What is it with video editors these daysssss!!!
Old 19th February 2013
  #1
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What is it with video editors these daysssss!!!

Rant on

Ok so recently ive noticed more and more situations where the editors aren't cutting in the sounds for a lot of shots. I'm not talking non key shots where an ambience will cover it, I'm talking big car on screen, zero audio, even though it exists. This particular show is heavily car-centric for a large network.

Now I know that in an ideal world we can just cut in much better recordings, but on shows with a very tight turn around and low budget and the editors say "cant you just get something from the library", I had my final straw today.

Turns out the director asked said editor to cut them all in before exporting aafs. He didn't.
All I did was ask whether they wanted sound on numerous shots (about 45 key obes that i notice during the vo record)in order to give my tracklayer an idea of the nightmare he was about to have tonight. Director blows a gasket. My seemingly small question ended up going straight up the line. Ended up having to have a long conversation with the editor who is trying to defend himself. In the end says "ok ill give you that" WTF???

I short director and pro co are very thankful that I flagged it but.....

What is it with these lazy ****** you'd have thought that working on a show for a few weeks they'd care what happens after it leaves their hands.

Rant off
Old 19th February 2013
  #2
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Whenever I am in those situation I try not to judge too badly because you don't know the circumstances of the other persons job. If its going to be fixed from now on then great. I'd just leave it at that.
Old 19th February 2013
  #3
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Originally Posted by JSt0rm View Post
Whenever I am in those situation I try not to judge too badly because you don't know the circumstances of the other persons job. If its going to be fixed from now on then great. I'd just leave it at that.
Trust me I really try not to judge either and will usually just keep quiet and deal with it. But core material is a step too far. Might as well be dialogue missing in this case...
Old 19th February 2013
  #4
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I'm still waiting to work with an editor who can export a solid OMF without me holding their hand. And I can't tell you how many times I have to correct a VIDEO editor on framerate/timecode issues...
Old 19th February 2013
  #5
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Originally Posted by Max H. View Post
I'm still waiting to work with an editor who can export a solid OMF without me holding their hand. And I can't tell you how many times I have to correct a VIDEO editor on framerate/timecode issues...
Out of curiousity, what's the ratio of crappy OMF / AAF exports between Avid editors and FCP editors in your opinion?

Chris
Old 19th February 2013
  #6
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Originally Posted by Max H. View Post
I'm still waiting to work with an editor who can export a solid OMF without me holding their hand. And I can't tell you how many times I have to correct a VIDEO editor on framerate/timecode issues...
This. 1 million times. THIS.
Old 19th February 2013
  #7
The modern dual-system DSLR-type workflow means that sometimes not all the audio is actually synced in the NLE if it's done with auto-match type solutions like PluralEyes. Sometimes they just sync the "talky parts" and filler shots will get dropped in without proper audio. Sometimes the second system (or even the primary system) isn't on/not working/whatever on any given shot that doesn't involve DX. I'm not saying this is good or clever, just that it happens.

There's no excuse for it, although zero-budgets and limited time will be bandied about, but with proper timecoded solutions though there's even less than no excuse.
Old 20th February 2013
  #8
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Thing that gets me is editors replacing the original audio with audio from another take without delivering the original as a guide. Might get away with it while the pic is compressed, but once online hits the screen, suddenly the syncs fcked and panic follows.
Old 20th February 2013
  #9
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Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
Thing that gets me is editors replacing the original audio with audio from another take without delivering the original as a guide. Might get away with it while the pic is compressed, but once online hits the screen, suddenly the syncs fcked and panic follows.
Actually, as a picture editor, I haven't worked in anything less than HD for several years now and generally speaking the picture in the cutting room is as good if not better than what's being delivered to the stage.

Usually those types of shenanigans are dictated by the director, unless I make the change specifically to address static hits or other types of problems in the production track.

Point noted, however, about trying to provide original track in the future, if only for reference.

I sort of put that up there with "continuity, schmontinuity..." When editing, I aim to tell the story in the best possible way, and if I don't have a shot that says what I want said from the current scene, I've been known to steal one from another scene, continuity be damned.

When cutting Sandlot 3 and The Perfect Game I was constantly taking baseball shots from different games and using them in other games. If you watch closely, the uniforms change colors quite often; nobody notices if the emotion is right.

I once cut a western and the owner of the local stagecoach junction was a woman. I needed a specific reaction when her old lover shows up on a stagecoach, and she didn't give it, so I stole the shot from another scene. She went from a yellow dress in the wide to a purple dress on the cut and nobody has ever mentioned it. For months I knew it was there every time we screened the movie for the director, the producers, the test screenings, and never a peep from anybody. Still lives in the cut to this day.
Old 20th February 2013
  #10
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Other than reality tv etc. wedon't expect the editor to give us anything useable, and our SFX editors cut it all in. Because they usually use the exact same thing every single time.
So I'm assuming that's what the problem is here?
Old 20th February 2013
  #11
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Originally Posted by conleec View Post
Point noted, however, about trying to provide original track in the future, if only for reference.
Dont try, just leave it there. Muted, and delivered in the AAF. Then we dont have to double guess sync and chase them around once editing dialog. That can take a lot of time as well.

