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TitleMake the Cut a Guide to Becoming a Successful Assistant Editor in Film and TV
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Total Pages247
Table of Contents
                            Front Cover
Make the Cut
Copyright Page
Contents
Dedications
Acknowledgments
Preface
Part 1 Getting Started
	Chapter 1 On Your Way
		1.1 Find an Assistant
		1.2 Know Your Tools
		1.3 Basic Setups
		1.4 Bank It
		1.5 Move to Hollywood
		1.6 Create Your Resume
		1.7 Your Favorite Five
		1.8 Find the Job
		1.9 Prepare for the Interview
		1.10 The Interview
	Chapter 2 Before Your First Day on the Job
		2.1 Be Prepared
		2.2 Script Elements
		2.3 Scene Breakdown
		2.4 Schedule for Elements
		2.5 Continuity
		2.6 Wall Continuity
		2.7 Measurement Charts
		2.8 SFX
		2.9 MX: Needle Drops and Score
		2.10 Playback: MX and PIX
		2.11 VFX
		2.12 Stock
		2.13 Order the Supplies
	Chapter 3 Your First Day
		3.1 Setting Up the Project Window
		3.2 Settings
		3.3 Import FX and MX
		3.4 Binders and Paperwork
		3.5 Spec and Format Sheets
		3.6 Meet the Crew
	Chapter 4 Your Second Day
		4.1 Importing Dailies
		4.2 Interpreting Paperwork
		4.3 Watch the Dailies
		4.4 Continue to Digitize or Begin to Organize
		4.5 Setting the Bin
		4.6 Communicating
		4.7 Archiving as You Go
		4.8 MX and Needle Drop Bins
		4.9 When Dailies Are Completed
	Chapter 5 Edit and Distribute the Cut
		5.1 Editor's Cut
		5.2 Taking Notes
		5.3 Recording Temp ADR
		5.4 Preserving Copies
		5.5 Lifts
		5.6 Scene Timings and Total Measurements
		5.7 Building a Cut
		5.8 Cutting the Recap
		5.9 Shipping
		5.10 Director's Cut
		5.11 Privacy in the Editing Room
		5.12 Producer's Cut
		5.13 The Locked Show
	Chapter 6 Get Ready to Online
		6.1 Create a Locked Sequence Bin
		6.2 Remove Add Edits and Check for Jump Cuts
		6.3 Format the Locked Sequence
		6.4 Complete the Format Sheet
		6.5 Create the Locked Continuity and MX Sheet
		6.6 Prepare the ADR List
		6.7 Prepare the VFX Notes
		6.8 Reassign Tracks
		6.9 Create the Chase Cassette (DVD)
		6.10 Create the PIX and Audio Edit Decision Lists (EDLs) and the OMFs
		6.11 Prepare for SFX and MX Spotting
		6.12 Duplicate the Script and Sound Reports
	Chapter 7 Assisting Protocols for Documentaries
		7.1 Elements of a Documentary
		7.2 Sort the Footage
		7.3 Create a Radio Cut
		7.4 Stock Footage
		7.5 Stills
		7.6 Titling
		7.7 Use of SFX and MX
		7.8 Finishing the Documentary
	Chapter 8 Assisting Protocols for Reality Shows
		8.1 Dailies
		8.2 Basic Management
		8.3 Work Space Synchronization
		8.4 Offline and Online Management
		8.5 Digitizing and Organizing Dailies
			…Step 1: Stacking
			…Step 2: Overlapping Clips
			…Step 3: Check for Timecode Drift
			…Step 4: Synching Each Camera to the Base Camera on V1
			…Step 5: Set Auxiliary TC for the Base Camera
			…Step 6: Adjust the Aux TC for the Rest of the Cameras
