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TOPIC: best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ?

best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 12 Jul 2018 08:09 #96300

  • ronfya
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Hey guys,

I was wondering what’s your workflow for creating trailer from a movie project in FCPX.
As much as I love FCPX’s workflow to edit movies, I find it annoying that you cannot open 2 timelines simultaneously (like you can do in Premiere for example) and pick form one, to create the second.

Currently I create a compound clip from the movie, select some bits, drop them into the timeline and break them apart before editing.

My main problem is that as an entire movie is quite long, I find it cumbersome to use the browser to spot the bits you’re interested in. Spotting them in the original timeline is much easier. But always switching projects is even more annoying.

I could do it from a simpler version of the movie (just a bounced video with only 4 separate audio stems for dialog, effects, ambiance & music) but I would like to avoid it because when editing the trailer the dynamic can be different from the movie. That means J & L cuts sometimes need fine tuning for which I need access to the original video shots a few frames before/after the movie cut.

So what’s your take on this with FCPX ?

Cheers

R.


[EDIT]
I now realize that my original question was not accurate enough. I feel the problem I described is appearing only after you made that first cut. When you mainly have the compound clips from the original movie broken down in the trailer's timeline and you are looking to test new edit variations for which you need to pick new stuff from the movie. That's where the classic pancake editing with 2 timelines opened is really convenient.

The problem I described is not about the storytelling aspect of the trailer. It's about implementing the easiest workflow in FCPX to test if those ideas actually work.

And thank you all for the suggestions below !
Last Edit: 13 Jul 2018 07:52 by ronfya.
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 12 Jul 2018 13:52 #96307

  • Axel
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I am doing something similar right now. Drastically shortening a rough version. Now I could make a snapshot of the project and just delete chunks. But I don't. Actually, knowing the footage well by now, I prefer to start from scratch. However, from time to I like to compare parts of sequences and see why something was awkward before or by copying/pasting four or five edits from the first version, much in the way of pancake editing. Now I know I can't have them open at the same time and see them above each other, but I can easily jump between the timelines with cmd+ü or cmd+ß (german keyboard, funny letters should be left and right bracket - timeline history forwards or backwards).
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 12 Jul 2018 13:59 #96308

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Ooooh glad I asked the question because you just taught me there are keyboard shortcuts to switch in between timelines!.
I just tested and it definitely helps to switch between them multiple times!
Not as ideal as pancake editing but I can live with it I think :D
Thanks Axel
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 12 Jul 2018 20:20 #96310

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Or sit down with pencil and paper, write the script, scene by scene, what you envision. Just like the movie itself, you're telling a story; start, middle, end. Then go get the clips together.
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 13 Jul 2018 03:38 #96315

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You can also just drop your completed movie into the timeline and then create a secondary storyline above that with your clip selects from the movie below.
Creating history....one edit at a time !
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 13 Jul 2018 05:13 #96316

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Duplicate the long version twice, drop both onto the timeline, set the aspect ratio to 50%, then you can see both playing in real time and you edit the one version, and the other version maintains it plays, no worries about switching timelines??? You know the side by side "before/after" setup...
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 13 Jul 2018 06:52 #96318

  • Karsten Schlüter
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may I play the 'Bad Cop' here? ;)

A trailer is no 'shorter version' of a movie.
Or at last, it shouldn't. Coming from marketing, a trailer is an appetizer, a sales-tool for a product.

There are trailers/teasers, which don't show a single frame from the original movie. And there are trailers, who spoil me in under 2:30 the whole story=reason to watch it, so no need to go to the movies… :angry:

And: it makes a huge difference, to create, say, a 30secs/SuperBowlAd for part IV of a well-known franchise, or to interest a distributor on some fair for a 3h doc…

To distill a 10min short-cut of some 130min masterpiece you got already lots of advice.

For a 'real' Trailer, I would start with writing a script… always in mind: what to 'sell' whom … less a technical task than a conceptual…
Last Edit: 13 Jul 2018 06:53 by Karsten Schlüter.
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 13 Jul 2018 06:59 #96319

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I agree with Karsten, 100%...

Editing "trailers" must be the most difficult aspect of film editing, you have to tease the audience about what is upcoming, reveal something of a plot line, maybe not the actual plot line, something...Try and give the audience a hook into deciding your movie and not the film in the next room...

It is like writing a review for a novel...what do you reveal...how do you tell the highlight of the book without giving away the end...That is serious talent there...and not everyone can do it...

