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Editing Drama for Online Training Course

Editing drama is different than editing corporate video.  I usually work with interviews and have to cut them down and synthesize the essence of there content to fit into the overall framework of the video. In drama, I am following a script and storyboards in a predetermined manner. It is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle… each shot is one of the pieces… the storyboard tells me where they go… only this puzzle consists of many takes for each shot.  I review the takes, looking for the best take in terms of acting performance, camera movement, sound quality and overall lighting.

Often I will have options, I could stay on the wide angle longer than I envisioned in the storyboard… or cut to a close up earlier. There is a lot of subtle timing involved. Cuts have to happen at the right moment so they are not jarring and don’t take you out of the storyline. Sometimes you’ll focus on a characters reaction to a line, rather than the character giving it. That small change can really add to a scene or take away from it.

Drama is far more compelling than straight interview and these videos really engage the audience.  Designed as part of an online course created by Clark College for medical professionals – these videos are designed to be discussion starters for a course on cultural awareness.  We could have just done interviews with people talking about Cultural Awareness, but by creating stories that engage, you end up with much more powerful discussion starters.  The test audience at PeaceHealth  Southwest Medical Center were impressed with the course.

After four days of filming, I have over six hours of video to sift through on twelve reels (folders with labels really). Working with P2 media is great. No more tapes or waiting to digitize hours of footage into a computer, it shows up instantly.  I use Avid Media Composer, which edits P2 in anyone of its many high definition formats. I worked in 1080P using AVC-Intra a high definition format packs a big punch. The videos will ultimately be delivered online, but starting with a bit rich format will pay off and deliver a quality image at the other end.

We will be integrating these videos into an online course and using the flash format to integrate with the other media. Closed captioning is the last phase and that will be streamed on a separate xml file which is integrated into the flash player to stream with the videos.


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