			…Step 7: Add Edits at Every Place on the Sequence Where a Clip Starts or Stops
			…Step 8: Creating the Subclips from the Sequence
			…Step 9: Create the Multigroup by Auxiliary TC
		8.6 Project Organization
		8.7 Outputs
		8.8 Things to Check Before Outputting a QT or DVD
		8.9 QuickTimes
		8.10 DVD Outputs
		8.11 Locking
		8.12 Up-Rezzing
		8.13 Audio for OMF
		8.14 Prepping for Online
		8.15 Assisting on FCP in Reality Television
		8.16 Importing and Organizing the Project
		8.17 Multiclips
		8.18 B Rolls
		8.19 SFX and MX
		8.20 Transcriptions
		8.21 Story Stringout
		8.22 Output
		8.23 Online
		8.24 Audio Prep for Online
		8.25 In Summary
	Chapter 9 First Day Observations in the Editing Room
		9.1 A Day on Episodic Television
			…Laura Sempel (American Intern 2010)
		9.2 Different Venue in Episodic Television
			…Andreas Arnheiter (International Intern 2010)
		9.3 A Day on a Feature
			…Paul Penczner (American Intern 2010)
		9.4 A Day on Reality
			…Nompi Vilakaze (International Intern 2010)
		9.5 In Summary
Part 2 Protocol
	Chapter 10 The Unwritten Rules of the Editing Room
		10.1 Be on Time (15 Minutes Early)
		10.2 Make the Coffee
		10.3 Unlock the Editing Rooms
		10.4 Boot Up
		10.5 Prepare for the Day
		10.6 Informative Messages and Post-it Notes
		10.7 Grooming
		10.8 Know the Phones
		10.9 Ask Down, Not Up
	Chapter 11 Personality
		11.1 Have a Yes Attitude
		11.2 Make Eye Contact
		11.3 Admit Mistakes
		11.4 Be Honest
		11.5 Be Proactive
		11.6 Leave Your Problems at Home
		11.7 Crying
		11.8 Arguing
		11.9 Lodging Complaints
		11.10 Gossiping
		11.11 Noise and Personal Hygiene
		11.12 Creating Ambience Levels
	Chapter 12 Navigating the Room
		12.1 Entering the Room
		12.2 Know When to Leave the Room
		12.3 Answering the Phones
		12.4 Reading the Room
		12.5 Taking Notes
		12.6 Giving Your Opinion on a Scene
		12.7 Triangulation
		12.8 Email Etiquette
Part 3 Make the Cut
	Chapter 13 Approaching Your Career
		13.1 Get into a Cutting Room
		13.2 Develop a Relationship with the Post Staff
		13.3 Find a Mentor
		13.4 Keep a Journal
		13.5 One-Year Plan
		13.6 Gracefully Leaving Your Nonunion Job
		13.7 When to Look for Work
		13.8 Choose Your Genre: From Features to Television
	Chapter 14 Plan Ahead and Move Up
		14.1 Three-Year Plan
		14.2 Money Management
		14.3 Perform at Your Highest Level
		14.4 Edit Every Day
		14.5 Upward Mobility
		14.6 Cementing Relationships
		14.7 Gracefully Leaving Your Union Job
	Chapter 15 On the Brink of Editing
		15.1 Five-Year Plan
		15.2 That Promised Seat
		15.3 Expanding Your Network
		15.4 Advanced Skills
		15.5 Editing Styles
		15.6 Edit During Hiatus
		15.7 Remaining an Assistant
		15.8 In Conclusion
Part 4 Commonality
	Chapter 16 Editors Panel Discussion
Glossary
	A
	B
	C
	D
	E
	F
	G
	J
	L
	M
	N
	O
	P
	Q
	R
	S
	T
	U
	V
	W
Index
	A
	B
	C
	D
	E
	F
	G
	H
	I
	J
	K
	L
	M
	N
	O
	P
	Q
	R
	S
	T
	U
	V
	W
	Z
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Make the Cut

