(This is a guest blog post by editor/director Kyle Koch)
I was recently asked about how to craft/edit narrative projects and thought this would be a cool share for my colleagues.
THE PROCESS OF STORYCRAFT
I have about 30+ years under my belt and much has been doc cutting. I can give a few tips.
STORY IS EVERYTHING
Craft a journey that hooks and keeps the audience watching. Weave ever rising plateaus of insight and intrigue with your interviews and location sound ups.
CONTENT DRIVES THE PROCESS
In other words, if the story relies heavily on historical footage, you’ll need to craft story around those assets. Is the content esoteric, philosophical, spiritual? You may need to create support visuals that only come to light from the content itself. Either way, story and timing is the foundation for all the imagery that paints the picture of the narrative.
BE HONEST WITH THE GENRE
Is it a story if humour, drama, both? When is it taking itself too seriously? When not seriously enough? Through the stages of post, this may change. It’s important to have a solid sense of what the genre is before you start.
TRANSCRIPTS ARE KEY
Being time efficient with a large amount of material is challenging. Decisions on how to process assets can exponentially impact the time it takes to craft the story. I always start with transcripts of my interviews. Using the script/outline as my window upon which to view the content, I identify themes, keywords/phrases, colour code them, and add markers. Finding special moments where the delivery by an interviewee is particularly strong is critical.
KNOW YOUR CONTENT
One of the most important things I do to help me craft story is make sound files that I can use to listen to source material or the edit while I’m walking the dog, driving, etc – anything but being in front of the computer. I’ll add markers to the file with my phone (or take screenshots). Ideally, use Frame to add comments so that you can upload them to your sequence as markers.
FIND THE GOLD
Make selects of your content by using stringouts (source sequences). Raise good shots/content up in the video tracks (v1 is the base, v2 good, v3 great, v4 awesome). This process will allow you to get to know the materials and move the project forward as you’re watching assets.
TEXT DRIVEN VIDEO CUTS ARE AMAZING!!!
Jim Tierney of Digital Anarchy is one of the first code warriors to give us this superpower his tool Transcriptive. 5 years ahead of the curve! Adobe has on-boarded much of the functions now, but those Jim has been a pioneer for transcription based editing. Certainly, Transcriptive offers functionality that is deeper than what is included with an Adobe CC account.
I’ll be attending the upcoming AdobeMax in Los Angeles the week of October 9-20, 2023. The event has a bunch of good in-person and on-line sessions for all sorts of topics including the creative process, AI augmentation, team building, content authentication (DRM), etc. If you’re attending, please say hello.
Feel free to reach out to me directly:
– I look forward to additional insight/tips from my pals in production! 😉
Kyle’s has been crafting content for 25+ years. He owns a creative agency, True North Entertainment and is Admin of the largest professional editors group dedicated to Adobe workflow solutions.