You can get away with a lot of continuity errors, but I feel poor sync on dialogue is different. Storylines are (usually) told by dialogue, so to have dials right is top priority. And we cant risk that sync issues could break suspension of disbelief. Especially if sync is easily fixable.
Old 20th February 2013
  #12
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sometimes this is because of timing effects or how things are shot. example would be actually a chase scene. sometimes audio is not recorded because chase scenes are shot at high frame rates. a sound mixer mite be booked because there are no lines and why bring one in just to sit around.

For the most part pictures editors do the best they can with the training and tools they have.
Old 20th February 2013
  #13
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Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
You can get away with a lot of continuity errors, but I feel poor sync on dialogue is different. Storylines are (usually) told by dialogue, so to have dials right is top priority. And we cant risk that sync issues could break suspension of disbelief. Especially if sync is easily fixable.
We're on the same team; we're both trying to tell the story the best it can be told. Believe me, I weigh the fear of breaking suspension of disbelief with every voluntary continuity "error" I make. And I'll only make the cut if the emotion of it wins out.

I get you though, no need having needless sync issues if it can be fixed, just as there would be no need to introduce continuity issues if all scripts, performances, and directors were perfect.

It's been my experience that it takes the average audience a second or two to notice sync issues, so if I'm honest I've not been one to worry too much about one-offs, single words, and quick phrases. By the time they get an inkling that something is amiss, we're back in sync. And if the story is moving, it doesn't even register.

Pros like us, of course, are more likely to see it.

My wife is a makeup artist, and for her continuity is the end-all and be-all of her existence. Believe me, we've had many heated "conversations" about what's more important: story and pacing, or continuity. LOL. On the rare occasion when I cut her work, she notices when her material is cut out of order. But even she doesn't see it when I cut other people's work, because she is caught up in the story too. That's all we're trying to do is immerse people in a story that works and doesn't bore them to tears.

Chris
Old 20th February 2013
  #14
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Originally Posted by myke2242 View Post
For the most part pictures editors do the best they can with the training and tools they have.
There does seem to be a certain generational thing going on too. I have to say, I try to fill my tracks and make it "sound like a movie" as I cut. The more it sounds like a movie, the more pleased the director and producers.

The old school thinking goes something like: if it doesn't work without sound effects, then it's not working.

I can respect that too.

Along those lines, I do try to make my scenes work without a bunch of SFX before I fill the tracks. But I enjoy the audio side of things (hence my participation on this board) so to me it's equal to the picture.
Old 20th February 2013
  #15
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Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
Other than reality tv etc. wedon't expect the editor to give us anything useable, and our SFX editors cut it all in. Because they usually use the exact same thing every single time.
So I'm assuming that's what the problem is here?
Pretty much. Stock sounds are used in places for effect, but most of the shots are so rigorous with so much going on, for the time frame to edit in sounds to sound right is not even in the same ball park. All sync sounds are required to give it the right feeling in the mix.

Actually had a nice chat with the editor earlier. He'd never sat in on a mix or tracklay, so I offered him to come down for a beer and attend the next tracklay if he's free. Hopefully will make a difference for him.
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Old 20th February 2013
  #16
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Originally Posted by FullFrequency View Post
Actually had a nice chat with the editor earlier. He'd never sat in on a mix or tracklay, so I offered him to come down for a beer and attend the next tracklay if he's free. Hopefully will make a difference for him.
This needs to happen way more often, and the reverse as well... if there are any sound editors or mixers who haven't been in on a picture edit I'd recommend trying to hang out for a few hours in an edit suite to see how it rolls. If we all understand each other better it will probably make things far more harmonious down the road.
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Old 20th February 2013
  #17
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Originally Posted by FullFrequency View Post
He'd never sat in on a mix or tracklay, so I offered him to come down for a beer and attend the next tracklay if he's free. Hopefully will make a difference for him.
Interesting. In episodic and in features, that seems pretty unheard of. At least in Hollywood, episodic editors nearly always attend at least the final layback, but often an earlier screening too for notes.

In my feature gigs I find I'm often instrumental in keeping some sort of control on the dub stage; often running interference for the mixer(s) and keeping the director and/or producers from running the train off the tracks because I've had months of experience with them at that point and they often don't seem to grasp the reality of a 5 day mix schedule.

