Webinar

Tell Your Best Stories with Script-Based Editing


Rev's Video Producer, Austin Canary, sat down for a live discussion with Robert Weiss, President of a New York video production company, and Chris Bové, a PBS documentary maker, about how to shave down the editing process with script-based editing. View the transcript from the discussion below.


Webinar Transcription

Austin Canary:

So today we're going to be talking about script-based editing workflows when it comes to video editing. We're super excited to have both of our speakers on today. They both offer some very unique perspectives. But we're going to be talking about script-based editing workflows and how to use speech-to-text for your video editing process and how it can drastically reduce your time in the editing room, while also equipping you with the information to be the best storyteller that you can be. We're really excited to share with you all of our cool new features and workflows here to make you an amazing script-based editor. But before we dive into that content, I'm thrilled to be able to introduce to you our guest panel today and I think you'll be really excited to have the two really unique perspectives when it comes to video editing.

Austin Canary:

So I'm Austin Canary. I'm the Video Marketing Manager here at Rev. I'm excited to be your host today. But we have Robert Weiss and we have Chris Bové with us today. Robert Weiss is the Protector of the Vision, as he says, and the Chief Video Content Marketing Strategist at MultiVision Digital. He has over 14 years of experience in digital marketing, SaaS based marketing and sales process tactics. He prides himself on being an idea generator and a coach who can work well with very different personalities to get the best from them in front of the camera. So Robert, just tell me a little bit about yourself and MultiVision Digital, and what you do and what your team are creating over there.

Robert Weiss:

Thank you very much for the intro, Austin. Hello everybody. Good morning. Good evening. Good afternoon. Wherever you're porting in from.

Robert Weiss:

I mean, you said it right there, we focus on business video predominantly. We do some consumer-based video, business consumer video, but I myself do not have a video background. So I come at video from a sales and marketing conversation, and that is how I built and differentiated my company. Over the last 10 years, we've done about 900 plus videos ranging this span of almost every single business objective out there. And as you said, we work a lot with people who have never been in front of the camera before. They know what they're talking about from a business perspective they just don't know how to do it in front of the camera. But it doesn't stop there. One of the secret sauces if you will, and we'll talk about this in this webinar, is how you take that piece of content that happens to be video and then monetize that. Contextual-based content, integrate that into SEO, email nurturing campaigns, social of course, sales process, website, press releases, et cetera, et cetera. So that's been a really big secret sauce for us and point of differentiation as I built the company.

Austin Canary:

That's awesome, Robert. We're really excited to have you on today. And with Chris Bové, he's an American film and television editor, writer and producer. He began his career over 30 years ago and is best known as an editor of broadcast documentaries with strong narrative storytelling. He runs one of the most powerful Avid Media Composer set up around and has edited hundreds of hours of films, TV shows, training videos and commercials, as well as digital stories. So Chris, welcome. Tell me briefly about the kind of projects you've worked on with companies like PBS.

Chris Bové:

I work at the PBS station that is covering Buffalo, New York and Toronto, but we also are the PBS station that sends to PBS National that gets distributed across the nation. And it's everything from what you would classify as TV shows to documentaries, historical, topical, you name it.

Austin Canary:

That's awesome. Well, I can't stress enough how excited we are to have both of you guys on. Robert is going to offer a very unique marketing perspective. Chris is going to offer a very cool documentary filmmaker perspective.

Austin Canary:

Just to cover what we're going to be talking about today, we will explore what is script-based editing. We'll talk about working with transcripts, we'll also talk about the new script-based editing workflows that we offer with Rev, and then we'll open up for a post-production panel chat with the two guys here, also open up for a Q&A at the end. So like I said in the housekeeping, if you have any questions please feel free to post them as we go along and then we'll do our best to cover them at the end.

Austin Canary:

So, what is script-based editing exactly? To put it simply, it's essentially where you use transcripts of your footage in post-production in order to find sound bites and other information in the text, instead of the slower process that it would take scrubbing through hours of video footage in the editing room. The end goal is to be able to assemble together your golden moments that will best tell your final story. Transcripts are essential to this process not only because it's so much easier to search through text and locate dialogue in text form, but transcripts also provide timestamps and speaker labels and all this information that you need to easily reference your clips later in a video-editing software.

