Transcriptive tools for Documentary Filmmaking

Interview-based productions were already one of the main use cases for AI transcriptions when we first released Transcriptive. Having all content converted into text meant the footage was searchable, and the ability to create captions allowed video editors to comply with accessibility and broadcasting requirements. What we didn’t know was how much documentary production workflows would play a role in the plugin development: we added the ability to transcribe not only sequences, but also entire clips, comments and strikethrough can now be added to transcripts, lets production teams collaborate outside of Premiere if need be. PowerSearch became such an essential tool to find content in a project that we included it with Transcriptive Rough Cutter, and the ability to use transcript text to cut video made a product that started as an AI transcription tool become a pretty complete suite of products with different workflow options – very different from everything we had done so far. 

This week we received an email from a  client who has been  using Transcriptive since the beginning. He was asking if we could save him some time from learning all the new additions to the plugin – there are many indeed! –  and highlight a few essential “new features” that focus on interview-based productions. So here we are, sharing our favorite new features with you all. Read on and learn more about them!

  1. Clip Mode: we added the ability to transcribe clips a while back, but some people have been so used to transcribing sequences that they do not realize turning “Clip Mode” on can be a game changer when there’s a high volume of interview footage to sort through. By transcribing the whole clip you can have all content – not only the cuts on your timeline – searchable, and use the clip to enter soundbites into the timeline straight from the transcript. Clip mode also  lets you create or import transcripts for individual media files (as well as multicam clips). These transcripts are attached to the files and will load whenever you open that clip in the Source Monitor, which makes it easy to search for specific quotes and add them to a sequence.
  1. Offline Alignment: some productions still prefer to use human transcripts, especially if their interviews have very specific jargon or scientific terms. Using transcripts generated outside of Transcriptive also becomes a necessity if the interviews hold private information  and privacy is a concern. Transcriptive does require internet connection to create new transcripts, but offline alignment makes it possible to import existing transcripts to either a clip or sequence. It is only available for English, but the alignment is free of cost,  analyzes the text and audio, and syncs them up word for word. If you have a lot of transcripts to align you can use Batch Alignment to submit them all at once. Import all of the transcripts, select those clips and sequences in the Project panel, and select Batch Project to queue up all the alignments at once. An important note: when aligning transcripts offline you’re free to use Premiere for other things while these process. Just make sure to do not close Premier until the offline alignments are finished.
  1. PowerSearch: our “Google like” plugin is still the best way out there to find content in your Premiere project, and Transcriptive Rough Cutter users no longer need to pay extra to use it. Your Transcriptive serial number now also activates PowerSearch. The panel is more efficient than using the search box in Transcriptive because it searches the transcripts in your entire project all at once, displaying a list of results for each clip and sequence where your search term appears. Clicking on one of these results opens that clip or sequence in the Program Monitor or Source Monitor and jumps to the location of that line. This makes it easy to find specific dialogue anywhere in the project. If you’re using markers to label your clips/sequences, PowerSarch can search marker text as well.
  1. Rough Cut:  the option to use shortcuts to enter soundbites into a sequence, straight from the transcript text, is one of our newest – and most powerful – additions to Transcriptive. Set an in (Ctrl+i) and an out point (Ctrl+o) in the transcript, select the sequence and press Ctrl+Comma (Windows) or Ctrl+8 (Mac) to insert the select. That’s it! Keep adding selections from different clips to to quickly assemble a rough cut. Also, if you strikethrough (using the Strikethrough button next to a paragraph in the transcript) or delete text, you can click the Create Rough Cut button to generate a new sequence with all of the deleted areas removed. This is an easy way to cut down, for example, an hour long interview into a shorter sequence using just the transcript text. This new sequence will have a transcript synced with those edits that you can export, search, or index with PowerSearch. is also an amazing addition to Transcriptive although not specially important to documentary productions.  Learn more about our web app here:

Have a favorite feature you love, but was not mentioned here? Let us know which one! We would love to hear from you:

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