for the edit, guys. So we've got the audio track done. We've got it saved out, we've pumped it, we've saved out that file with the noise printer removed and that kind of stuff. So let's jump back into Keynote, and talk about setting up for the edit. When you set up for the edit, guys, get ready to spend a lot of time. Just a lot of time, because what I mean by that, it took me 14 hours to edit this. 14 hours. Between listening to audio, sweetening it up, getting stuff through the timeline, adding B-roll, cleaning it up, exporting it out, spinning in DaVinci, round trimming it back, setting it up again, and then waiting for it to render. If you have a deadline of Monday, don't expect to wake up Monday morning and render it. That means you need to be done with your edit on Sunday afternoon, at the latest Sunday night so that you can render it out, look at it, make corrections, and render it out a second time. If your delivery date is Monday, you've gotta...

be done by Sunday. Flat, no exceptions. The last thing you wanna do is scramble Monday morning to piece it all together. You follow me? Cause rendering, that two minute video that we're gonna show you today took me almost an hour to render off my computer. And every time you render it out, and look at it and make a change, that's another hour. And every time you make another change, that's another hour. So be prepared to do that, and be prepared to give yourself some wiggle room. Here's another thing: I could've kept going. But, you gotta give yourself breaks and goalposts. Lay the audio in, sync it, take a break. Once you lay it in and sync it, cut out the statements, take a break. Once you cut out the statements, start creating crafting statements, take a break. Add in B-roll, take a break. Set it up for export, take a break. You gotta do that so when you walk back you're good. Now if I wasn't doing this over three days, I would've just laid it in, laid the statements down, walked away from it for a few days, come back, do it again, walk away from it for another day, come back, grade, walk away from it. Over the course of like seven days I could've cranked it out. And here's the thing too, is if you deliver an edit too quickly after the shoot, it communicates to your client that it's easy. Communicates to your client that it's easy. And then, they start trying to make changes: Oh, it didn't take that long. So can you make this one a little bit different? Can you change it over here, move this clip there? But they don't realize all the time that went into it because you have to grade it. If you wanna show the work to the client, show them the rough before you grade, because if they make changes during the rough, that's a lot easier than if you actually grade it and then have to go back. Don't do any color. You got a question? How many re-edits do you allow your client? One. Yeah, one re-edit. Everything else they pay for. (chuckles) Alright, so get ready to spend a lot of time editing, now sync your footage before you edit. So we did the audio, now we're gonna bring it in. Now let's go and talk about syncing footage. I like Premier Pro for this type of shoot. Two cameras, one audio track. Sync it, boom, done. If you have multiple recorders and multiple cameras, use Pluralize. Pluralize is a really, really powerful tool. They just came out with 4.0, that's phenomenal. It's part of a suite of other plugins and products. So you have to purchase it if you wanna use it. But for what we are doing, for everything that we are doing, Premier is fine. I know people who only use Premier for all of their audio syncing. It takes just a couple more clicks to do it for multiple cameras and multiple recorders, but its just as good. Other tools do exist. Here is good reference sound is necessary. Absolutely necessary. Get a timeline of the whole interview with both cameras. We're gonna talk about that right now. Just get it to the timeline, understand that it will change, and this is where you're actually gonna start working, this is where we're actually gonna spend a lot of time. Just to take a look at our footage. To lay stuff in, to start reviewing all of the footage. So lets jump in to Premier. So what I've done is I've created some sort of a sequence for us to look at. So again, I'm not really gonna jump through what the levers and pulleys are inside of Premier. But I will tell you, typically this is where your source shows up, here's where your edit shows up, and this is what's called a timeline. It goes from zero to endpoint, being whatever time you're gonna end on. On an empty timeline, if you wanna load in a track or load in something, you just do Command I to import it. And once you find your footage, or find your audio track, in this case I'm gonna find my interview, I'm gonna go to the audio files, and I'm gonna pick the audio file that I ended up working on, which is this one. It's gonna show up in my Project Bin. So I take that and drag that into my track, for audio track, and just take it and drag it in. That's the entire interview. Soup to nuts, we get and get. Once I do that, I can start laying in other things. So I've laid in here just some footage. I've taken the footage, I've dropped it to my timeline, and in this case right here, if I show you this, you can hear that the audio is not synced up with the video. Give it a second. You know how its not synced up. So in order for me to sync up that video with the audio, its really easy, guys. Just click the audio track, shift click your video track, and shift click the reference track. Those three things. What you're gonna do now, is I hate looking through menus, so a really great feature up here called Search. Just type in "sync", and you'll see Synchronize. Click Synchronize, it'll show you where it is in the menu. Click on that, boom, a little window pops up. Just right here, make sure it says "audio" and "track 1". Why "track 1"? Cause that's where your reference sound is. You follow me on that one? Audio, Track 1, because my reference sound is on Track 1. From here, click "Okay". Now what it's doing, is it's syncing up these waveforms, and is gonna drag that video clip with it. (snaps) It's gonna snap it into place. So now when I play it, See? It's actually playing with it. What we're getting here are drop frames because of the quality that we're playing back at. If I give it a second, let the computer catch up, I should be able to, See? So now, my audio track is synced up with my Camera One. Let's take a look at Camera Two. Camera Two is a problem. Camera Two is a big problem. Because Camera Two had no audio, it had no audio. So if I go back in here, let's go back into Finder just so I can prove to you that we had a big, big, big, big problem. So I'm gonna go in the interview, go into Camera Two, actually did this. When I saw this, I freaked out and was like, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. So here's my camera. It's playing, there's no audio at all, whatsoever. And I was like, okay. Well, I'm gonna jump into QuickTime. See, I'm checking everything that plays video outside of Premier