Austin Canary:

And while this workflow may be similar for both Robert and Chris, the two video producers might have different use cases that can differ. We'll dive into this later with them, but for Chris who's a video editor and documentary video editor, he'll be using transcripts in one way where he's putting together a story and he's finding bits and pieces together from various interviews that there may not be an initial story but he's helping put that together. Chris, if you want to comment on that, just a brief overview of what the world looks like in documentary video editing with your transcripts and what that process looks like.

Chris Bové:

And it's not even something that is a piece of software that just came out recently. It's been that exact way for the more than 30 years that I've been doing it. Ever since I would have the collar up, and the film around my neck and the transcripts taped to the wall next to me and I would actually rip off pieces of the bin holder so that I would have all the pieces of film actually hung up on the wall next to them. And I still do the same thing, here we are 30 years later still doing the same thing, even though most of it is in digital here. But it would start there, it would start with the transcripts. You can't make a documentary out in the field pre-writing anything. Everybody knows that. The documentary content is what happens when you've actually asked all the interview questions, they've given you the answers and now you have to look on the wall, I call it the wall, you have to look on the wall to see what you're actually going to be telling.

Chris Bové:

I will do the kindergarten style thing of pulling out the crayons, pulling out the highlighters, putting out the pens, the scissors, whatever I can to piece this together before it even hits the edit bait. It's part of the reason why folks will contract me to work on their film, work on their television program is because I will usually work with them to create the story ahead of time, sometimes even before I've fired up the edit system. Usually it's about halfway before I fire up the edit system and then when I do, I'm incorporating the transcripts into the Avid script-based editing environment, which is completely based on linking the transcripts to your videos so that when you actually click on a word, the video comes up. But it all starts with needing those transcripts. And the transcripts need to be as amazing as possible, it can't just be a rough idea of what somebody said.

Austin Canary:

Right. Yeah. And for Robert, in contrast, Robert has, going into marketing video, he'll have a good idea of what product information, what company information, what client information he needs to share. So when it comes to making marketing videos, he's doing a lot of homework ahead of time. And those who might've conducted interviews for B2B content, we know that we don't always get the perfect take right away, especially for people who don't have experience on camera. And for Robert and his team, transcripts are important to not only find those best takes, but to also find little nuggets of information to help their video succeed with the marketing goals. So with that in mind, Robert, outside of Rev, how would you say that your video production process has evolved by incorporating transcripts and your workflow with you and your clients?

Robert Weiss:

Yeah. So as you mentioned, Chris and I come at it from very, very different viewpoints and it's almost like I don't really care about the story so much because with B2B, buyers just really want the information. They want it quickly. So we do our best to identify the key information working with a marketer. But many times we'll have a technical person on camera and they'll never say... We, as people, never say the same thing exactly twice. When you're naturally speaking and just being natural, talking about your profession or your product or whatever that might be so there's nuances in take one versus take two versus take three. That's where the transcripts really come into play to be helpful because it takes the marketer or the technical person off the visual of the video.

Robert Weiss:

A lot of times I say to my clients, "I do not care what I see in your video," and they're like, "What?" I care about what I hear and we can fix almost anything with what we see with the tactics that video editors have. So by utilizing the transcripts, again, it keeps them focused, number one, on the message, and number two, on the right message because there's nuances in each take. That makes our process more productive.

Austin Canary:

That's great. And I'm sure that applies to both Robert and Chris' workflows-

Robert Weiss:

Yeah, absolutely.

Austin Canary:

Most people on this call, if you haven't heard of script-based editing, putting the transcript and the audio and the dialogue content first, we hope that these workflows that we'll be sharing today are very eye-opening and can show you how that you'll be more efficient and ideally, a better video editor.

Austin Canary:

So you might be wondering, especially if you're new to this concept, is how do you actually work with transcripts in the post-production process? So the first step, simply put, is to just get your transcripts of your footage that contains dialogue. You can either submit the video file or an audio file to Rev.com.