Good luck with the effort...Access to b-roll, discarded off cuts, out takes, in fact was there not recently a movie with some A lister in the trailer and this A-lister was in the movie for about 2 minutes total?? If true, that was a ballsy move by the trailer editor...
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 13 Jul 2018 07:05 #96320

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in addendum to my own reply:

… a classic in Trailer-making. the one for PSYCHO (how do you sale that, without spoiling the whole premise??)… demanded to think a bit out-of-the-box:



(and for the fun of it, the German version - spoken by Hitchcock himself!)
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 13 Jul 2018 07:10 #96321

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Just the name, he could stand in a field of daises and you have a mental image of a flock of birds about to peck your eyes out...Hitchcook could have voiced a black screen for 6 minutes and played haunting music, and you would be expecting some horrible crime to be revealed...

What a way to sell a movie to the audience, who today is so ballsy and brave to imitate the greatest of all time, the master himself....

Thanks Karsten...I had seen this before, in college, wow...yeah...I knew then I was never going to get as good as the master...

I just remembered what the video was about...listen to what Hitchcock says and leaves out....He is teasing you with leading sentences...brilliant..points out things, now you are forced to watch to find out what he left out...that was totally ballsy...I mean big ones..brave...dammit now I have to watch the movie...
Last Edit: 13 Jul 2018 07:16 by MsJustine.
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 13 Jul 2018 07:48 #96322

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FCPX.guru wrote:
Or sit down with pencil and paper, write the script, scene by scene, what you envision. Just like the movie itself, you're telling a story; start, middle, end. Then go get the clips together.
For a movie there's a script and a storyboard. That doesn't mean everything falls in place at the edit. You don't stop needing your NLE's abilities after the first cut.

dgwvideo wrote:
You can also just drop your completed movie into the timeline and then create a secondary storyline above that with your clip selects from the movie below.
That is another great way to START creating the trailer's rough cut.
I now realise that my original question was not accurate enough. I feel the problem I described is appearing only after you made that first cut. When you mainly have the compound clips from the original movie broken down in the trailer's timeline and you are looking to test new edit variations for which you need to pick new stuff from the movie. That's where the classic pancake editing with 2 timelines opened is really convenient.

MsJustine wrote:
Duplicate the long version twice, drop both onto the timeline, set the aspect ratio to 50%, then you can see both playing in real time and you edit the one version, and the other version maintains it plays, no worries about switching timelines??? You know the side by side "before/after" setup...
Actually that would be the simplest way to do it within the same timeline.
The trailer's edit. Followed by a very visible clip of some kind (gap, or just red frames for example) and then the whole movie from which you can pick from.
I don't know why I didn't think of that before. Thanks !
The only downside really is if you want to get a quick overview of your edit over time, you cannot just shift+Z anymore which I do quite often :P


Karsten Schlüter wrote:
may I play the 'Bad Cop' here? ;)

A trailer is no 'shorter version' of a movie.
Or at last, it shouldn't. Coming from marketing, a trailer is an appetizer, a sales-tool for a product.

There are trailers/teasers, which don't show a single frame from the original movie. And there are trailers, who spoil me in under 2:30 the whole story=reason to watch it, so no need to go to the movies… :angry:

And: it makes a huge difference, to create, say, a 30secs/SuperBowlAd for part IV of a well-known franchise, or to interest a distributor on some fair for a 3h doc…

To distill a 10min short-cut of some 130min masterpiece you got already lots of advice.

For a 'real' Trailer, I would start with writing a script… always in mind: what to 'sell' whom … less a technical task than a conceptual…

I actually agree completely with you Karsten!

But the problem I described is not about the storytelling aspect of the trailer. It's about implementing the easiest workflow in FCPX to test if those ideas actually work. ;-)

Anyway, thank you all for your inputs. I am going to try MsJustine's suggestion. Should do the trick quite well !
So simple that I really wonder how I didn't think about it before. Maybe my addiction to shift+Z :huh:
Last Edit: 13 Jul 2018 07:54 by ronfya.
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 13 Jul 2018 08:01 #96323

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I tested it, set Scale All to 50% and move the X value either way to split the screen left and right, I put 1 clip in the primary storyline, set the X value to 550, then the clip above I set the X value to -450...

When you select the primary story line, you can I and O, and I used shift delete to create gap clips, and the space bar to resume play back...works wonders!!
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 13 Jul 2018 08:05 #96324

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FCPX.guru wrote:
Or sit down with pencil and paper, write the script, scene by scene, what you envision. Just like the movie itself, you're telling a story; start, middle, end. Then go get the clips together.

This!
You are always giving the best, 'wisest' advice. A guru indeed.

@Karsten. Thanks for mentioning Psycho, I must have seen it 30 times. It's very rewarding to compare just the intro (after the main titles) to Gus vanSants remake. vanSant said, it's the nineties, we can make these city panoramas and the travelling through the hotel window a one-shot. His version is ominous, looming, the camera is determined and omniscient. Hitchcock, on the contrary, mocks the audience with a series of irritating 'establishing shots' that do everything but establish anything. He already has his hands on the carpet that he plans to pull off from under our feet many times throughout the film:


Note the jerky jump cut, when the window is suddenly approached from the other side. How much of that is intentional? Everything! Hitchcock had done perfect one-shots some 30 years before.

