[Lumiera] Suggestion: Shot valuation system
mexicorarara at googlemail.com
Wed Sep 17 18:44:19 CEST 2008
Ok, my idea is about something that is essential in editing, but has not
been solved satisfactory in almost any existing editing software.
One of the most important parts of the editing process is making the
actual selection of material which will be used in a movie.
I don't know how familiar you are with the amounts of material that a
regular movie is based on:
Fiction films are usually shot with a ratio of 5:1 (ultra low budget
student film) up to 100:1 (hollywood), so that means if you are working
on a feature length movie (i.e. 90min.), you have from 7.5 to 150hrs
minutes of material to work with, sometimes more i bet. You have dozens
of takes for the same shots, alternative camera angles etc. Usually
script/continuity is taking notes of what scene/shot/take is what and
passes this on the the editor, so thats the base to work on. During the
selection process, you need to take a lot of decisions, i.e. first 20
seconds of scene 1/1/1 were the best, then acting is better in 1/1/15
The good old way to do this is taking notes in a notebook, works well.
Final Cut has a very rudimentary system of marking good clips by colored
labels. In Avid you can assign color labels as well as adding custom
columns in the clips metadata. All these systems allow you additionally
to set markers in clips and in the timeline, adding descriptions to these.
In documentary it usually gets even more complicated, because the amount
of material is higher and often the editing process has a bigger part in
finding a dramatic structure - because things are not as predetermined
as a script based fiction film. I don't know of any editing system which
assists this process in a clever way. Photo Cataloging softwares are
much more advanced in that sense: they allow you to set up keywords and
categories of keywords, for example Locations, People etc. and assign
them to each image. The markers that Avid and FinalCut have are good to
set specific points of interest in longer clips. But usually they dont
allow you to mark ranges of longer clips - for example there could be a
shot which is 10 minutes long but has only 15 seconds of really
interesting footage. Usually you would make subclips of these and store
them somewhere in your bin.
Some editors i know use a process where they are putting together the
movie (in fictional movies) with all its takes, all its shots but in the
right order, then they watch this monster which has ALL the material and
watch it several times, every time cutting out the scenes which the dont
like so at the end they are left with the things they consider good.
i know a guy who is working with three video tracks, V1 has all the
material, then he is moving the stuff which technically is ok (not out
of focus etc.) to V2, then selecting the stuff which is actually good
and moving it to V3.
i think it would be really cool to have a freely configurable valuation
system, where you can assign any kind of keywords or meta-data to clips,
to ranges of clips etc.
then to have some kind of database UI which allows you to access this
categorized clips. It would be also nice to have virtual sequences, i.e.
in a documentary, the team is following a protagonist. if you had marked
all the portions of clips where the protagonist is visible, maybe a
little information about the shot size etc. and you could filter out
something like "show me a sequence of all close shots of my protagonist"
- that could come really handy.
hmm, i hope this was understandable somehow.
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