Austin Canary:

I want to point out that there are different points in the production process where you might be requesting transcripts. The first method would be when you finished all of the production and all of your footage is compiled and then at that point, you would submit all of your files and get them all transcribed so you can begin editing. There's a ton of people in the industry that have super tight deadlines and they actually need to submit the first half of their interviews for transcription before they've even taken their final take or done their final interview. So that would be the second method is while you're already doing production, you can go ahead and submit a lot of your interviews to get them transcribed so your video editor, your producers, your directors can all start reviewing those, like how you would review dailies maybe in a Hollywood setting, and you can start putting together bits and pieces before you've even fully committed to the editing room.

Austin Canary:

And then third, this can apply to both methods that we talked about, but it would be where you can pre-trim some of your files. So you might want to take out dead spots, you might want to take out the beginning and ending of your audio files before submitting them, and there may be parts in the interview where you and your director may know that you're not going to be using any of that so you can cut that out as well. That's a different way to go about it, but sometimes it can save time before getting everything transcribed.

Austin Canary:

So the second step would be once you have your transcripts, it's time to find your Selects. Selects being those golden moments, those information nuggets, whatever you need from the dialogue to start crafting together your story. But we'll dive into those workflows as we go. That's going to be the meat and potatoes of this webinar. Austin Canary: And finally, once you have your Selects assembled and compiled, it's time to start crafting your story. So I would say that that's sort of the basic one, two, three of script-based editing is get your transcripts, find those golden moments and then start putting together your rough cut.

Austin Canary:

Another great aspect of script-based editing and a benefit is that you can pull non-video editors into the post-production process. A documentary editor like Chris would likely put in his directors or executive producers to help find important soundbites in the footage, and either having a physical or a digital text document for them to read through is a whole lot easier than asking them to stand behind over your shoulder and listen to clips as you scope through them in your timeline over and over. But for Robert, he wants to be sure that his best marketers are in the room. So this means not only his team, but likely he might pull in his clients as well to hop in the transcript and help identify really good points of information from their sit-down interviews, as well as confirm with their legal teams what can and cannot be said.

Austin Canary:

So now that you know the basic workflow of using transcripts, let's quickly make sure you know how to get them from Rev.com. So if you're not currently a Rev.com customer, this might be brand new information to you, transcripts in general, script-based editing, but here's how to get transcripts for your footage. So you go to Rev.com, you select the blue transcription service box, upload your files, whether it be video or audio files, you check out and then within 24 hours, you'll get your transcripts. It's super easy. We try and make it as convenient as possible. And then we'll try and make it as convenient as possible, and then we'll go from there of what kind of workflows this leads to.

Austin Canary:

We've outlined three different script-based editing workflows that work with Rev transcripts. The first one will be the paper edit, which is a classic method. It's been around for ages, ever since film, basically, like [Chris] was alluding to. Once people figured out, "If we transcribe our dialogue so that we can read through it quickly, we can start cutting our film a lot faster."

Austin Canary:

That process, luckily, has evolved a lot since then. We now have ways of having a Word document, a PDF, a text file. But now, with Rev, you also have the Rev Transcript Editor. You guys can collaborate within a transcript like you would a Google doc. You can highlight things, you can share it with your team, and then you can export it in whatever format you need it in to print it out, if you prefer to do that.

Austin Canary:

The second method would be the method that Chris will be talking about later on, which is the Avid ScriptSync method. It's very similar as far as ordering your transcript, but once you have your transcript from Rev, you'll download it in a special file format specifically made for Avid ScriptSync so that it works really nicely. You can import it and then you can sync it with your footage so that you can natively search the text and find those golden moments and those highlighted sections all throughout your clips.

Austin Canary:

The third method is Edit Decision List, which is what we have for editors who are using other non-linear editors like Adobe Premiere Pro. The Edit Decision List workflow relies heavily on the Rev Transcript Editor. You and your team can hop into the Rev Transcript Editor and highlight selects, and then export that as an EDL to later use in Adobe Premiere Pro to create an assembly sequence.

Austin Canary:

Just to go through these in-depth, with the paper edit, you can use Rev Transcript Editor. This is a classic workflow that a ton of our customers in video are using. Even if you're not a video production company or a video editor, a lot of times you're going to want to transcribe your interview so that you can go through the dialogue as fast as possible without having to scrub through a timeline, especially if you're not an experienced video editor. But even if you are, it's so much easier to share a transcript than it is multiple rough cuts, or assembly sequences, or project files with non-video editors.

