Offline Film Editing

man-filmingWhen your camera original returns from the lab you will have two identically sized rolls. One is the camera original, the other is your workprint. The camera original normally has white or other colored leader on it. Workprint rarely has leaders. Store your camera original in a safe place. Protect it in every way possible. You have spent a great deal of time, effort and money getting the images onto that negative. Without it you don’t have a film.

The workprint is the working copy of your original negative, so it is OK to cut, splice, scratch or tear the workprint. However, for the sake of showmanship and to avoid any future confusion, keep your workprint in top shape. DO NOT RUN IT ONTO THE FLOOR. Always run it on to a reel or into a lined trim bin. Make sure the lab has printed the latent edge numbers from the original on to your workprint. If they haven’t printed through, return it to the lab for a re-do. Your workprint will likely be in a A-wind position. If not, flop it over and rewind it into the A-wind position.

transferring sound to 16mm magstock

Usually, while your film is being processed, you will schedule the transfer of your 1/4″ sound rolls to 16mm Fullcoat. To save time and money, specify if you want all takes transferred or only circled takes.

syncing workprint with magstock

When syncing your workprint with 16mm Magstock, start by building a leader 8 feet long before the sync mark and 8 feet long after your sync mark for both pix and sound.

Mark your sync marks legibly. Be sure to double check your sync often, looking for sync errors. You can do this by marking your tail leader with end sync marks for reference. If they’re out you’re out of sync.

Do not use “junk” or “used” picture or mag stock as fill or slug. It can cause out-of-sync problems. Always use fresh 3M stock for filling your sound track. It is well worth the few extra cents. At the end of your sound track(s), make a definite circle at the point of last pix and sound, then leave at least 6 feet of run-out leader.

edge Coding (AKA ink coding)

Once you have pix and sound in sync, you can send your workprint and magstock out to edge coded (aka Ink Coded). These yellow ink numbers are a constant sync reference between your seperate pix and sound track. This is possible because the corresponding numbers are printed every 16 frames on both pix and sound track. You can edit dialogue productions without edge coding, but it immensely easier with these bright yellow numbers.

editing the film

Your film is created in this phase. Forget the script. Forget the production phase. You now have the actual footage from which your final result will emerge. Your film is made magic or ruined in this phase.

Before actually cutting the film, remove your temporary 8+8 foot long picture and sound leaders at the head of your pix and sound track rolls used for syncing. Replace them with a ten foot long leader before your sync mark and 8 feet after that is then spliced to your academy leader.

Before marking fades and dissolves, make sure you understand the proper marks and the theory behind them (“A” Roll/ “B” Roll).

If you have titles at the head or the end of your film, slug and mark them as part of your cut workprint. Titles should be organized and shot when you begin the editing phase so they will be ready before your last days of editing.

If you want to save time and also guarantee a professional result to your film, contact VFX LA.