because I'm thinking I'm fine, I'm thinking I'm fine. And I hit Play, there's no audio. There is absolutely no audio. So what am I gonna do? Alright, let's take a look here. This is possible because I did it. I made the mistake, I still needed the footage, I still needed to sync it. So what do you have to do? You have to watch that second clip and you have to look at that first clip, and you have to time an action with it. So this is where shooting like one file would have been great, had my camera not died. Twice, (laughing) I'm not perfect, guys. It was just me. I heard the camera click once, and I was like (grunts), went over, hit record, started doing it again, heard it click again, (grunts) went over, little did I know my camera had another trick up its sleave. (Laughter from audience) So, I've got these four files that I've gotta worry about. So what do you do? You start with the easiest ones first. You start with the endpoints. Because the endpoints are super easy to figure out. To be very, very honest, had I not shot just four files, I would have given up. High capacity rules, high capacity rules. Cause even a mistake like this, its only four files. At worse, it would have been one. At best, it would have been one. So what did I do here? I looked at the last part of the shoot and I looked for, oh, that's a great thing! Oh, he laughed. He laughed. Fantastic. So then I looked at the other thing and tried to find where he laughed. And I threw it in that area, and I played it over and over and over again, until those video tracks lined up with the sound. That took a lot of time. It took about an hour. Took about an hour, because I had to figure out where things were, because there was a moment here, someone asked me yesterday from the web did we record a lot of footage on the off camera while you weren't interviewing. That was all the footage that we recorded here. Remember did someone ask me, do you sometimes record cameras while you're not interviewing just to get more natural things? Yeah, I did that. I did that here. But it ended up almost hurting me a lot because it made figuring out how to sync it much harder. You see what I'm saying? Had I had audio, it wouldn't have mattered. But because I didn't have audio, it mattered. Can you see how one choice now affects your decisions later? You have a question? I'm seeing several sequences here. Does that particular sequence have the entire interview in it? So basically what you're seeing here are sequences for me to help teach you guys. So we're gupping here, this is the empty timeline, we're talking about laying in audio here. I'm not syncing anything. Here, I'm fully synced. And this is the entire interview, synced. I've laid in all the video, all the audio from both cameras, and they're synced. So just to reiterate, you let the camera continually roll, you let the audio continually roll. That way it's just easier I let the audio and the cameras continually roll. I wasn't by myself. Could you imagine what would happen if I forgot to hit record? You don't record it, you're done. You're toast. Space is cheap. Don't stop the camera, don't stop the recorder. The only time you stop the camera and the recorder in an interview, is when you're giving your guy a break. Cause you gotta stop it anyway and get a re-level the second time. So because I did that, it cleaned up really real nicely. The next step from here, once you get it all synced, can you hear between how I'm asking questions? Let's just listen really quickly. Can you hear me talking? That's distracting during the end. Once you're done syncing, the next step is to get rid of every time you talk. You don't wanna hear yourself. You wanna hear the answers. So what that looks like is now, you've just chopped up all of that timeline. You've chopped up all that timeline. And the way that I did that is this. I come in, and I listen to what I'm saying, and all I do is take my cut tool, my little razor tool, and I scrub. And it's really easy to hear when Ivan speaks. This is me, that's Ivan. You see that? So I'm just going right to that wave. And then I'm just gonna cut it. And here's where it gets really fun cause this is where you get to start to delete stuff. Delete it, get rid of it. And as you do that, what's gonna happen is its gonna give you a timeline of stuff just to look at now. So now you can go from statement to statement. You can be like, hey what does this mean? What is this over here? So now you're just watching the interview. You're watching it here, you're watching it there. You could go ahead and, jump to a clip if you wanted. If you notice here, Video Track Two, Video Track One, Audio. Why don't I have a video track up here? What happened there? Remember, the camera stopped. Camera died, played a trick on me. That's why that doesn't have a video track. So you still use it, even though you don't have it, you still put it in there and you still and you still look at it because, and I'll show you later, even if you don't have one camera angle, you can still use the footage and piece things together very, very easily. I have a question back here. So is this the cut without you speaking? The thing that you're listening to over and over again or is it the whole thing? No, the thing I'm listening to over and over is the whole thing. Because I need to hear my question with his answer, so I just hear the whole thing. Listen to it over and over and over, okay? When I get to here, I am now familiar enough with the interview, that I can start to move things around. You get it? So now, remember, repeat on that song? Hear that song (scatting) Now you can just pick a part of that song out and just start singing it. That's that part, this is it. You start the frontal really wide, and then you come down. So, what do you guys think? How does that feel? Does it feel good? Yeah? Awesome. I think what we have to really think about here is that I got us this far, and we haven't really started editing yet. All this discussion was to get you to a timeline so that you could start editing with confidence. Fixing your audio file, laying it in, understanding some of the traps that we always face, and then getting it to a place where we could actually look at this, and go, okay, I could do this now. This is easy. I got myself here. Cause getting yourself here is half the battle. It's actually most of the battle. Am I right? How many times have you guys gotten here? I would say a handful of times. You gotta get here every time. And doing what I have shown you in this segment, will get you there every time.

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Cheryl Winkles

You're awesome, I learnt a lot from you, this is like a must-have first course for anyone who wants to step into video or filmmaking world. Highly recommended and thank you a million Victor Ha.

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic course, Victor is one of the finest instructors I have encountered. Great stuff, I would highly recommend this for anyone who wants to work in video

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