Austin Canary:

The great thing about having your transcript through Rev is that you're going to be able to highlight important quotes. You can note the time codes, and you can later on use that to make a shot list. With the Avid ScriptSync method, you can download those transcripts in ScriptSync format, and then import them into Avid Media Composer to use them natively.

Austin Canary:

Then, with the Edit Decision List, you'll highlight those important moments. You'll export it as an EDL file, import it into Adobe Premiere Pro, and then link with the media to generate a Select sequence in Adobe Premiere Pro. The EDL method can also be applied to DaVinci Resolve. There's also ways to do it with Final Cut Pro via DaVinci Resolve, but Edit Decision List's workflow is super ideal for anyone who's in Adobe Premiere Pro at the moment.

Austin Canary:

We're not going to go through these videos, but I just want to make sure that, everyone on the call who is interested in exploring these script-based editing workflows that Rev offers, that there are some detailed tutorial articles as well as videos on both of these methodologies.

Austin Canary:

Here on the left we have a ScriptSync tutorial. Here on the right we have an EDL into Adobe Premier tutorial. We're going to be sharing a link at some point in this conversation where you can sign up to get access, free access of course, to either of these methods. There will also be linked on these videos, and the steps in order to do these.

Austin Canary:

At this point in time, I'm just going to quickly show you what the workflow looks like to get the transcript in the format you need once you've ordered it from Rev, so whether it be for Adobe Premiere Pro or for Avid Media Composer.

Austin Canary:

I'm going to stop sharing my screen real quick. Then I'm going to hop into the Rev Transcript Editor. All right. [Robert], Chris, can you guys see this transcript editor? Perfect. Okay. Cool.

Austin Canary:

This is an example of what your transcript would look like once you've ordered it from Rev. You can see that I've highlighted some important sections, like right here where Chris says, "Documentary is absolutely the Wild West when it comes to scripting and storytelling." I think that's a really great moment, and there's a ton of other moments in our conversation that I've highlighted. If I want to export an EDL file for Adobe Premiere Pro, I'm going to go to download, and then I'm going to click Edit Decision List here. Then I'll click export. That will download, basically, a chronological shot list of everything that I've highlighted in this interview. Then I can later import that into Adobe Premiere Pro. Premier Pro will put together an assembly sequence of all these clips so that I can begin editing them and cutting them together to make my first rough cut.

Austin Canary:

For Avid ScriptSync, it's a little bit different. You're not doing so much heavy lifting in the Rev Transcript Editor. In fact, you don't need to worry about highlighting if you're just doing it for yourself. Where highlighting might come in handy is when you're working with a team, and that way you can cross-reference back and forth. Ignore the highlighting for this, but let's just say we have our transcript and we're ready to download it for Avid ScriptSync.

Austin Canary:

We'll go up here to download. This time we'll click Avid ScriptSync, and then export. That will give us a text file that will be pre-formatted and ready to use in Avid ScriptSync, where you can merge it and sync it with your media files. Then you'll be able to search the text natively within Avid Media Composer.

Austin Canary:

Again, this is just a quick highlight of how to export these files from Rev. I'm not going to go into the weeds of how to do it within the video editing softwares, that's what we have those articles and tutorial videos for. We need all the time we can get to other things on this webinar, but just wanted to show you how to get those file formats for these different workflows. Let me move on to the next thing.

Austin Canary:

This brings me to, "How do I get started with script-based editing with Rev?" Obviously you want to order your transcripts for your footage files with Rev, but then you also need to request access to either the EDL or ScriptSync transcript formats, or both if you use both Avid and Adobe Premiere Pro.

Austin Canary:

I've put together this little vanity link to hopefully direct you guys as easy as possible to the article that explains what script-based editing is, what it looks like with Rev, and then how to get access to both of these formats. Notice that it's not .com, it's rev.cm/SBE. Take a note of this. We'll also be sharing it in all the follow-up communication. But if you're interested in signing up and getting access to this today, please jot down this URL, rev.cm/SBE. This will take you to the blog article.

Austin Canary:

I'll switch over to that as well. I apologize for the back and forth on all this. Let's see.

