Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures: A Guide to the Invisible Art

Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures: A Guide to the Invisible Art

John Purcell

Language: English

Pages: 448

ISBN: 0415828171

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Produce professional level dialogue tracks with industry-proven techniques and insights from an Emmy Award winning sound editor. Gain innovative solutions to common dialogue editing challenges such as room tone balancing, noise removal, perspective control, finding and using alternative takes, and even time management and postproduction politics.

In Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures, Second Edition veteran film sound editor John Purcell arms you with classic as well as cutting-edge practices to effectively edit dialogue for film, TV, and video. This new edition offers:

  • A fresh look at production workflows, from celluloid to Digital Cinema, to help you streamline your editing
  • Expanded sections on new software tools, workstations, and dialogue mixing, including mixing "in the box"
  • Fresh approaches to working with digital video and to moving projects from one workstation to another
  • An insider’s analysis of what happens on the set, and how that affects the dialogue editor
  • Discussions about the interweaving histories of film sound technology and film storytelling
  • Eye-opening tips, tricks, and insights from film professionals around the globe
  • A companion website (www.focalpress.com/cw/purcell) with project files and video examples demonstrating editing techniques discussed in the book

Don’t allow your dialogue to become messy, distracting, and uncinematic! Do dialogue right with John Purcell’s all-inclusive guide to this essential yet invisible art.

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now undergoes a series of public and private screenings, revisions, and restructurings. At this point, both the composer and the supervising sound editor are onboard. The composer provides musical sketches for the spotted scenes. These are synchronized with the picture, discussed, and fought over. New musical sketches appear, and the process continues until the score is more or less set. When pictures were cut on film, people thought (and worked) in 1000-ft editorial reels. Before the final mix,

BARS AND TONE (PAL) * FROM CLIP IS A STILL 002 BL NONE C 00:00:00:00 00:00:00:00 02:00:20:16 02:00:20:16 002 DVD09 NONE D 016 13:38:29:24 13:38:33:14 02:00:20:16 02:00:24:06 AUD 3 4 * EFFECT NAME: CROSS FADE (+3DB) * TO CLIP NAME: 24-07 OF 7 ANNOUNCED 6 JORDAN BORDER T131 MERGED * COMMENT: 08-02-04 003 BL AA C 00:00:00:00 00:00:00:00 02:00:24:06 02:00:24:06 003 DVD09 AA D 008 13:38:11:02 13:38:12:23 02:00:24:06 02:00:26:02 * EFFECT NAME: CROSS FADE (+3DB) * TO CLIP NAME: 24-07 OF 7 ANNOUNCED 6

result in unpleasant surprises. If you regularly prepare EDLs and you need more flexibility than the free utilities can offer, consider a more serious EDL management tool such as EDLMax.8 Getting Clip Names into Your Regions It’s important that your session region names reflect the scene/shot/take information from the Avid and, ultimately, from the original recordings. You can in fact cut dialogue without this information in the region names, but you’ll expend so much energy figuring out camera

match the sample rate and word size of your session, as well as the reference level of the studio and the local film community. Nowadays, most facilities use a reference like this: −18 dBFS = 0 VU = +4 dBu or −20 dBFS = 0 VU = +4 dBu This means that, in a properly set-up audio chain, a digital reference of −18 dBFS (full scale, the standard digital scale with 0 as the absolute highest 118 GE T T I NG S TART ED O N DI A LOGUE EDI T I NG value) equals 0 on an analogue VU meter, which equals 4

maintain a sense of reality. However, if the sound from her insert offers no useful information, you’ll end up moving back and forth between room tones for no reason. Not only does this make you work harder than necessary, but it subjects the viewer to yet another room tone transition. If the inserted room tone doesn’t help the story, get rid of it and cover the inserted shot with room tone from Edmund’s track. (See Figure 10-6.) The result: A smoother track that’s easier to cut and easier to

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