how I learnt to stop worrying and love the new final cut

Archive for the ‘Workflow’ Category

Sculpture vs Painting

henry dancingWhen I start a project my habit is to throw all of my material down on the timeline then go through it and cut out the bits that are totally useless. If they are really good I might move them up a track for easy finding.

Then I duplicate the sequence and go through again and take out more.

Depending on the scale and complexity of the project I’ll keep repeating the process. In some cases this can more ore less finish the edit.

That’s the sculpture approach. Chip away everything that doesn’t look like my creation and what is left is what it is.

FCPX seems to favour the opposite approach.

Locate the good shots. Find the good bit of the good shot. Put that in the Storyline (we’re not supposed to call it a timeline anymore). Then find the next bit you need.

To extend the painting metaphor the script is your sketch. You apply a base layer. Then flesh out the details. It’s an entirely sensible and logical way of working. It may even be the sensible and logical way of working.

Now if only I could work on a project which had a script and was shot according to plan to fulfill the promise of that script. It happens but it’s handy to have techniques for when it doesn’t happen too.

Maybe its just my because my comfort zone is tweaked. Perhaps someone who habitually works in the ‘logical’ script-first manner would feel like their favorite buttons were missing too. But I genuinely felt myself being pushed into that style.

The other possibility is that there is a new way of working that I’m not seeing that will solve all my problems.Chances are its a bit of both.

I spent most of a decade working out the best way to bash together a project in different circumstances. No one taught me to do the sculpture thing. It wasn’t in the manual. It was trial and error.

So trial and error is what I’m doing.