‘New’ Editing Tool Works Wonders… and is Cheap!
When it comes to editing, I love to keep everything organized. Every element has a place in a folder or sub-folder. Simple as it sounds, it does require a lot of time and forethought, before and during post-production. But it pays off dividends, especially when you’re in the heat of a deadline; it allows you to focus on the task at hand rather than pull your hair out trying to find that one element you need to finish your edit.
I also make thorough use of the Final Cut Pro Bin by completing nearly every field (for bigger projects) and even adding my own fields for such things like: SS Notes, Editor’s Notes, Director’s Notes, and the usual Cam, Scene, Take, Description, etc. And FCP markers, I’m all about it. In fact I can probably write a pretty lengthy blog on how markers in FCP can be greatly improved!
But I wanted to talk about a new tool that doesn’t require any clicking or typing… or even electricity. What I’m talking about of course is Post-Its.
I started an editing job at Intuit with my good friend Ryan Sarmiento. After piecing together a rough cut, he asked me create a sticky note for each major clip that had the main idea written on it. We would then put them on a whiteboard, which we could then use to move around and essentially ‘edit’ right there.
To be honest I was skeptical at first, but after seeing how convenient it is to read the edit as a whole, it made total sense.
He even showed me some simple techniques, like if a clip is no longer as important and may get cut, it gets tilted at an angle. If there are redundant messages in a clip, those simply get moved to the side in it’s own column. As long as you’re familiar with the cut, it makes it really easy to see how it will play out without having to sit through and listen to it.
I’ve always heard this being done with storyboards during pre-production, but it is just as handy to use in post! In fact, I think this would be an awesome feature to incorporate into an editing program itself. Aside from markers, I haven’t seen anything like this in any of the Final Cut Pro versions. How cool would it be to tag clips in your Timeline with text that pops up visually and “sticks” to the clip as you move it? Those thumbnails displayed on each clip never really give enough info, especially when dialogue editing.
Of course, I wouldn’t use this on every project, but it’s such a useful technique for projects that have a lot of concepts to get across (and a ton of footage) and for projects that require collaboration in post-production (editor and director/producer).
Bulk Post-Its added to my Costco list. Thanks Ryan!