Page 123

106

Make the Cut: A Guide to Becoming a Successful Assistant Editor in Film and TV

Jackie Green JACKIE GREEN:
We would like her to be able to go to
events where she can be an example of why
animals are so important in our life.

Jenny with Amanda NARRATOR:
JENNY WILL BE PREPARED FOR THE ROLE OF
WHAT IS KNOWN AS AN ANIMAL AMBASSADOR. BUT
AN AFRICAN LION HAS A REPUTATION FOR BEING
A DIFFICULT ANIMAL TO DEAL WITH.

DAVID NIELS:
There are so many things that you have to
consider. They’re incredibly strong and
can potentially be very dangerous.

Jenny fl ees TV studio
Alt: Jenny backstage at African
Safari. Jenny growls.

NARRATOR:
BUT WITH THE PERSEVERANCE AND DEDICATION
OF HER KEEPERS, JENNY EXCEEDS ALL
EXPECTATIONS AND SUCCESSFULLY ACCOMPLISHES
THE GOALS SET FOR HER …

NARRATOR:
… ON RAISING JENNY .

SHOW TITLES MUSIC THEME UP FULL

En d cold open

7.4 Stock Footage

Stock footage is often an integral part of a documentary. It could be historic footage of World War II, or it
could be home footage shot by the family about whom the fi lm is being made. Whatever the origin, it needs
to be carefully logged and sources noted. The post supervisor or the producer – writer will usually do the
research and view tapes they have ordered from various stock houses. When they have deemed what might be
of potential use to the editor in telling the story, they will give you the viewing tapes from the source library
to digitize into the project. Keep all the paperwork from the different libraries carefully fi led in the binder.
The lists contain their library tape numbers, timecodes, and shot descriptions of all the footage they have sent
for viewing and selection. Ultimately, you will have to reference back to these logs when the fi nal cut is made,
and you have to order the fi nal clean versions of the viewing material to be inserted into the fi nal show.

Digitize the selected library shots into a bin named Stock Footage for your editor. Label each segment you
receive with the library source name on it and with a brief description. In this way, it is easy to identify the
source by just looking at the time line or clicking back from the time line into the bin.

This footage is only a working copy and will have visible timecode on every frame. When the fi nal cut is
locked, you will order up the shots from the library and give exact timecodes, including exact frame counts at

TC Video Audio

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107

Chapter 7: Assisting Protocols for Documentaries

When the show is locked and the fi nal replacement footage from the library is received, you must match and
replace the working print that is in the cut with the new, clean version from the stock house. The new shots must
match up perfectly — to the frame — to the working copy. Because the editor has probably gone to great pains to
select exactly the right shots and has more than likely added SFX and MX to sync with the footage, you must
cut in the footage correctly. If there is a problem and the new footage you receive does not match the editor’s
cut, you have to inform him immediately. Cut in the replacement footage on the track above the old footage, and
double-check that it is accurate and matches perfectly frame by frame. Triple-check your work by running the
new footage with the soundtrack. You do not want to begin the online with a mismatch of stock footage!

7.5 Stills

Another very important element often used in creating a documentary story is the use of stills and old photo-
graphs. These are often bought from various libraries that specialize in licensing images. Today, many of these
are emailed as JPEGs, TIFs, or PNGs and can be imported directly into the project. Often the editor will create
moves on these stills using his program tools. These can be used as fi nal images, but on higher-budget shows,
the post producer will probably order hard copies of the stills and shoot various moves on a rostrum camera for
more accuracy and polish. This is a motion control camera that is positioned over a tabletop that enables the
operator to perfectly control his camera moves over images that are placed on this tabletop. The motion control
enables smooth and carefully paced pans, tilts, zooms, and even multiple moves over the smallest of pictures.
This offers the editor a greater choice of how to play his still image for the best emotional or storytelling effect.

I edited part of the documentary series Ancient Mysteries , hosted by Leonard Nimoy, for the
A & E channel. One of the shows, “ The Neanderthals, ” was written and produced by my husband,
Lionel Friedberg. The fi lm told the story of the lifestyle of a Neanderthal man who lived more than
100,000 years ago. What footage do you use to illustrate this tale and cover the fascinating narration
and interview bites? Exactly, there is no footage! Hence, stock became my greatest friend.

The assistant had done a great job digitizing endless stock footage that had been collected from stock
houses around the world, such as museum exhibitions and robotic Neanderthal fi gures, archaeologi-
cal digs in France, worldwide locations where Neanderthals had roamed, etc. In the end, the show
looked great, but the cost of all the footage was prohibitive. Each supplier puts their own value on
their footage and sets up their own pricing per second or per shot. I approached our production
offi ce about shooting some suggestive re-creations, but they were loath to spend money on shoot-
ing any footage. Eventually, the assistant editor went through tapes of other stock, fi nding cheaper
footage to match what I had used. His resourceful persistence helped me cut the stock cost by a
third. The compromise between cost and aesthetic choices is an eternal battle fought in the docu-
mentarian’s editing room. The show was extremely well-received. The lessons to be learned here are
when given the opportunity, shine as a creative partner for your editor, contribute creative sugges-
tions when called upon, and strive for aesthetic excellence. If you can assist your editor in this way, it
will help promote you to the cherished seat with lightning speed.