I agree wholeheartedly, if an editor has never been on the stage, that's something they definitely should do.
Old 20th February 2013
  #18
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Originally Posted by conleec View Post
Interesting. In episodic and in features, that seems pretty unheard of. At least in Hollywood, episodic editors nearly always attend at least the final layback, but often an earlier screening too for notes.

In my feature gigs I find I'm often instrumental in keeping some sort of control on the dub stage; often running interference for the mixer(s) and keeping the director and/or producers from running the train off the tracks because I've had months of experience with them at that point and they often don't seem to grasp the reality of a 5 day mix schedule.

I agree wholeheartedly, if an editor has never been on the stage, that's something they definitely should do.
Well, it can go both ways.
I've seen editors grind a mix to a halt, because all they want to hear are their temp FX. As they themselves can't distance themselves from their own SFX edit, and accept that maybe, just maybe the new stuff, that has been put together by people, who's expertise is sound, is actually better.

And then the 5 day mix schedule becomes unattainable.
Old 20th February 2013
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
This needs to happen way more often, and the reverse as well... if there are any sound editors or mixers who haven't been in on a picture edit I'd recommend trying to hang out for a few hours in an edit suite to see how it rolls. If we all understand each other better it will probably make things far more harmonious down the road.
+1. I'd go even further and say people working in any capacity in the filmmaking process should have a solid understanding of the entire pipeline. I think most here would agree that sound is often a second class citizen to many filmmakers. Moving toward the understanding that we're all working toward telling a better story, and not working to serve another department, would naturally demand that we all respect and be considerate of each other a bit more.

I swear, the thought of every person on set during room tone, on every project I work on, has to be "I wonder how much I can get away with.... Can they hear this?"... YES! I can! And your not being able to just stay still and keep quiet for 40 seconds just added 40 minutes to me fixing this scene! But they just don't know that. And I know how it is, I've worked production, many times if the production mixer pipes up, then he's given dirty looks, or even worse, if they AD is a jerk, scolded. smh...
Old 20th February 2013
  #20
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Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
Well, it can go both ways.
I've seen editors grind a mix to a halt, because all they want to hear are their temp FX. As they themselves can't distance themselves from their own SFX edit, and accept that maybe, just maybe the new stuff, that has been put together by people, who's expertise is sound, is actually better.
Absolutely, have seen that play out a hundred times too. No doubt about it. Happens with directors and temp music ALL THE TIME. I'd hate to be a composer. LOL.

I guess it boils down to a veritable army of creative types trying to tell a story, and there's always going to be a hitch in the program somewhere. Me, I respect the sound field immensely so as I say, I try to run interference for the mixers when on the dub stage and keep the director and producers at bay as much as possible. Most mixers I've worked with have told me later they appreciate it. Other editors definitely take an "ownership position" in their sound work, and I've seen how that can mess with a schedule and bend egos on both sides of the equation.

I guess if it was easy, everybody would be doing it...oh, wait...
Old 20th February 2013
  #21
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Originally Posted by t_young View Post
...And I know how it is, I've worked production, many times if the production mixer pipes up, then he's given dirty looks, or even worse, if they AD is a jerk, scolded. smh...
I've looked the offending person right in the eye and slated a take two on room tone before. That shut them up really fast, and tone went well for the rest of the shoot (jerk or not, get the AD on your side and life will be amazing)

I like the idea of everyone in the pipeline being informed. It means less of the shrugs and murmurs of "Eh, we'll fix it in post" and leads to a better product overall. I know that post work has impacted the way I work on set, where I make it a point to grab all kinds of wild lines and sounds (schedule permitting), especially when there are props that may be hard to come by like vintage autos or airplanes. "Little" things like that will make the rest of the process a million times easier.
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Old 20th February 2013
  #22
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Originally Posted by Max H. View Post
I'm still waiting to work with an editor who can export a solid OMF without me holding their hand.
Down here in the weeds at the low/no/mini/micro budget level it's even worse.

"What's an OMF?" (or AAF)

"What's a handle?"

"Why do you need the audio from the alt takes?"

"Can't you just work with the dialog the way it is?" (There's dialog from three lavs and a boom all jumbled together, and there's a brick wall limiter/radio compressor effect on the entire track.)

"What's an EDL?"


There are missing audio files, audio out of sync (by several seconds, not just frames) and all sorts of other problems caused by ignorance or laziness. I'm sort of cauterized to all of this, but the most recent took the prize. The editor uses Vegas 8, so cannot output an proper OMF or AAF that Pro Tools can recognize. So I am stuck matching the original production audio to an editors (shudder) "mix" - complete with crappy sound effects - which has been incredibly overly compressed. Once that is completed, then I can start on the dialog edit. BTW, the producer was told by the editor "That's the way they do it in Hollywood."
Old 21st February 2013
  #23
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Originally Posted by FullFrequency View Post
What is it with these lazy ****** you'd have thought that working on a show for a few weeks they'd care what happens after it leaves their hands.

