Productivity for video editing - minutes per day? Per hour?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Bob Bethune, Aug 21, 2003.

  1. Bob Bethune

    Bob Bethune Guest

    I'm in the process of editing a video of a theatrical production. I shot it
    at 8 to 1--eight takes of the show, in other words--and it's about a 90
    minute program.

    I'm finding that I'm able to construct about 5 minutes of finished video in
    a six to eight hour day. This is using a very primitive editor, namely

    I'm assuming that if I drop some bucks on decent editing software, my
    productivity will improve.

    What is a reasonable goal, given better tools--something like Final Cut or
    Premiere? Never mind the learning curve, I'm really wondering what sort of
    productivity to expect once I have reasonable mastery of the software.

    I've seen one ballpark figure of 10 to 1--ten minutes of editing to produce
    one minute of finished goods. Is that reasonable? I'm thinking that applies
    just to the assembly of the clips in proper order, not to any extra
    finishing work such as color correction, audio improvements, etc.
    Bob Bethune, Aug 21, 2003
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  2. Bob Bethune

    nappy Guest

    It really depends on the program. I can cut 2 1/2 hour epsodes of a TV show
    that I have a template for in one day.. I've done as many as 5. Editing a
    feature I will take more time, try different things and work with more
    attention to detail but even there my _edited_minutes_per_day is variable.
    Depends onthe show.
    nappy, Aug 22, 2003
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  3. It really depends on how you edit. Long scenes, fewer cuts, fewer cameras,
    less time. More cameras, scenes, cuts = more time. Balancing and mixing
    audio = more time. Picture in picture, dissolve scene over scene, FX, color
    correction between cameras, building titles and credits, rendering, all
    require more time. There is no simple answer to your question. But 5 minutes
    in 8 hours with the result being a quality product is well within acceptable

    Best regards,
    Craig Scheiner
    Executive Producer
    CPS Associates
    Video Production and Publication
    Craig Scheiner, Aug 22, 2003
  4. Bob Bethune

    Mike Guest

    I usually average about 1 hour per minute of finished output.
    I use Vegas btw.
    Mike, Aug 22, 2003
  5. Bob Bethune

    nappy Guest

    Just remember that the reason you are getting 5 minutes done now is because
    you have less options to play around with in iMovie.
    nappy, Aug 22, 2003
  6. Is there any feature you need that you don't have in imovie?? If the answer
    is no, then learning another program will take more time. You can speed up
    by becoming more proficient in your work flow in imovie. Learn and use
    keyboard shortcuts instead of a mouse. You shot the show 8 times? Getting
    rid of footage you know you won't need will speed you up. Don't spend a lot
    of time on decisions of what to keep or not. If it's not great you can live
    without it. The people who watch your video will only know what they see.
    They will never know what you threw away and didn't use. Getting rid of
    stuff is one of the things editors do.
    Best regards,
    Craig Scheiner
    Executive Producer
    CPS Associates
    Video Production and Publication
    Craig Scheiner, Aug 22, 2003
  7. Bob Bethune

    Bob Bethune Guest

    I think the biggest thing I hope for in a better editor is better clip
    management. iMovie doesn't give you anything that helps you get the job

    Creating a 2-hour program video version of the complete stage play at an 8:1
    shooting ratio with an average shot length of about 10-20 seconds means
    managing a huge number of clips--theoretically, about 3,000 of them--and I
    know that right now I spend probably 50% of my time manually managing clips
    so that I can keep track. Also, because iMovie offers only one clip bin and
    no organizational tools, I essentially can only see two segments of raw
    footage from each take at a time. I'm like a person with tunnel vision
    walking down a dark alley; I can only see what's right in front of me and
    I've can't see what I just passed by.

