Assistant Editing Workflow (BTH)

Overview

The Assistant Editor (AE) works for the Editor and is responsible for managing the media as it enters into the editorial phase of post-production. The key tasks are to:

  • Offload media
  • Import media into Premiere
  • Synchronize clips
  • Organize media in Premiere
  • Organize Script Supervisor notes
  • Build, export, and review dailies sequences
  • Make rough assembly cut
  • Compile the Editor’s notebook

Offload Media

At the end of each day of shooting, the AE will retrieve the Red Mini Mags (containing the video), the CF cards (containing the audio), and the camera reports and bring them back to school for ingest. Insert the cards into the corresponding readers, they will mount like an external hard drive and appear on the desktop.

CF Card containing Sound
Red Mini Mag Containing Video

Copy the audio from the CF card to the appropriate folder on CMPAFilmPost. Inside the day folder you will need to create a folder specific to what each card is labeled. EX: CF_904

CMPAFilmPost– 1_Project – Class – Show – 0_Media – 2_Audio – Production_Audio – Day – Card_#

The Red Mini Mag is a bit different. The camera records both R3D’s and ProRes simultaneously. You need to split them up. The R3D’s will be your OCF or original camera files. The ProRes will be proxy files.

First copy everything from the Red Mini Mag to the OCF folder on CMPAFilmPost. Inside the day folder you will need to create a folder specific to what each card is labeled. EX: SSD_56

CMPAFilmPost– 1_Project – Class – Show – 0_Media – 1_Video – OCF – Day – Card_#

Once that is done copying you need to pick out all the ProRes Quicktimes. Switch finder to list view and select all of the RDC folders and hit “Command + Right Arrow” and all the folders will open at once.

Select all RDC folders.
“Command + Right Arrow” will open them all.


Select all of the ProRes files and move them into the proxy folder.

CMPAFilmPost– 1_Project – Class – Show – 0_Media – 1_Video – Proxy – Day

The OCF folder will now look like this.

Folder tree containing OCF without the ProRes quicktimes. 

Now all of the R3D’s are in the OCF folder and all the ProRes are in the Proxy folder. Triple-check that the media from from each card has fully transferred to the appropriate folders. You have the show in your hands here and it would be disastrous if you deleted it accidentally! 

The CF cards will need to be erased after you have confirmed their transfer to CMPAFilmPost. Remember to empty the trash after deleting the sound card media as that is the only way to free up space on the card. You do not need to erase the Red Mini Mags as they will be reformatted the next time they are put in the camera. If you still have more days of production to go, you will return them to the Producer on set the next day. If it’s the final day of production, please place all the media cards in the ingest cubby. The post staff will turn them around to the Head of Production.

Import Media into Premiere

Navigate to the following folder on the SAN to open the Premiere Project.

CMPAFilmPost – Projects – Class – Show – 1_Picture – 1_Premiere

The bin structure is already setup for you and must be maintained. 

Import the ProRes Quicktimes into the appropriate bin.

03_Footage – Production – Day

Import theWAV files into the appropriate bin.

02_Audio – Production – Day

Synchronize Clips

Use the “merge clips” command in Premiere to sync the audio and video together. To make this easier you should create a keyboard shortcut for the “merge clips” command.

Select “Keyboard Shortcuts” from the drop down.
Type “merge” in the spyglass window to find the “merge clip” command.
Set “control + m” for the shortcut.

Double-click on the first video clip to open it in the Source Panel. Make note of the setup and take numbers that are on the slate.

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Scroll up to the Audio bin and find the corresponding audio files that are labelled with the same setup and take numbers. Each take will have between one to four separate .wav files depending on how many microphones were used on set. More than likely, each take will have three separate WAV files (boom, radio, radio).Paragraph

Command-select all the corresponding video and audio clips. With all your assets for the take highlighted use hit “control + m” to use your shortcut for “merge clips”.

A window will appear asking how to merge them:

  • Name the merged clip after the setup and take number (e.g., 2A_1)
  • Set the Synchronize Point as “Timecode”
  • Check “Remove Audio from AV Clip”
  • Click “OK”

The newly merged clip will appear in the project panel outside of any folder. Open the merged clip in the Source Panel and confirm that it’s correctly synchronized. You can check this by watching the clapper one frame at a time. You have a margin of error of one frame. The merged clip can be off by one frame and still be acceptable. If the sync is good, scroll to the footage bin and change the label color on the clip you just merged (to help you remember how many you have done).  