Rant off
I bet you that in a lot of these cases editors, just like audio engineers, have seen monetary compensation drop or hours worked go up, or both, and they're now trying to do less so that the money they make is still comparable to before.

And in addition to that there are more people used to the "reality sound" which is just crappy and choppy, and they don't react in the edit suite because they're used to it or don't care. Once it hits us it's a different thing though.

So anyway, it is the way it is. I think the best thing we can do is educate our clients and let them know what the costs are or conversely what can be done within the budget and situation they offer.
Old 21st February 2013
  #24
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Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
Well, it can go both ways.
I've seen editors grind a mix to a halt, because all they want to hear are their temp FX. As they themselves can't distance themselves from their own SFX edit, and accept that maybe, just maybe the new stuff, that has been put together by people, who's expertise is sound, is actually better.

And then the 5 day mix schedule becomes unattainable.
+1
Old 21st February 2013
  #25
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Originally Posted by conleec View Post
Out of curiousity, what's the ratio of crappy OMF / AAF exports between Avid editors and FCP editors in your opinion?

Chris
In all fairness Avid editors typically know their stuff.
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Old 21st February 2013
  #26
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What drives me nuts is when editors use rubber band to draw their audio fades rather than using actual fades.
Or, use the rubber band to mute the clip rather than deleting it.

And then during layback the director goes: "Oh, we don't need that heard in the mix, did you listen to the guide mix?"

No, I didn't listen to the guide mix! If you don't want it in the mix take it off your timeline!
Old 21st February 2013
  #27
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I have mostly good experiences with editors across both platforms. In general, like us, they want to do a good job and are eager to ensure that we get what we need. There is a small minority however due to arrogance ignorance what ever that plainly do not give a f$%k about us. The big one is cutting in out of sync wild tracks or alts for scenes that will prob have adr and not giving us the correct sync for the shots. We have way less time on a project than the editor and yet we are often expected to locate and replace missing sound that should have been in the omf/aaf in the first effn place!
Oh and then they come to the mix and say stuff like" oh there was a great noise on one of the slates - why don't you put that in?" "oh, ok..... here's and idea -- why don't you **** right of and go and find it - or better still put it in the track in the first place!"

phew... but they are the minority. And mostly I never have to work with them ever again because they have been found wanting, but hopefully I never have to see them ever again - even if it is serving at a Mc D's drive through...
Old 21st February 2013
  #28
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Originally Posted by Mundox View Post
What drives me nuts is when editors use rubber band to draw their audio fades rather than using actual fades.
Or, use the rubber band to mute the clip rather than deleting it.

And then during layback the director goes: "Oh, we don't need that heard in the mix, did you listen to the guide mix?"

No, I didn't listen to the guide mix! If you don't want it in the mix take it off your timeline!
Come on now. I would never dream of telling you to do your job, but oh, by the way, don't use those damn AUX / Returns, or some other tool of the trade. Rubberbanding audio is an integral part of the process now, so you might as well get used to it.

And Pro Tools at least will import that automation.

Havind said that, I don't often leave muted audio on the timeline unless it's clearly an alt for something, and it's usually pretty obvious as such. Maybe an alt cue, or the original production track muted under a temp ADR line. Something of that sort.

Chris
Old 22nd February 2013
  #29
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Originally Posted by Max H. View Post
In all fairness Avid editors typically know their stuff.
That is most likely the assistant in all the short turnover productions I've been part of. I've met editors who had a hard time figuring out how to plug a mouse in to a USB port. Too specialized for assistant work as well, though by now hopefully as flexible as necessary.

The picture editing assistants are my personal heroes, not the editors, at least in my little part of the world.

That was a couple of years ago, so I reckon editors without those basic asset management skills will have aquired them by now. That isn't to say you shouldn't let out the occasional rant. That's healthy . In a sense so many of us need to wear teaching hats now at all times, and it is in fact a breath of fresh air when it's not necessary.
Old 22nd February 2013
  #30
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Originally Posted by conleec View Post
Come on now. I would never dream of telling you to do your job, but oh, by the way, don't use those damn AUX / Returns, or some other tool of the trade. Rubberbanding audio is an integral part of the process now, so you might as well get used to it.

And Pro Tools at least will import that automation.

Havind said that, I don't often leave muted audio on the timeline unless it's clearly an alt for something, and it's usually pretty obvious as such. Maybe an alt cue, or the original production track muted under a temp ADR line. Something of that sort.

Chris
It pays for the sound editors to know the placement habits of the picture editor. Saves everyone lots of time, and it certainly pays to phone the sound editing folks to tell them where to expect alternates. It always paid off for me.
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