— df

the head and at the tail of the timecode numbers. This footage is usually very expensive to purchase, and it is
priced by the second, so it is vital that you be infi nitely precise when ordering up the fi nal stock.

Page 246

229

Index

sticky notes . See Post-it notes, communicating with
stills, for documentaries , 107 – 108
stock bins , 42
Stock Footage bin , 106
Stock Production bin , 42 , 68
Stock Purchased bin , 42
stock shots , 31 – 32

for director’s cut , 82
for documentaries , 106 – 107

story stringout (reality shows) , 129 , 130f
student loans, paying , 174
studio cut , 82 – 83
studio heads, access to , 180
Stupin, Paul , 165
subclips, creating , 115
supervising sound editor , 42 – 43
supplies, ordering , 32 – 35 , 33t
sweetened CTM . See fi nal sweetened master
sync maps (kem rolls) , 66 – 67 , 113 – 114
synchronizing work space , 112

T
tab dividers (binders) , 43 , 103
Takaki, Troy , 185
taking notes . See entries at note

in general , 157 – 158
journaling , 166
during screening , 73 – 74

tape name, checking , 64
target time (target footage) , 57 , 57t , 77 , 78f
tease tags , 116
teasers , 80
telecine , 52
telecine editor , 53 – 55
telecine reports , 55 , 55f
telephones, using , 147 , 150 , 156
television, choosing as genre , 168 – 172 , 169t
television industry, about , 168 – 170 , 180
temp ADR, recording , 74 , 93
Temp ADR bin , 93
Temp Narration bin , 103 – 104
testing editing system , 37
thank-you notes , 5 , 168
third year’s goals , 173 – 174

three-year career plan , 173 – 174
time line cut , 129 , 130f
timecodes

auxiliary, setting or adjusting , 114
checking for drift , 114
for interviews , 100
master timecode (MTC) , 88
reality shows , 114 , 115
visible time code (Viz TC) , 100

timings of scenes . See scene timings
title cards , 78 – 79
titles, documentaries , 108
tone meeting , 47 – 48
tools . See editing system
top fi ve editors , 12 – 13 , 164
total running time (TRT) , 83
tracks, reassignment , 92 – 93 , 93f
trailers , 80
training courses . See education (courses)
transcriptions of interviews , 100 , 103 , 129
triangulation , 159 – 160
troubleshooting errors , 7
TRT . See total running time
typing notes , 157

U
union, joining , 163 , 167
union jobs, leaving , 177
Unity system , 37

maintaining regularly , 42
unlocking editing rooms , 146
unwritten script elements , 18
up-rezzing , 119
upward mobility (career) , 176

becoming an editor , 173 , 179
user manuals, access to , 7

V
variances to timing requirements , 84
VFX . See visual effects
Vilakaze, Nompi , 142
visible time code (Viz TC) , 100
visiting editing room , 4 – 5

Page 247

230

Index

visual effects (VFX) , 31
for director’s cut , 82
preparing VFX notes , 91 – 92

VO . See voice-over (VO) narration
VO bin , 103 – 104
voice mail messages , 150
voice-over (VO) narration , 101

folder for (reality shows) , 116

W
Wall, Angus , 203
wall continuity , 17 , 21t , 23 – 26 , 24f . See also continuity ;

scene timings

watching dailies , 64 – 65
wild lines , 46 , 139 – 140
wild tracks , 52
word of mouth . See networking
work, fi nding . See fi nding jobs
work clothes and appearance , 147 , 153
work history (resumes) , 11
work space synchronization , 112
working from home , 200 , 201
writing numbers, practicing , 157

Z
Z bins (project window) , 40 , 40f , 41 – 42

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