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  • Writer's pictureHenry M Green

The Editing Process

I found editing my documentary an extremely enjoyable part of the production process. It was incredibly exciting to witness my documentary slowly forming into something that I had been planning and producing for weeks. Throughout the whole production I wanted to have an organised attitude to what I was doing, which I continued in post-production, however for some shots I did have to ‘fix it in post’. I started by organising all of my footage into bins. This meant I could split up all of my interviews, b-roll, and audio, so that the rest of the process became a lot easier, and more efficient. I then cut, and organised, every shot down using the dual screen editing system. This was incredibly easy because you can find exactly where you want your clip to cut in and out. I then, added all of the cut down clips onto the time line. Once I had all of the footage I needed and placed on the time line, I then sifted through it and tried to establish in my head which parts of information I wanted to show in what order. This part of the of the editing process I found most challenging because I had over an hours worth of footage, that had to be cut down to just six minutes, plus keeping and linking all the relevant information together. After that, I placed all the b-roll footage into the relevant places on my time line depending on what the subject in the interview was saying. Then I gathered, archival and more b-roll footage that I needed, using YouTube as my main source. After that, I added the b-roll footage so that I could ensure my documentary was entertaining and also to visualise what the subject is talking about, just in case the audience misunderstands or doesn’t know what the subject is talking about. Once I was happy with the order of my footage along with the relevant b-roll, I decided to research music to emphasise the mood in which I wanted to portray. I also found this part of the process, enjoyable because the music elevated the quality and style of my documentary. With adding music to compliment the subjects voices, I needed to reposition the order and duration my clips so that they flowed in time with the music. However, I also made sure, when I decided to cut the music, it was on a specific point of great interest and importance, to dramatise my documentary, adding to the style I wanted to create. This again is about elevating the overall experience I was trying to make my audience feel. Once I was happy with the combination of interviews, b-roll and music, I decided to colour grade and stylise my footage. Throughout this particular process I used the curves tool, to balance the contrast, exposure and shadow depth. I then added the Kodak 5218 Kodak 2383 filter, which made my clips look more professional and balanced the colour of the shot to match the mood I wanted to portray to the audience. Finally, I created my intro and outro. This involved predominantly b-roll footage I had sourced from YouTube. In the intro, and outro, I used all the previous techniques I have just described when creating the main part of my documentary. However, In my intro I built up the rhythm and pace of the scene to build up the momentum for the rest of the documentary. I also took the time to deeply summarise what the documentary is about and why it was an important piece of media to make. After I had completed my intro and outro, I checked my whole documentary three times over to make sure I had not made any mistakes, and to adjust anything that required minor tweaks.

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