Sound and your film

24 03 2008

It is almost a mantra that one thing that separates a low budget film from a higher budget one is something that actually doesn’t cost very much money at all — attention to sound.  Colin Mulvany, over at Mastering Multimedia, discusses why sound is important to your final product and how to work that into your process. One great note that he talks about is using the L-cut, or split edit.

Always use split edits. The split edit separate the professional editor from the amateur. The way I define a split edit is that you want to hear the person before you see them. Split edits, also called L-cuts really make your video flow smoothly between a-roll and b-roll. Just watch a video where a person appears and starts to talk. It can be jarring to the viewer. You can fix it by unlinking the video and audio track, roll the talking head video back about four seconds, then tuck the exposed audio on a separate track under the outgoing b-roll clip. You now have a smooth transition viewers will hardly notice. There are a half a dozen ways to do a split edit. Find the way that works best for you.

One of the best things about L-cuts is that they tend to smooth out cuts. In fact, I always make my sound cut happen at a different place than my picture cut (except at scene transitions or when I want my audience to feel my cut). Even if all that means is extending the outgoing track ten frames until the next word of dialogue begins.

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