Whether you’re working on documentaries, reality television, corporate videos, or any of a number of situations where you have talent being interviewed on-camera, you’ve probably run into this scenario: The talent is giving a long speech, perhaps unrehearsed. In the middle of that speech is a really good sound bite you’d like to pull out and use in isolation. However, the talent didn’t pause enough frames before and/or after that sound bite to cleanly edit it into your program – and the director on set didn’t catch it and make them say the line over.
There are a couple of time-honored “solutions” to this problem, including muting the audio before and after the desired sound bite, freezing the video to extend the handle, or performing a split edit – cutting the video separately from the audio. However, all of these compromises can look distracting, taking the viewer out of the flow of the program.
Chris recently recorded a short course for lynda.com that demonstrates a technique to work around this, with results ranging from being less distracting to looking perfectly natural. The procedure is:
- mark the beginning and end of the existing pauses before and after the sound bite
- ramp the audio up then down during these breaks
- time remap the existing pauses as long as needed
- enable Frame Blending to smooth out the time remapped video
Chris’ preferred tool for this is Adobe After Effects. Yes, Adobe Premiere Pro also has time remapping and frame blending, but after much experimentation Chris found the Premiere solution simply wasn’t as good or easy to use as After Effects. But in the event you’re an editor more than a motion graphics artist, he also shows in the course how to start with an edited clip already in a Premiere sequence and Dynamic Link it into After Effects to take advantage of the superior tools there. If you already have a lynda.com subscription, you can watch the course here. If you don’t, use this link to get the first 7 days free for an all-access lynda.com subscription – if you don’t like what you see, cancel during this first week.
We’ve included a couple of movies from this course here. First is an overview of the challenge, inadequate solution, and improved solution. That is followed by the one you want your client to watch: The plea to have someone on set knowledgable with the source material who has the authority (or chutzpah) to ask for retakes when that golden sound bite goes flying by.
Overview of the Problem and Fix:
Avoiding These Problems On Set: