Film editing/Analyzing film dailies/Taking Notes

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Table of Contents
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This school is:
Narrative Film Production
The course is:
Basic film editing (editing a dramatic conversation)
This lesson is:
Analyzing film dailies - What can you learn from film dailies?
The pages of this lesson are:
1. Lesson summary - Analyzing & editing film dailies

24 Unedited Scenes Disk

Out for a Walk Screen Shot.png Scene: "Out for a walk" Funny, short, needs matte painting
The Assignment Screen Shot.png Scene: "The Assignment" Long and intense
Ice Cream Screen Shot.png Scene: "Ice Cream" Long but simple
12 scenes from the family reunion
Taking Notes Screen Shot.png Scene: "Taking Notes" A basic scene
Morning Coffee Screen Shot.png Scene: "Morning Coffee" A basic scene
Letter From Amy Screen Shot.png Story Of Amy Screen Shot.png Amy Comes Home Screen Shot.png Scenes about Amy Good practice
Come On In Screen Shot.png Scenes about Jason Simple but good practice
Morning Surprise Screen Shot.png Scene: "Morning Surprise" Needs 3D animation
Doctor Doctor Screen Shot.png Scene: "Doctor, Doctor!" Needs sound F/X and music
Girl and the Golden Jewel Screen Shot.png Scene: "The Girl and the Golden Jewel" Needs F/X, voice over, sound
Wedding Bells Screen Shot.png Scene: "Wedding Bells" Funny, old, poor color, only 12fps
Big Bad Bell Screen Shot.png Scene: "The Big Bad Bell" A bit odd
Open The Door Screen Shot.png Scene: "Open The Door" Totally weird, MOS - even needs dialog!!!

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"24 Unedited Scenes"
from the
Star Movie Shop

"Taking Notes"

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"Taking Notes"

This is a classic scene for editing. You have a wide variety of choices. How you edit this scene depends on how you want to tell the story. It is all about relationships.
The motion picture
The scenes of the family reunion are from a motion picture which is based on a popular television show. The family reunion takes place about ten years after the end of the TV series. All of the children have grown up and left home. Now they return for one last family gathering in the old house.
The characters
In this scene, the son, who was the star of the television series, has returned from New York. Late at night, he is writing at his desk just as he did in the television show. His mother visits him in his room and they talk about the son's life since he left home, specially since now he is thinking of getting married.
During the television show, at the end of each episode, the son wrote down everything that happened to the family. Therefore, everyone knew that he would become a writer. Most writers go to New York to start their career and that is what he did.
The story
The son is writing in his notebook. The mother comes into the room and they begin to talk. Because they have been apart for so long, they feel awkward talking. The son talks about life in New York and then they talk about the beautiful young woman that the son brought home to meet the family. Finally, as the mother is leaving, the son expresses his love for his mother.
The challenge
In this story, the mother and the son have not seen each other for a while and they have not really talked much. Therefore, there is an emotional distance between them.
How do you show this emotional distance in your selection of shots? Should you select the close up shots which convey warmth and togetherness or should you select the wide angle shots (the establishing shot, in this case) to give the feeling of cold distance between the two people?
As the scene unfolds, how to you show the growing bond between the two? Again, which shots should you select to show that they are coming together?
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Edit this scene

Loan only
This disk is available from your instructor for a one month loan.
The Overview Movie
Start by looking at the overview movie. You need QuickTime Movie Player to view this movie (and the dailies.) The overview movie shows you the more important parts of the film dailies in chronological order.
Transfer the dailies
Copy the dailies (not the overview movie) to your hard drive. If necessary, convert the dailies to whatever format your editing program prefers. This will probably require QuickTime Pro. Import them into your editing program.
Edit the scene
Start by looking for the best audio from the camera angles you want to use. In this scene, the audio is limited so you must be very careful which you choose. Once the audio (along with the picture) is edited and lock the audio. Then simply roll the picture edits to find the best visual transition. (Note: See below for special editing instructions that you can download.)
No music needed
This scene does not require music. Only a little music might be nice at the end. Do you remember what kind of music they used for the TV show? If not, rent a few of the episodes.
Special Instructions
The Star Movie Shop has prepared some step-by-step instructions for editing this scene. There instructions are still a bit rough but useful. Only two scenes from this disk have written instructions and the instructions are only available on-line. Therefore, you must download them. See note below.
Submit your finished scene
This scene is worth 20 points without music and 10 points additional for the ending music. Email me when you are finished. Crystal Clear app xfmail.png
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Analyze the Dailies

First take is the best take
Each actor is different. Some give their best performance after they have warmed up a bit. But some actors give their best performance on the first take. (Most beginning actors such as child actors are best on their first take.) This puts an extra burden on the camera crew not to make any mistakes on the first take.
The actor who plays the son give his best performance on the first take. When possible, you will want to use TAKE 1 of the son's shots because it feels very natural.
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Special Written Instructions

Download the editing instructions for "Taking Notes".
To learn more about editing this scene, please download the PDF instructions. These instructions are not on the disk.
The Star Movie Shop has prepared step-by-step instructions for editing this scene which you can download at Download these instructions and print them out before you begin editing the scene.
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The next scene

"Taking Notes" is the ideal scene for practicing dialog editing because it is simple and has written instructions for almost every step (see above). Another scene which is almost as good is "Morning Coffee". It too has written instructions for you to download.

Contact your instructor