When it comes to edit review sessions, I always aim to be efficient. I want to share our approach to it and how we set up a tool that makes these sessions go smoothly.
Lock the Timeline
Once an edit is ready to be reviewed by the producer, I lock the timeline. I’m talking stripes across the entire sequence! Why? I don’t want to be tempted to start making edits during the session. For most of the work that we do, the goal of a review session is to get the feedback you need and let the producer go so that you can focus on revisions. Editing on-the-fly, especially for the first review, could easily eat up a lot of time because that will only open the door to other edit ideas… and more edit ideas… and all of a sudden, your whole edit has changed, and the producer hasn’t even seen the whole cut the way you intended it! The other benefit of putting every track on lockdown – keeping versions intact. When I see a locked timeline, I know for sure that it hasn’t been changed (or tinkered with by anyone else, hopefully). This approach also allows comments to live within a particular version, so it’s easy to trace back the history of revisions when needed. How do I prefer to record comments on the edit?
Use Sequence Markers
I’ve always known Premiere Pro can drop markers in the sequence. I wasn’t aware that it could drop different colored markers while playing. I would manually double-click a marker, then choose a new color if desired. The keyboard shortcut we’re looking for is: “Set Color Marker” and it goes from 1-9. I believe sequence markers are the best way to flag for any spots that need to be reviewed and discussed. Now, the fun part. How do these markers get placed?
Get a Wireless Presenter
I’ve recently discovered the Kensington Wireless Presenter. Matt brought it up as a possible upgrade to our old setup. See, the first iteration of this idea started with a wireless mouse. It worked fine, but it was not the most ergonomic solution, nor was it the most quiet (as the editor, those “clicks” can seem quite loud during a review session!). Essentially, they are built for PowerPoint presentations. The computer sees it as a second keyboard, so the buttons are hard-wired to set off specific keystrokes that allow you to navigate through a presentation:
- Back = Page Down
- Forward = Page Up
- Play = F5
- Stop = B
So, all I needed to do was remap keyboard shortcuts. Our current settings:
- Page Up = Set Color Marker 1 (Blue – Reviewer 1)
- Page Down = Set Color Marker 7 (Green – Reviewer 2)
- F5 = Set Color Marker 6 (White – NICE CUT!)
We have two of these remotes available in every edit suite during a review session. This allows the producer (and anyone else reviewing) to watch the entire edit without interruption and even better, discreetly drop a marker in the sequence. Then, I’ll go through each marker (I’ll know who dropped what marker because it’s color-coded) and we can discuss what needs to be addressed. I’ll go ahead and put these revision notes right in the marker notes. I’ll also take a second to adjust the placement of it to the correct spot (you can roughly assume that a marker is pointing out something 1-2 seconds before it).
This setup has made review sessions a breeze. The producer watches the edit once or twice, I take a few minutes to get details on the edit notes, then I’m off to duplicating the sequence and addressing each of those markers. And that’s how we do edit review sessions here at the Gorilla!