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Hack 5. Log Using a Spreadsheet

Hack 5. Log Using a Spreadsheet

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1.6.2.SettingUpYourSpreadsheet

Tosetupyourspreadsheetassignacolumnnameforeachofthefollowing:



Avid

Clipname,Tape,StartTC,EndTC,Tracks



FinalCut

Reel,Clipname,MediaStart,MediaEnd,Description



Premiere

Tape,In,Out,Clipname,LogNotes,Description,Scene,Shot/Take

Tologyourfootage,youneedtoenterthein-point,description,andout-pointof

thefootageinarowonyourspreadsheet.Whenenteringinformation,you

shouldenteruniqueinformationforClipnameforeachlogentry.Youshould

alsoenteranyadditionalinformationrequiredbyyoureditingsystem.



1.6.3.SettingUptoViewYourFootage

Howyouviewyourfootagewhileloggingiscompletelyuptoyou.Somepeople

prefertotransfertheirfootagetoVHStapeswiththetimecodesuperimposed

overtheimage,aprocessknownasawindowburn[Hack#75].Otherspreferto

digitizealloftheirfootageandviewitontheircomputer.

Howeveryouchoosetologyourfootage,Istronglyrecommendnotusingyour

mastertapes.Asimplemechanicalfailurewithyourplaybackmachinecan

easilydestroyyourmasterfootage,whichcannotbereplaced.Youshouldtreat

yourmastertapesasprizedpossessionsbecausetheyareirreplaceable.(Of



course,youcouldalwaysreshoot.Butwhatifyouareeditingawedding?)



1.6.4.LoggingYourFootage

Loggingyourfootageisatime-consumingprocess,butthepayoffiswellworth

theinvestment.Tosuccessfullylogyourfootage,therearethreeessential

criteria:thetapenumber,thetimecodeofthein-point,andthedescriptionofthe

content.Beyondthosethreecriteria,theout-pointishelpfulindeterminingthe

lengthofthelogentryandismandatoryformost,ifnotall,editingsystems.

Ifyou'vesetupyourloggingspreadsheetproperly,youcanuseittocreatea

batchdigitizelisttohelpdigitizeyourfootageintoyoureditingsystem.Using

thebatchlistwillprovideabreakdownofyourfootage,whichwillexactly

matchyourlogs.Therefore,youwillhavethesameinformationinbothyour

spreadsheetandyoureditingsystem.

1.6.4.1.Enteronelogperrow.

Foreachnewlogentry,createanewrow.Continuethisprocessuntilthetape's

contentiscompletelycapturedinyourownwords.Eachlogentrywillrange

from1minuteto60minutes,dependingonyourattentiontodetail.



MostpeopleIhaveworkedwithprefertokeeptheirlogentries

between5and10minuteslong.Ifyourfootageisofaninterview,you

shouldlogthedialogandnottheactionoccurringonscreen.



1.6.4.2.Checktheformatofyourtimecode.

Whilelogging,youneedtomakesureyouenteryourtimecodesinthecorrect

format.IfyouareworkinginPALformat,youcanignoretherestofthis

paragraph.ForNTSC,thecorrectformatfordrop-frametimecode



Hours:Minutes:Seconds;Frames(HH:MM:SS;FF).Moreoftenthennot,youwill

beworkinginDrop-Framemode,soyouwillneedtouseasemicolonbefore

yourframenumber(;FF).IfyouareworkinginNon-DropFramemode,usea

colon(:FF).Ifyoudonotknowwhichmodeyouareworkingin,youshouldbe

abletosafelyassumeyouareworkinginDrop-Frame.



Thecolon/semicolonseparatorisimportant,becauseitindicatesthe

typeoftimecodewithwhichyourvideohasbeenrecorded.The

wrongindicatorwillcauseproblemsinthelongterm,especiallyif

youeverhavetoredigitizeyourfootage.



Ifyouareuncertainofwhichmodeyourtapeisrecordedon,youcantellby

lookingthetimecodecomingoffthetape.Ifthereisasemicolonoraperiod

beforetheframeindicator,thetimecodeisDrop-Frame.Youcanthinkofitthis

way:oneofthedotsinthecolondropswhenusingDrop-Frame.

1.6.4.3.Createanewfileforeachtape.

Youshouldcreateanewspreadsheetforeachtapeyoulogandsavethe

spreadsheetasthenameofthetape.Forexample,ifyouareloggingtapenumber

P001A,savethespreadsheetasP001A.Savingthespreadsheetwiththesame

nameasthetape'snumberwillbeessentialforfuturereference.



1.6.5.ExportingaBatchDigitizeList

Whenyouhavefinishedloggingyourfootage,youcanimportyourspreadsheet's

informationintoyoureditingsystem.Sinceeachsystemisdifferent,therewill

bespecificstepsyouneedtofollow.Tobegin,youshouldsaveyourspreadsheet

asatab-delimitedfileforeitherAvidorFinalCut,orasacomma-separatedfile

forPremiere.Onceyouhavesavedyourlogentriesasafile,youwillneedto

editthefileinaplaintexteditor.



ThefollowingtextinvolvestheTabandReturnkeys.Sincethesedon't

translatewelltotheprintedword,theyareindicatedinboldandALL

CAPS,surroundedbybrackets.



