The present and future of post production business and technology

Breaking up clips to subclips using prEdit

Breaking up clups to subclips and adding log notes in prEdit for the first time on a real job.

This week I started (belatedly after feeling off-color late last week) breaking up my interviews into subclips and adding log notes. One thing about working with a piece of software in production compared with in development, is that you usually find bugs or irritations that didn’t come up in development. Such it has been with prEdit. I’ve found, and Greg has fixed a number of bugs. He’s also made some changes to make the auto-complete items a little more logical. Of course, I have “privileged access” to the developer, but I think we’re as responsive to any of our customers who find issues.

prEdit, in case you don’t know, is designed to speed up the process of paper cuts in documentaries. We use the Adobe suite to get time-stamped text (more in a moment) locked to the media file. Adobe places that metadata in the file using their XMP metadata structures and we read the transcript directly from that file.

We found the Premiere Pro/Soundbooth speech analysis to be very variable – more so than Adobe would expect so we’re providing them some examples. What has worked exceptionally well is a “Transcription > Adobe Story > OnLocation > PPro for analysis. This keeps most punctuation (paragraph returns are ignored) and names and provides a great result. A half hour interview takes about 5 minutes to tag in Adobe Story, and less than a minute in OnLocation to associate the script and the media file to embed it.

Once we determined that was the most optimized workflow retained speaker names, I asked Greg for prEdit to automatically subclip those speaker paragraphs, since it seems obvious that we’d eliminate the Interviewer sections and having a long interview already subclipped makes life easier and results faster. That led to a feature request (now in prEdit) to be able to add metadata (log notes) to multiple subclips together.

Having used it on a real job for a full day, I have to say, it is everything I hoped and more. It’s so easy to enter log notes: probably 5x or more faster than entering them in Final Cut Pro.

I’m working on creating subclips: the real action happens when I get to building the story, but even making subclips based on text (and optional video playback in prEdit) from the blocks of text is so much easier than any other method I’ve used.