Also see 78/52, a highly recommended 90 minute analysis of the shower scene:


Also, since this is a trailer, it's a good one. "The [specially interested] audience can't wait to see more!"
Last Edit: 13 Jul 2018 08:14 by Axel.
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 13 Jul 2018 08:59 #96327

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Axel wrote:
… It's very rewarding to compare just the intro …

… and it's this intro, which gave PSYCHO on its appearance in 1960 in Germany a FSK18! (=suitable for +18y adults only *)… not the shower-scene… Why?
Because that scene indicates extramarital intercourse … wow!

… I'm sometimes puzzled, how our parents 'made' use :silly:

ok, sorry, for making this a "Who knows the most trivial trivia about PSYCHO?"


* movie was re-rated in 2004, FSK12… (min. age 12y) - to make the movie suitable for television broadcast. Money rulez … ;)
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 13 Jul 2018 11:26 #96331

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"For a movie there's a script and a storyboard. That doesn't mean everything falls in place at the edit. You don't stop needing your NLE's abilities after the first cut."

I never said anything to contradict your statement. But you start with the story you're telling. A trailer is a story. It's not the movie, as Kasten said, but what story are you telling the audience to wet their appetite? I do promotional video all the time. If we don't sell ads, our TV station fails, and if our ads don't work, we don't sell ads. We always start with "the story" being told. I've done a few trailers for some of our originally produced shows, and that's how we work. BTW, we're an entertainment station, we produce much of what we air ourselves, we're not a news station.

I'll repeat, tell the story, on paper first, and get to the heart of the matter immediately. Or you're simply taking shots in the dark until you happen along something that works, which takes a long time. Been there, done that, have the T-Shirt.
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 13 Jul 2018 13:02 #96334

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FCPX.guru wrote:
"For a movie there's a script and a storyboard. That doesn't mean everything falls in place at the edit. You don't stop needing your NLE's abilities after the first cut."

I never said anything to contradict your statement. But you start with the story you're telling. A trailer is a story. It's not the movie, as Kasten said, but what story are you telling the audience to wet their appetite? I do promotional video all the time. If we don't sell ads, our TV station fails, and if our ads don't work, we don't sell ads. We always start with "the story" being told. I've done a few trailers for some of our originally produced shows, and that's how we work. BTW, we're an entertainment station, we produce much of what we air ourselves, we're not a news station.

I'll repeat, tell the story, on paper first, and get to the heart of the matter immediately. Or you're simply taking shots in the dark until you happen along something that works, which takes a long time. Been there, done that, have the T-Shirt.

I didn't ask any question about storytelling. I asked about workflow. PRACTICAL workflow. In FCPX. Not in my mind or paper.

As I also said in the same post you quoted me from:

"The problem I described is not about the storytelling aspect of the trailer. It's about implementing the easiest workflow in FCPX to test if those ideas actually work."

So please stick to the question and stop assuming you're the only one with the t-shirt "been there, done that" and that people forget about storytelling when they ask a workflow question. That looks condescending even if it isn't.
Last Edit: 13 Jul 2018 13:04 by ronfya.
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 13 Jul 2018 19:22 #96342

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Once I have the story mapped out, I know what clips I need.

How to find them? If you're using Used clips, make a Smart Collection that shows only the Used Clips from that timeline, then add them to a Keyword collection that stores the clips for your trailer.

Or, you can just open the original timeline, Shift-F, and drag that into a Keyword collection that stores the clips for your trailer.

Normally, I've edited the project, or at least graded it, and am familiar with it, so I pretty much know where to get what. But if you're new to the project, I'd use a Keyword collection to put everything in that I need from the original timeline.
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 13 Jul 2018 19:45 #96346

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FCPX.guru wrote:
Once I have the story mapped out, I know what clips I need.

How to find them? If you're using Used clips, make a Smart Collection that shows only the Used Clips from that timeline, then add them to a Keyword collection that stores the clips for your trailer.

Or, you can just open the original timeline, Shift-F, and drag that into a Keyword collection that stores the clips for your trailer.

Normally, I've edited the project, or at least graded it, and am familiar with it, so I pretty much know where to get what. But if you're new to the project, I'd use a Keyword collection to put everything in that I need from the original timeline.

That is not relevant to what I asked.
Thanks anyway.
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best workflow for creating a trailer from an edited movie ? 14 Jul 2018 00:46 #96347

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Have a look at Auditions. You can drop any number of clips in an audition and then test your different cuts, looks or edits by choosing from the audition collection. This makes it easy to test out different clips and how they work with your particular edit style. Maybe this gets closer to helping.
Creating history....one edit at a time !
Last Edit: 14 Jul 2018 00:48 by dgwvideo. Reason: typos
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