Logging
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Logging

In order to make decisions about what footage to include in a video story, it helps to know your material inside out. So one of the first steps in what is called "post-production," is logging your footage. Ideally, you'd log the footage as it's being shot on location, as this can save you a lot of time later on. Also, there's some pretty good software for logging which means that a laptop computer can be an invaluable asset on location.. Some location cameras have LCD panels from which you can read tape counter numbers or time code as you videotape your story. A crew member can take down the numbers and make notes on a shot sheet along the following lines.

Tape #

Time Code

2

2

 2

2

4

4

4

4

 4

4

4

5

5

5

5

02:05:07

02:08:47

02:16:47

02:30:23

04:22:06

04:22:21

04:22:29

04:23:05

04:26:46

04:28:08

04:28:43

05:02:06

05:02:54

05:04:44

05:07:35

AND

Shot/Scene

Driving shot, approaching radar dome

Inside radar dome, dish panning and tilting up and down

Pull back from TV monitor to 2-shot inside radar station

Close up on radar monitor screen

Balloon inflation

Tight shot on pressure gauge

Better tight shot

Tight shot on valve; closing it

Wide shot; scientist 1 launching balloon, follow it for 10 sec.

Close up on scientist 1 looking up at balloon ascending.

Scientist 1 still looking up with radio in hand.

Same shot

Close up, looking at monitor, then down to keyboard

Close up on keyboard with typing

Tight shot on monitor screen

SO

Comments/Audio

Sound of car

Loud ambient noise of radar dish moving

Machine noise in room is quite loud

Hands off the valve now

Hands on valve now

See helium tank in shot

Good audio of gas hissing

Audio of scientist 2 on radio: "8,7,62,3,1, launch away"

Audio of scientist 2 talking via radio: "Looking real fine."

Audio of scientist 1: "I've lost it in the clouds!"

Audio: scientist 2, " 5, 4, 3, 2..lauch away."

Low angle

Typing sounds

Map, sounding data, pressure plots, etc.

ON

Here's a shot by shot list of footage videotaped on location, in this case, a few miles from Orlando International Airport, where atmospheric scientists took measurements of the atmosphere to identify which conditions lead to highly localized, downdrafts of cooled air called microbursts. These intense disturbances can pose a serious threat to aviation.

 Back at NCSA, the footage was logged in detail. Let's take a closer look at the shot list.

  • The far left column denotes the tape number. At this location, five tapes were shot, each one containing 30 minutes of footage from which a short video story would be later edited.
  • The next column along indicates the position of the shot on the tape, as specified by the time code . (Link to shooting video section?)
  • In the next two columns are written information about the subject, image size, shot angle, location or setting and any special audio cues.
  • In the "Comments" column, other comments might have been included, such as if a given shot were useable or not.

Soon, you'll be nail down those shots and sequences that you'll be piecing together in your upcoming edit. As you log each shot, you'll start getting ideas as to how you might put together your masterpiece. In fact, in your mind, you've already started editing. Plus, the resulting shot list makes for more efficient digitizing. You'll know exactly what and what not to digitize, which helps a whole lot if you've only got limited hard disk to store all the clips you'll need for the edit.

 A Word of Caution

When logging footage, don't screen your camera originals or other so-called "master tapes," if you can help it. Shuttling back and forth on the tape deck can play havoc with both heads and the magnetic oxide coating the tape. So do take the precaution of making copies first and screening only these copies.

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