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Tyrone Rose

Editing Full Length Film

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Hello All!

 

I am currently editing my first feature film in Premier Pro and I am wondering if I should be editing each scene as different sequences? All as one? Different projects?

 

I am using Proxies from 4k to 1080p.

 

Thanks,

Tyrone

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It depends on what works for you and the nature of the project. I would assume that Premier Pro will allow you to have a number of sequences that you can then join into a master sequence of the entire film within the same project.You may also wish to different versions of these sequences as you play with ideas during the edit.

 

How long each of these sequences is could depend on how your film is structured, it may make more sense to have a number of scenes together, because that's how the story is told

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I've never edited a full movie before but here's something that I figured out about editing since I was in the same predicament as you.

 

When I began I did everything on one timeline and just once sequence but then the first bigger project I did I used nested sequences and I prefer this way better.

On the other hand my girlfriend with whom I work also recently wanted to learn editing prefers the one timeline approach.

 

Now here's something interesting I figured out from both approaches.

 

While I understand her when she says that the one timeline is great because you see everything and how it relates to each other and no need for going back and forth when it comes to fixing a problem with footage on the timeline and with fixing problems with more than one clip the nested approach comes really in handy.

 

On the last music video we did we used the nested approach and it came in handy because we wanted the whole thing to mostly look exactly the same but have several different versions with some variations of the scenes. So with the nested approach just duplicated the master timeline and chanced one scene with a variation. Everything even the final color grading stayed the same. Work out fine.

 

On the other hand we could have done something similar with one time line. But in staid of editing only one scene just changed a bunch of footage and then had to watch out not to break something else in the time line while changing the footage and keeping everything aligned with the music would have been much more of a nightmare.

 

So I prefer the nested approach even though I might have 5 or even 6 nested sequences so that the master sequence that is exported is just as it should be.

Of course you can always to a sort of mix of both where you nest some stuff but put some footage on top of nested sequences. Because sometimes it's easier to add something on top of something else.

But nesting usually makes everything a little cleaner but you have to figure out a game plan from even before starting editing.

 

2.png

Nested timeline cleaner easier to fix.

 

3.png

Single timeline. Good luck sorting out what's what after a few weeks of not working on it. :)

 

Hope it helps and best of luck.

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I make my living editing films, both narrative and documentary.

 

Today the software is so good, there is no reason to break down the scenes into different timelines. Most editors I know, are like myself and just sting it all out on one timeline.

 

With long term feature doc's, I like to have separate timelines for a certain story thread, but that has nothing to do with narrative work.

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Only one pointer - whatever you do, ensure your timelines all have a reasonably sensible layout for both video and audio tracks, particularly separating final and temporary material, text you may need to remove for international versions. This is especially important where the temporary material may be music or stock footage you can't licence for the final piece. Separating voice, spot effects, ambiance and music is the least you should do for audio.

 

Maintenance of a consistent layout will save many headaches later.

 

P

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I make my living editing films, both narrative and documentary.

 

Today the software is so good, there is no reason to break down the scenes into different timelines. Most editors I know, are like myself and just sting it all out on one timeline.

 

With long term feature doc's, I like to have separate timelines for a certain story thread, but that has nothing to do with narrative work.

 

Really. So you do everything on one time line?

I mean I don't know why but I prefer nesting stuff. Of course not always but a lot of the time it saves me a lot of work when I'm trying something.

 

Why would you recommend using only one timeline?

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You may have to deal with producers and studio executives who may want changes, this may involve a number of versions of scenes or even structural changes to the film.

 

An editor may wish to try out ideas or be editing as the film is being shot, so they may wish to have more than one timeline in order to cover these situations. .

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it depends on the editor and project and workflow but most of the time the editors seem to like single timelines without over-nesting sequences inside sequences inside sequences.

one thing is that it complicates the online process quite much if one has zillion "russian doll" sequence levels, they may be very challenging to transfer to other programs for grading.

 

Of course you can edit a "Russian Doll" super-nested style and then lay copy paste the clips and lay everything down to single master sequence after the editing so that it is much easier to online the project.

 

If you like to edit nested style at the start of the project I would maybe recommend to de nest and assemble the finished or almost finished seq edits to the big master seq continuously during the project so that you will end up with the one full lenght non-nested master seq at the end of the project and the nested single scenes are just an intermediate step.

 

Premiere CC is not super effective in large projects where you have lots and lots of imported material... you may need to tweak it a little to make it work on full lenght feature project. I would also recommend having separate drive for all the swap files +proxies +waveform files, they will fill up your work drives pretty easily and you may need to delete them every now and then anyway so it is easiest if they are all in the same place (you may easily end up having for example hundreds of GBs or ever multiple TBs of .cfa files scattered all over the place and filling up your system or work drives, it is much easier having a separate drive for them...)

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audio is another issue. it is normally done on the full project at a time and it is difficult to export the full project to for example .omf for audio post if it has nest levels

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Why would you recommend using only one timeline?

