Time spent logging tapes is surely time well spent.
At some point during the hours of wedding footage, the bride glances at the groom for just one brief moment with a soft, loving look that tells the whole story in one priceless image. It is the essential shot for the wedding video you're editing.
But where is it? You've rolled back and forth for hours through those miles of wedding tapes and you still can't find that vershluggener shot. To be blunt, you can't find it because you didn't take the time and trouble to log your footage before you began assembling the video. Been there? Good. Now you'll pay attention as we show you how to organize and catalogue video and audio materials so that you'll never lose that shot again. And don't worry, it's painless and extremely helpful.
It Starts in the Camera
Step one is to set up your camera tapes. Each tape should get a full label identification, including a roll number, in advance. Give each tape a name, date and number (Little League 11/12/99, #1) before you record on it. It's all too easy to say, "I'll do it later" in the midst of a hasty tape change and then forget to do so.
If you're producing a video that requires a large number of shots, you'll want to slate each take. Slates are commonly used in television and film production to identify each of the thousands of takes that are shot on film. Early producers identified shots for editors by writing visual cues on little chalk boards (made of slate) and holding them in front of the camera. Slates can be valuable to you as a video producer as well. Each and every shot you take should be slated with four pieces if ID:
- The roll (videocassette) number identifies the tape on which the shot is recorded.
- The scene number identifies the sequence to which the shot belongs.
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