Editing Overview (D2)


Assistant Editing

Key tasks include syncing footage, organizing media, creating stringouts, and uploading dailies. Visit the Assistant Editing Workflow post for a complete set of instructions.

If you have time left at the end of the AE day and want to start on assembling a cut, you may do that.


On your own time, the editor and director should get together to watch and discuss the dailies.

The key goal of dailies is to THINK about the film. It’s useful for the editor to make notes on what takes the director likes the most, but the most important thing is to be both on the same page about the big picture stuff. The editor should make sure they fully understand the director’s vision for TONE, CORE THEMES, and EMOTIONAL JOURNEY.

Picture Editing

Day 1 – Lay out the Beats

The editor has the first day to assemble an editor’s cut on their own, without the director in the suite.

Editors should focus first on laying out the beats in accordance to the script and whatever was discussed with the director during dailies. The goal at this stage is just to see if you have all the beats covered to tell the story well.

Day 2 – Explore

The director joins the editor in the suite and they review the editor’s cut.

This is a good time to assess how well the cut is telling the story, and whether any new ideas should be considered. Don’t be afraid to use this day purely for exploring the possibilities.

Day 3 – Commit to Choices

This is a good day to lock into creative choices and end the day with all the major beats laid out in the correct progression for the story you’re telling.

If you’re making good progress, this will also be a good day to have a cut screening with a group of people who have fresh eyes on the story.

Day 4 – Sculpt for Tension

With all the beats laid out in the correct sequence, this is a good day for honing the story dramatically. Pay particular attention to how you’re building and releasing tension over the course of the film. Also pay particular attention to how point-of-view is sculpted in each scene.

This is also a good day to get the runtime in scope. Remember principles for compressing screen-time:

  • utilizing entrances/exits to reduce walking around;
  • using parallel action;
  • only showing the beginning or ending of actions.

Day 5 – Fine-tune the Cut

Now we’re getting to down into frame-accurate cutting. Pay particular attention to:

  • characters’ reaction times (when precisely might their reaction to something kick in?); 
  • cutting on movement, especially coming into shots with movement already starting; 
  • cutting out of shots at the precise moment the energy starts to dip; 
  • distracting action close to a cut (e.g., blinks).

Also note that finished titles and credits need to be cut into the sequence today!

Day 6 – Delivery

The morning is for last looks and to quality check the cut. Watching the picture closely without sound is a good way to check for any errors, as you’ll often notice things you missed with sound on.

You’ll picture lock with Andrew around lunch. Then, in the afternoon,  you’ll complete delivery and turnover for sound and color with Ian or Thomas. 

Picture Lock

At the end of the picture edit cycle, the Editor and Director will be assigned a time to formally lock picture. This means that the Lock Sequence must be completed by that time and the appropriate fields must be filled out in Motion.

Once picture locking is complete, the Editor and Director will work with the Post Staff to prep the film for the next phases of the post-production chain, which includes turn over for sound design and color correction.

Create the Locked sequence

In Media Composer, correctly identify your locked sequence and save it in the Lock bin as Show#_Lock. For example, the locked sequence for 09D2 would be named 09D2_Locked.

Double-check the project settings by going to Preferences and then Format. Your Format settings should be as follows:

Build the front sequence

All locked sequences must have a “front sequence” at the start of the timeline that is formatted to Academy standards. This involves setting the sequence timecode to begin at 00:59:00:00 and building a front sequence that includes 30 seconds of bars-and-tone, 30 seconds of slate, the Academy leader (i.e., the countdown), and the FSU leader.

To begin, locate the front sequence materials on FSUFilmPost. Then using the Source Browser attempt the post them into the front Sequence bin. Make sure your target drive is set to your show volume and the Resolution is set to DNxHD SQ.

When you select import it will through you a few messages you will have to click through before it will give you the option to Link and Transcode them Select “Yes to All”.

Once all your Front Sequence material has been properly imported to a bin as a master clip it will look like this.

Set your sequence to begin at timecode 00:59:00:00. To do this, click in the Record Monitor and Select “Sequence Report”. This will allow you to modify the starting Timecode.

At 00:59:00:00 on the timeline, insert the 30-second bars-and-tone clip from the Front Sequence bin.

At 00:59:30:00 on the timeline, insert a 30-second slate. You’ll need to create the slate yourself, using the title tool in Media Composer. Please keep it professional and include all the pertinent info:

At 01:00:00:00, insert the 8-second countdown from the Front Sequence bin. If everything is put together correctly, the “two-pop” on the countdown leader will fall exactly on 01:00:06:00. (This is very important!)

At 01:00:08:00, insert one of the 8-second FSU leaders from the Front Sequence bin.

At 01:00:16:00, line up the first frame of content to start there.

Your completed front sequence should now look like this:

Add titles and credits

The College has strict requirements for how titles and credits need to be formatted. Before building your titles, read the requirements here.

The finished titles and credits must be in at picture lock and cut into the proper video track.

Condense tracks for color grading

To prep your timeline for coloring your video needs to be condensed onto as few video tracks as possible. It’s understood that, due to the nature of how some video dissolves are built, more than one track is sometimes necessary. The idea is to reduce the amount of tracks and media as much as possible.

Your sequence would go from looking like the example below with video on tracks V1 – V3 that needs to be brought down.

To your sequence looking like the example below with everything consolidated onto one track.

Also make sure that the proper Matte Bars are placed on video track V5.