Well, I hate to sound pretentious and pompous, but I can cut a scene nearly perfect my first time around, with only small tweaks on later cuts. So I don't need to "try" things unless it's very complicated. I've done big action scenes before with 8 cameras and quick cutting, those we'll do in a separate timeline. However, the bulk of any show is one timeline, with the occasional drop-in's from other timelines. When you work on bigger shows, clients will want to frame **(obscenity removed)** (pardon the language) quite a bit and having to dump into a nest and back again for every scene, is a pain.

 

I do a lot of nesting for VFX shots, but nests don't work with finishing programs properly, they generally require re-conforming. Avid has a great feature where you can edit sequence to sequence. So you build your one "special" scene as it's own element and when you're ready, you can literally edit it into the main sequence. Thus, when you go to finishing, everything is there and you don't have to rebuild as much in DaVinci. You can also make sub sequences that drop right into a finished sequence that with one button can auto conform to the original files, which is pretty sweet.

 

Also, Avid has some great tools that allow for multiple shots of the same thing on top of one another and tracks to be turned off and on instantly without losing render files or needing to re-render for playback. It's one of the critical reasons I don't like Premiere, because using the "eye" function to see tracks, does lead to deletion of render files in certain situations. I also have around two dozen other ease of use issues with Premiere that kill me. If you ever go to finishing with a Premiere project, be forewarned, it doesn't play with anything well, aaf, xml, doesn't matter. The effects/plugins are completely foreign to DaVinci, which is the #1 finishing tool. Also, unlike Avid which has a stellar audio mixing function, Premiere is lacking that versatility, so no matter what, you're forced to do "external" finishing.

 

So yes, with Avid I can edit everything in one timeline. I can post a timeline insert tomorrow if you wanna see the feature I'm cutting now. :)

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Well, I hate to sound pretentious and pompous, but I can cut a scene nearly perfect my first time around, with only small tweaks on later cuts. So I don't need to "try" things unless it's very complicated. I've done big action scenes before with 8 cameras and quick cutting, those we'll do in a separate timeline. However, the bulk of any show is one timeline, with the occasional drop-in's from other timelines. When you work on bigger shows, clients will want to frame **(obscenity removed)** (pardon the language) quite a bit and having to dump into a nest and back again for every scene, is a pain.

 

I do a lot of nesting for VFX shots, but nests don't work with finishing programs properly, they generally require re-conforming. Avid has a great feature where you can edit sequence to sequence. So you build your one "special" scene as it's own element and when you're ready, you can literally edit it into the main sequence. Thus, when you go to finishing, everything is there and you don't have to rebuild as much in DaVinci. You can also make sub sequences that drop right into a finished sequence that with one button can auto conform to the original files, which is pretty sweet.

 

Also, Avid has some great tools that allow for multiple shots of the same thing on top of one another and tracks to be turned off and on instantly without losing render files or needing to re-render for playback. It's one of the critical reasons I don't like Premiere, because using the "eye" function to see tracks, does lead to deletion of render files in certain situations. I also have around two dozen other ease of use issues with Premiere that kill me. If you ever go to finishing with a Premiere project, be forewarned, it doesn't play with anything well, aaf, xml, doesn't matter. The effects/plugins are completely foreign to DaVinci, which is the #1 finishing tool. Also, unlike Avid which has a stellar audio mixing function, Premiere is lacking that versatility, so no matter what, you're forced to do "external" finishing.

 

So yes, with Avid I can edit everything in one timeline. I can post a timeline insert tomorrow if you wanna see the feature I'm cutting now. :)

 

That would actually be pretty cool to see thank you. :)

 

I understand so in the more pro field people usually use avid to edit and when you're used to editing and know what you're doing you don't need that many versions. Sounds logical.

 

I got used to editing with adobe because on every project that I did I've been by myself for production, shooting, directing, editing, the VFX and even sound so I used the whole package to edit because it made it convenient.

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Well, I hate to sound pretentious and pompous, but I can cut a scene nearly perfect my first time around, with only small tweaks on later cuts. So I don't need to "try" things unless it's very complicated. I've done big action scenes before with 8 cameras and quick cutting, those we'll do in a separate timeline. However, the bulk of any show is one timeline, with the occasional drop-in's from other timelines. When you work on bigger shows, clients will want to frame **(obscenity removed)** (pardon the language) quite a bit and having to dump into a nest and back again for every scene, is a pain.

 

 

It doesn't sound like you're dealing with executives (or directors) who do want changes, productions can involve complex politics; the editor is just the editor and they don't have the final call

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It doesn't sound like you're dealing with executives (or directors) who do want changes, productions can involve complex politics; the editor is just the editor and they don't have the final call

 

Sure am, I have directors and producers at my place every day, we do changes non stop.

 

My workflow is to put alternative versions above "current" versions OR if something is tricky, to simply edit on another timeline/sequence for that one scene. Then when it's fine tuned, drop it into the main "assembly" timeline.

 

I've been very lucky, the directors and producers I work with value my opinion as the editor, so most of the time it doesn't take very many revisions. Yes we're constantly tweaking, but it's not very difficult to do those tweaks in a single timeline.

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