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
- Compile the Editor’s notebook
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.
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_505
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_50
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 of the ProRes files and move them into the proxy folder.
The OCF folder will now look like this.
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 CMPAFilmPost to open the Premiere Project.
The bin structure is already setup for you and must be maintained.
Import the ProRes Quicktimes into the appropriate bin.
Import theWAV files into the appropriate bin.
Organize Script Supervisor notes
Next you will need to import all the Script Supervisor notes into Premiere from the LockitWeb Tools. Start by exporting out an ALE from your Premiere project.
Name the ALE with the show number and day. Save it to the appropriate folder.
Open a web browser and go to lockitnetwork.com:
Click the login button.
Enter the username and password for the school’s account. (Check with the Post Staff if you do not know the login credentials.)
Select your project from the drop down menu.
Open the clip Inspector from the left side of the interface. The drag your ALE into into the upload area.
If you click the down arrow you will see how the metadata from the Script Supervisor links up with the clips in Premiere.
In the LockitWeb Tools click the download button to create a new ALE with the metadata attached. Move that new ALE into the same folder with the original ALE.
Back in Premiere, highlight all the video clips and select Update Metadata.
Select the new ALE you just downloaded from the LockitWeb Tools and it will update your clips with the Script Supervisors notes.
Take a moment and rearrange the columns in the project panels so they look like the example below.
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.
Double-click on the first video clip to open it in the Source Panel. Make note of the setup and take numbers from the Script Supervisor and are on the slate.
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).
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.
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:
- Wide shots
- Medium shots
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 Sequence
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 save on CMPAFilmPost.
For shows with multi-day shoots, it is the AE’s responsibility to have the previous days footage ready for review by lunch with the director on location. Copy the QuickTime file 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.
Upload Reports to Frame.io
To assist the Editor in Post Production the AE will need to collect all the pertinent production reports and upload them to Frame.io. These include the Sound Report, the Camera Report, the Editors Log, the Facing Pages, the Shot Log, and the Lined Script.
The Sound Report was created by the Sound Mixer and is alongside the .wav files. Drag it from the audio folder to the reports folder.
The Camera Report is analog and was filled out by the 2nd AC. Scan the physical papers in the first floor copy machine and drag them to the reports folder.
The Script Supervisor’s paperwork needs to be downloaded from the LockitWeb Tools. Go to the Reports Tab and download the .pdf of the Editors Log, Shot Log, Facing Page, and Lined Script. Drag them into the reports folder.
Once everything is collected on CMPAFilmPost it will look like the example below.
Then upload them all to the show’s reports folder on Frame.io.
The Dailies Screening Notes form has spaces for scene number, date shot, and daily reel as well as several spaces for shots with scene and take number information. While watching the exported dailies on Frame.io fill out the screening notes with each shot and take according to the slate. Within the space for an individual shot, please include the scene and take number as well as a brief technical description of the shot (ex: WS, MCU, Dolly into an ECU.)
If there are obvious technical flaws with the shot such as improper camera speed or poor focus please make a brief note of it. Leave enough space to record the Directors notes later. 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.