A Beginner's Guide to Digital Video Production
By Steve Saylor

Part Four
"DV  Editing"


1.  Project One   (50 min.)

We familiarize ourselves with the Moto DV Capture Program, then transfer footage from the tape in the Camera to the hard drive of the Computer.

We'll need a few minutes to get comfortable with these new surroundings in our Premiere Editing Suite.  Peek inside the Premiere windows.  Throw those clips around on the Timeline.  Watch your footage in the Monitor Window.  What happens when you click on all these buttons and controls?  

We'll get out that razor tool, then go to work on this first project; a minute from the opening montage of the movie -- a traveling sequence.  

We'll use some of the transitions (dissolves), filters (brightness, color balance), add some music to our soundtrack, then compile on those bits and pieces into the final edit.  It won't take long to get the hang of stringing your clips together, but there's more...





2.  Project Two   (30 Min.) 

Superimposing Graphics, Titles, Effects.  Premiere can do all this, too, as you'll learn in this second project -- a thirty-second "opening" for a local-cable show, "Del's Spice Of Life".  A little corny, but amusing.

You can make text move across the screen.  Any direction.  Any shape or color.

Resize clips and move them around inside other clips or backgrounds.  

You can do the "blue-screen" stuff, composite as many graphics and titles and video-tracks as your heart desires, or your head can handle.





3.  Project Three   (30 min.)

Telephone conversations would seem to be an easy-edit.  But they can get a little tricky.  We'll disect one in this project, work on that "phone-line" effect, and other elements that relate to Sound.

How do you get music from that CD into a .wav file on your hard drive?  And then... how do you import it into your project, onto an audio track, and mix it into your scene with the right volume and effects?

Premiere can handle your needs in this department.  However, if you want even more control and options with your soundtrack, a digital-audio-editing program like "SOUND FORGE" can get you there.  We'll spend a few minutes checking out the capabilities of that program, and run our soundtrack through the mill.





4.  More Premiere Features   (8 min.)

Before we move on, I'll point out some more goodies in the Premiere package.  Wish I could cover it all in two hours, but Premiere's like that damn rabbit... that keeps going... and going...

As long as you continue to consult your manual and those "help-menus", you'll learn something new for days... and months... on end.


5.  Film Look   (13 min.)

Film.  Video.  What's the difference?  Video looks too "real", a mirror of reality.  Film goes through a chemical process when it's developed, has more of a "surreal" effect.  There's a grain to the image, the colors are enriched (or at least, "slightly skewed"), and the "pictures" pass before your eyes at 24 frames per second instead of 30.

In some cases, these differences are very noticeable.  In others, very subtle, hard to pinpoint, difficult to describe.  Discussions of the topic tend to get a little... esoteric, with the adjectives leaning toward the vague and subjective.

But most would agree that the "film-look" will add some "production values" to your program, "improve" the performance of your actors, and enhance the quality of your final product.

Some of these "film" effects can be achieved, to a degree, with the "Adobe Premiere" software.  Another company, "DigiEffects" has a program called "Cinelook" which can reproduce a wide array of film-looks -- 8, 16, and 35 mm., various film-stocks, old movies with "film-damage".

We'll take a tour through Cinelook and check out my "before-and-after's" from the movie.


6.  Misc.   (5 min.)

A few more things to know and love about Windows NT and your computer.  Assign different amounts of memory to different drives.  Manage those files.  Tidy up your space.  Go De-Frag yourself.  And I mean that in the best possible way.


7.  Directing   (12 min.)

For those interested in taking a ride in this arena, a few thoughts on directing your epic.  We'll categorize the shots, talk about the angles, continuity.  Planning and logistics on no-budget.  And, most importantly, how to cheat your way around all of these "little challenges."  

A Beginner's Guide To Digital Video Production" can be ordered by visiting the website http://www.dvmoviemaking.com/order.html

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4