    In iMovie, I have to manually move clips around, relabel them, delete them
    and import fresh ones constantly. I wind up doing a cycle of that after
    every two finished clips, or sometimes after only one. It works like this:

    I work from a line-numbered script. Each clip is labelled when I load it off
    tape with a letter that tells me what tape it came from and the line numbers
    the clip spans. There are eight nights of footage. I usually cannot tell in
    advance where I will be able to cut. I have to find, by ear and eye, those
    moments where one night's footage happens to synchronise with another
    night's footage well enough to permit good continuity. That means I can't
    just throw away the footage I don't like; I have to keep everything and
    examine everything because I never know in advance what the need for
    continuity will force me to use.

    So, to begin, I line up eight lengths of source footage, one from each
    night, vertically down the left side of the clip bin. I watch each length of
    footage until, by ear and eye and memory, I know where i can cut. I then
    split the first clip I want out and split the other seven segmenets at the
    same cue point, creating a second column of segments. iMovie's labels for
    new clips are useless, so I then relabel the newly created segments. Then I
    watch the second column of segments until by ear and eye and memory I know
    where my second split should be. Then I split the second desired clip out of
    the newly created segments in the second column and again split the other
    seven at the same cue points which creates a third column of segments. That
    uses up the available space in the clip bin, so I then relabel the third
    column with the new line numbers, move the newly created good clips to the
    timeline, move the unwanted clips to the trash, move the remainding pieces
    of the raw footage to the left side of the bin and start over again.
    Periodically, of course, I have to empty the trash or bring in fresh
    footage. I know this all sounds incredibly awkward, but it's the only way
    I've found that I can keep this mass of footage under control.

    In FCP or Premiere or suchlike, in a project like this, would I have to
    spend so much time manually fussing with raw footage while editing? In a
    better editor, wouldn't I be spared all this manual clip management?
    Bob Bethune, Aug 23, 2003
  8. Bob Bethune

    Dean Guest

    You shot waaayyy too much video for such a long production. A 5-10
    minute short, is not too bad to edit at 8:1, but a 90 minute will be a
    bear, with ANY software.... Look for 1.5 to 2:1 ratios for something
    that long...

    Not to mention require an immense amount of HD space.

    Dean, Aug 23, 2003
  9. I've never used iMovie so I don't know the limitations, but I do use FCP 3
    and have done several 90 minute stage productions shot three nights in a row
    and edited them to a final video. This is how I do it.
    The final night I shoot the performance non-stop. I shoot from the rear of
    the audience, wide and medium shots. These are professional performerances,
    so I plug into the main mixer without worry for well mixed audio. This
    becomes my primary video and provides the audio for the finished piece. The
    previous two nights, rehearsals, I shoot close-ups and medium shots from
    closer to the stage. Then for editing:
    I capture each camera in a seperate folder as a single log shot.
    I lay down primary AV on V-1 and A1&2. This is the full length performance.
    I lay down rehearsal night 1 on V2 and A3&4. I use the audio to sync
    individual camera takes with V1. These are takes of up to several minutes
    I lay down rehearsal night 2 on V3 and A5&6. I use the audio to sync
    individual camera takes with V1. These are takes of up to several minutes
    Then I start at the beginning of the show and choose which video trak to use
    as I go. The shots are already all in sync with the primary audio. Sometimes
    I use PIP, sometimes I dissolve one V trak over another. Sometimes I just
    cut between V traks. As I decide on my video cuts I delete the audio on
    A3,4,5 & 6.
    That's "all" there is to it.

    Best regards,
    Craig Scheiner
    Executive Producer
    CPS Associates
    Video Production and Publication
    Craig Scheiner, Aug 23, 2003
  10. Bob Bethune

    Bob Bethune Guest

    Hi! Thanks for the outline of how you use FCP for the same kind of video
    work I'm doing.

    There's one thing that absolutely astonishes me: that you're able to
    synchronize one night's audio with another night's video, apparently for
    long periods of time--as in more than a few seconds?

    How on earth can you accomplish that and still maintain lipsynch?

    From the way you describe the process, it sounds as if you only have to mess
    with arranging the original footage once. Would that be correct? If so, that
    alone would be a godsend over iMovie.
    Bob Bethune, Aug 24, 2003
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