You can capture individual clips immediately after you enter the In and Out points and the naming information. This works as a controlled form of direct capture. You mark an In point near the beginning of the reel, an Out point near the end, hit capture (Clip in FCP) and let the deck and the computer do their thing.

Whatever work method you choose, once you have your material in the computer you can begin the fun part of editing: shaping stories and ideas so they come alive on the screen.

Don’t overlook the logging process even if you made long captures or used DV Start/Stop detection. Careful logging allows better editing workflow. The longer your production and the greater your amount of material, the more critical logging becomes.

All NLEs now let the editor enter into a database a great deal of information about each clip. Most applications have search engines, some more sophisticated than others, that help the editor locate shots. But you still must meticulously go through your material and make careful notes. These search tools are only as good as the data the editor creates. In many ways the clip capture method replicates the workflow of film editing.

Sitting in a darkened room watching reels of raw and unedited material play out for the first time is always incredibly intriguing, sometimes thrillingly energizing, and occasionally crushingly depressing.

Don’t make those first looks at your material too casual. Avoid the temptation to fast forward the tape or scrub through your media. Whether in a screening room, at a tape machine, or on a computer screen, you must sit down and actually watch all the material in real time just the way it was shot.

You can view your material before it’s brought into your computer or after. The choice isn’t as important as taking the time to view it.

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