Avid:

Deletethetoplineofheaders,thentypethefollowingaboveyourentries:

Heading

FIELD_DELIM[TAB]TABS

VIDEO_FORMAT[TAB]NTSC

AUDIO_FORMAT[TAB]44kHz

TAPE[TAB]TapeNumber

FPS[TAB]29.97

[RETURN]

Column

Name[TAB]Tracks[TAB]Start[TAB]End[TAB]Tape[TAB]Descript[TAB

[TAB]Barcode

[RETURN]

Data

FinalCut

ChangeClipnametoName



Premiere

Deletethetoplineofheaders



1.6.6.ImportingaBatchDigitizeList



Onceyouhavemadethenecessarychanges,savethefile.Next,youneedto

importthebatchlistintoyoureditingsystem:



Avid

File



Import



FinalCut

File



Import



BatchListat29.97fps…



Premiere

Project



ImportBatchList



Youwillhavetoperformthesestepsforeachtapeyouplanonusinginyour

project.Theeffort,however,iswellworthit.Uponsuccessfullyimportingyour

batchlist,youcaneasilylocateshotseitherbyreferringtoyourspreadsheetsor

bysearchingwithinyoureditingproject.



1.6.7.SearchYourProject

Ifyouhavelocatedashotusingyourspreadsheet,andwanttoseethefootageas

itexistsinyoureditingsystem,youcaneasilyfindit[Hack#2],becausethe

spreadsheetmatchestheinformationinyoureditingsystem.Ifyoudon'thave

accesstoyourspreadsheet,youcansimplysearchwithinyoureditingproject

andhavethesameresult.Figure1-5showstheFinddialogboxforFinalCut

Pro,andFigure1-6showstheresult.

Figure1-5.FindingmediawithinFinalCutPro



Tolocatefootage,youshouldmakesureyousearchfromyourProjectandnot

yourTimeline.Thisisbecausemosteditingsystemsarecontextsensitive,soif

youarecurrentlyworkinginthetimelineandperformasearch,youwillonly

searchfootagecurrentlyinthetimeline.

Tousethesearchfunction:



Avid

FastMenu



CustomSift



FinalCut

Edit



Find…



Premiere

Edit



Find…

Figure1-6.ResultsfromasearchinFinalCutPro



Afterlocatingthefootage,openitinyourapplication'ssourceview,orjustdrop

itontoyourtimeline.Havingadetailed,andsearchable,referencetoyour

footagebothinaspreadsheetandonyoureditingsystem,willsaveyouhoursof

shufflingthroughyourfootagetryingtofindashot.



Hack6.CreateaDigitalStoryboard



Usingfreephotosoftware,adigitalcamera,paper,andapencil,youcan

createadigitalstoryboard.

Storyboardingisanimportantstepinproducingamovie.Theprocessrequires

youtoenvisionwhatimagesyouplanoncapturingtotellyourstoryandput

themtopaper.Althoughitcanbeatediousprocess,thepositiveeffectithas

whenshootingishuge,becauseithelpscommunicateyourvisionwiththe

peopleyouareworkingwith,includingyourself.



1.7.1.DrawingtheStory

Evenifyouareartisticallychallenged,youcanstillcreateastoryboard.Toget

started,yousimplyneedpaperandapencil.Ifyouhaveascript,breakitout,

becauseyou'llneedtorefertoitquiteoften.



Youcanalsouseacomputerprogramtocreateyourimages,oreven

professionalstoryboardingsoftware.StoryBoardQuick!

(http://www.storyboardartist.com;$279.99)offersalibraryofover

300peopleandobjectstohelpyoudesignastoryboard.



1.7.1.1.Decidingwhattodraw.

Theprocessofstoryboardingrequiresyoutodrawouteachsceneasyouintend

tocaptureit.Forexample,ifyouhaveasceneinwhichtwopeoplearetalkingin

acar,youwillprobablywanttostartwithanimageofacardrivingdownaroad.

Thiswouldbeyourestablishingshot.Youwouldthendrawapictureoftwo



peopletalking,asviewedfromthehoodofthecar,soyourshotwouldcapture

thepeoplefromtheirshouldersup.Next,youwouldfocusononeperson,

probablycloseupsoyoucanseeonlyhisface.Figure1-7showsasample,

hand-drawnstoryboard.

Figure1-7.Drawingastoryboardbyhand



Dependingonhowambitiousyouare,youcanuseafullsheetofpaperforeach

image,foldthepaperinhalf,foldthepaperinquarters,oruseindexcards.I

preferthesimplicityandportabilityofindexcardsandapencil.Ialsolikethe

factthatIcanwritenotesonthebackofthecards.

1.7.1.2.Indicatingcameramovement.

Quiteobviously,drawingsdon'tmove.So,inordertodemonstratecamera

movement,youshoulddrawarrowstoindicatewhenthecamerashouldpan,

dolly,orzoom.Ifyouwanttoindicateazoom,youcanalsodrawasquare

aroundtheareayouwouldliketozoom,asshowninFigure1-8.

Sinceyourstoryboardisfirstandforemostatoolforcommunication,don'tbe

shyaboutwritingonyourdrawings.Itisbettertobeclearthantodiscoverthere

hasbeenamiscommunicationinthemiddleofshootingascene.



1.7.2.ImportingtheDrawings

Afteryouhavedrawnyourstoryboard,youhavecompletedhalfoftheprocess.

Althoughyouhaveacompletelyfunctionalstoryboard,goingdigitalwillgive

youafewadvantagesintheend.



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Hack 5. Log Using a Spreadsheet

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