QC the locked sequence

The Director/Editor should watch the film one last time looking for black frames or other problems. Once your picture is locked it is locked!

Save the project

Lastly, once you are confident that you’re locked sequence is formatted correctly and ready for conforming and turnover, make sure to save your project.

Titles and Credits

It is the responsibility of the director to make the credits for the film they directed. These credits must be delivered and cut into the Media Composer project by picture lock.


For FSUFILM productions, title and credits are limited to a maximum of 60 seconds. This can be divided between Lead Titles and End Credits but combined together their length is not to exceed 60 seconds. This allotted time includes the Logo card and the Copyright card at the end of the credits, each of which must run for two seconds each.

Titles and credits that run over picture or audio that is not “advancing the narrative” will count toward your 60 seconds for titles and credits. Titles and credits that run over picture or audio that is “advancing the narrative” will count toward your Content time.

Remember that the primary purpose of credits is to credit that people which contributed to the creation of the film. Content time is for story, credit time is for credit. Any questions will be left to the discretion of the directing and editing faculty.

Credit Policies

Every show must adhere to the following rules. Exceptions may only be approved by the Dean.

  1. There can be no visual changes made to the FSUFILM leader.  
  2. There can be no possessive credits (“A Film by Me”) or production company credits. Only FSU makes these films. 
  3. Students must use their real names and are not permitted to take their name off a film.
  4. Whenever possible, students who do more than one job should have their name listed once with all jobs in one place. 
  5. Only ATL crew, actors, and the title may have single cards. Everyone else should be in groups, listed efficiently to be legible but not lengthy. 
  6. Special Thanks:
    • Use real names, not nicknames or terms like Mom & Dad.
    • If you wish to thank faculty or staff members, rather than singling out individuals, use the more inclusive: “College of Motion Picture Arts Faculty and Staff.”
    • For production cycles that ran a Spark fundraising campaign, include a general thank you to “Spark Donors” in every film. You may additionally thank individual donors, if you have a special relationship with them and would like for them to be able to see their name on screen.
    • Thanking a deity of any sort is not permitted. The State does not hold a religious affiliation, so FSU cannot thank any God or Gods. 
  7. There can be no dedicating the film to someone. Again, as FSU films, only the school may dedicate a film to someone. Students may thank people in the “Special Thanks” section. 


All Credits and Titles should be made in After Effects and delivered as either a DPX sequence or a PNG sequence. A DPX sequence should be used if the titles are going over black and a PNG sequence should be used if the titles need to go over picture since it holds an alpha channel. Either image sequence should be exported for 1920×1080 at 24fps. Make sure to name the image sequence appropriately (Example: 01D2_Credits_v1).

Location to Deliver Credits and Titles
Naming convention for Titles
Naming convention for Credits


While every production’s titles and credits are slightly different, the general order goes:

  1. FSUFILM Leader
  2. Lead Titles
  3. Content (Story)
  4. End Credits
  5. Logos
  6. Copyright

A production can choose whether or not to include any Lead Titles at the start of the film. That decision will impact the order of the end credits, as outlined below.


If lead titles appear at the head of the film, they must appear in this order:

  • FSUFILM Leader
  • Above-Title Cast
  • Title
  • Supporting Cast
  • Original Score by
  • Production Designer
  • Sound Designer
  • Editor
  • Director of Photography
  • Producer
  • Writer
  • Director

Order for End Credits

The order for end credits, if not shown in the lead titles, are:

  • Director
  • Writer
  • Producer
  • Director of Photography
  • Editor
  • Sound Designer
  • Production Designer
  • Original Score by

The remaining end credits appear in the following order:

  • Cast
  • Stunt Performers
  • UPM
  • First Assistant Director
  • Second Assistant Director
  • 2nd Second Assistant Director
  • Second Unit Director
  • Set Decorator
  • Art Director
  • Art PA
  • Camera Operator
  • First Assistant Camera
  • Second Assistant Camera
  • Loaders
  • Still Photographer
  • Sound Mixer
  • Boom Operator
  • Cableman
  • Gaffer
  • Best Boy Electric
  • Third Electric
  • Key Grip
  • Best Boy Grip
  • Grips
  • Dolly Grip
  • Script Supervisor
  • Production Coordinator
  • Location Managers
  • Local Casting
  • Casting Associates
  • Assistants to Actors/Producers/Directors
  • Production Assistants
  • Publicist
  • Make-up Artist
  • Hair Stylist
  • Costume Designer
  • Property Master
  • Assistant Property
  • Set Design
  • Leadmen
  • Special Effects Supervisor
  • Special Effects Assistants
  • Construction Coordinator
  • Construction Foreman
  • Painters
  • Craft Service
  • First Aid
  • Transportation Coordinators
  • Transportation Captains
  • Drivers
  • Assistant Editors
  • Sound Editors
  • ADR Editor
  • Music Editor
  • Re-Recording mixer
  • Visual Effects Producer
  • Visual Effects Supervisor
  • Visual Effects Coordinators
  • Modeling Artists
  • Rigging Artists
  • Texturing Artists
  • Animators
  • Layout Artists
  • Lighting Artists
  • Simulation Artists
  • Matchmove Artists
  • Compositors
  • Rotoscope Artists
  • Technical Support
  • Title Design
  • Color Timer
  • Music Rights
  • Special Thanks
  • Cameras By
  • Color By
  • Dolby
  • Disclaimer
  • FSU Copyright