If for some reason the sync is wrong delete the merged clip and start again. Most likely it’s a case of highlighting the wrong takes and trying to merge them. It’s also possible that the sound mixer accidentally mislabelled a sound file, which will take a little detective work to locate the correct file.

If that does not work, then you will need to sync manually by setting in-points on the corresponding audio and video files (or out-points, if a shot was tail-slated).

Open the video clip in the Source Panel and set an in-point on the first frame when the sticks are together.

Open each of the corresponding audio files in the Source Panel and set an in-point on the first frame that you can hear the clapper.

Command-select all the corresponding video and audio clips. With all your assets for the take highlighted, use your shortcut for “merge clips”.

A window will appear asking how to merge them:

  • Name the merged clip after the setup and take number (e.g., 3A_1)
  • Set the Synchronize Point as “In Points”
  • Check “Remove Audio from AV Clip”
  • Click “OK”

To check the sync on a clip you merged manually, you will need to place it into a sequence and extend the head of the clip to get some pre-roll to the clapping sound. Once you have checked it for sync delete the clip from the sequence.

If the sync is still incorrect, seek help from the Post Staff.

If you come across a clip that was labelled “MOS” on the slate, it means there are no corresponding audio files to sync. Instead, you should right-click on the clip to duplicate it. Then, rename the duplicate version whatever it was slated, with a suffix of “_MOS” (e.g., 3B_1_MOS). Then, move the duplicate version out of the Production Footage bin, so that it is grouped with all the merged clips.

Organize media in Premiere

After everything has been synchronized successfully, move the merged clips into the appropriate Scene bins.

Then fill in a brief description for each clip. This should be able to be found on the paper camera reports. We are not looking for a sentence but rather shorthand that can be used by the editor.

Build the Dailies Sequence

For each day of production, you will build a dailies sequence that includes all of the footage shot for that day, as well as a master dailies sequence that includes all the footage shot for the entire show. Under01_Sequences – Dailies you will find the prebuilt sequences.

Organize the merged clips in scene order (story order) and, within each scene, place the shots in the following order:

  1. Wide shots
  2. Medium shots
  3. Close-ups
  4. Inserts
  5. Charts

Since sound starts rolling before picture on set, you’ll notice that there’s excess audio media at the head (and sometimes also the tail) of each shot.

You’ll want the head and tail of each audio clip to line up with the head and tail of the video. To trim the audio, hold down Option and drag the head or tail of the audio track. The trimmed sequence should look like this.

Makea 5 second Slate to begin the dailies sequence and fill it out as below.

Exporting the Dailies

Once the dailies sequence is fully built, export the sequence to Frame.io using these instructions. Upload to the appropriate day’s Dailies folder in Frame.io and point the render to the appropriate folder on CMPAFilmPost.      

CMPAFilmPost – 1_Projects – Class – Show – 1_Picture – 2_Dailies_Exports

Exporting the Assembly

You will also be building an assembly sequence that can be found in the cuts bin inside Premiere. This does not need to be elaborate or take a lot of time. But you do need to be building a very rough assembly of the film as each day goes along. This can be labeled, exported and uploaded just like the dailies sequences.

Review the dailies sequence

Prior to screening dailies with the Director, watch the exported QuickTime file to check for errors and to fill out the relevant fields of the Dailies Screening Notes form. Each form has spaces for the Date Shot, Scene Number, Take Number, which you can enter in the order that the shots are arranged in the dailies sequence. You can also note if the shot was sync or MOS, if it was a series take, and if it was the “best take,” a “good” take, or “no good.” Within the text box for each shot, you should also include a brief technical description (i.e., WS, MCU, Dolly into an ECU, etc.) and note any obvious technical flaws. Leave enough space to capture the Director’s notes as well during the dailies screening.

When you screen the dailies for the Director, use the Dailies Screening Notes form to record as much of the Director’s notes as you can. Pay particular attention to which moments the Director likes or does not like, as well as how the Director might imagine a scene cutting together.

Hole punch all of the screening notes and assemble along with the camera and sound reports in a three ring binder. Label the outside with the show number and name.

Present to Director

It is the AE’s responsibility to have the previous days dailies and assembly ready for review by lunch with the director on location. Copy the QuickTime files you just exported to the dailies shuttle drive (Orange Lacie) inside the dallies transfer kit.

Take the transfer kit, editor’s notebook, and the media cards to set to watch dailies with the director at lunch. (If you have access to wifi you can always watch it on Frame.io, but you should bring the transfer drive as a backup.)

After the final day of production, the offloaded sound and camera cards should be left in the assigned cubby in the ingest room.