Austin Canary:

This will take you to this blog article, Assemble Better Stories Faster With Script-Based Editing Workflows. Sounds pretty familiar as far as the webinar title goes, but you'll scroll down here, you'll learn a little bit about what we're talking about today. Then if you want to learn about transcript-based editing with Adobe Premiere Pro, we have the video tutorial here, the basic steps, and then here's a forum on how to request EDL access.

Austin Canary:

Scroll farther down and we talk about Avid ScriptSync. We have the video tutorial, and then we have a form specifically for ScriptSync access. This is a manual request process, so please fill it out, give us maybe two to three business days to grant you access. Once you do, then you can start exporting your transcripts in the formats you need for these workflows.

Austin Canary:

All right. Let me just switch back over. Okay. Again, rev.cm/SBE to learn more about those script-based editing workflows and get access to those formats.

Austin Canary:

All right. We have reached the conclusion of what I need to share as far as Rev's perspective, our Rev script-based editing workflows. Now I'm super excited to open up the conversation to both Robert and Chris.

Austin Canary:

We're going to talk about post-production. We're going to talk about script-based editing. We're going to talk about different video editing strategies, and all this good stuff. I will go ahead and stop sharing my screen, and we will go ahead and get started.

Austin Canary:

All right. I just want to throw a little icebreaker at you guys. Robert, I'll start with you. I want to know ... You've been doing video for a while. What triggered you to start using transcription and looking into this new workflow? How has it been working out for you?

Robert Weiss:

The initial entre into it was Google does not read video from a search perspective. One of the number one goals of my clients is lead generation. How am I going to attract and convert leads to get into the sales pipeline? Search is such a huge aspect of lead generation today that that was the first thing.

Robert Weiss:

We took that initial video and then transcribed it. Then we had 60, 70, 80% of a blog post. Actually, we started doing it for ourselves first. We created this thing called a video-first strategy, which we've been talking about for almost five years now, is starting with that video. What we found is that people can talk quicker that they can write. Right now you asked me a question. Imagine if I had to write this answer?

Austin Canary:

Right.

Robert Weiss:

It would take me so long, and I'd be stuck, and I'd get interrupted. But I'm talking, I'm giving you the answer in a minute, and I can take that video and then get it transcribed.

Robert Weiss:

Then we started doing it for our clients, because we're in an accounting firm or a law firm. We have five or six partners come in, and they answer a question or two, which they can very easily because that's what they do for a living. Then, not only do we have the video, but we also have the text, contextual aspect of it.

Robert Weiss:

That was the first aspect. But, as we spoke about before, the efficiencies and the post-production side, and working with the client has just put an icing on the cake in terms of using transcriptions for our business.

Austin Canary:

That's awesome. Same for you, Chris. What did it look like pre-transcription, and how has your video editing process evolved over time?

Chris Bové:

Pre-transcription was, "Did they say something better? What did they say?" "I don't know. Let me go back to the film," "Let me go back to the tape," "Let me go back to," something, "and start listening, and I'll get back to you." "I'll get back to you" was the fastest answer than anybody had.

Chris Bové:

Then transcriptions came out, and a lot of editors, be it film, video, whatever, use transcriptions as the cheat. We got transcriptions sometimes on our own so that we would all of a sudden be more intimate with everything that was said in a documentary's box of tapes, or whatever, than the filmmaker was. "How did you know that?" It became our cheat.

Chris Bové:

Then all of a sudden our cheat was revealed, and all of a sudden we're getting things done faster than ever because now everybody is part of the process. Everybody is doing transcriptions.

Austin Canary:

That's really good. I love how you said sometimes you would get more intimate with the footage than the initial filmmaker.

Austin Canary:

Diving into that, getting familiar with the footage, Robert, you mentioned earlier in the conversation that you're less of a storyteller and you're more of a marketer. When it comes to really diving into the footage, what are you looking for that might be different from Chris? Where he might be looking for something compelling and heart-wrenching, or very informative, you might be looking for data or ... What would that look like?

Robert Weiss:

Exactly. It depends on the business objective, and it depends on the type of video we're doing. Obviously if we're doing a recruiting video, that's a very different answer than if we're doing a product video. But, with a product video, we're looking for, again, that technical information. Regardless of what type of video we're doing, we have a list of questions and we're working with the mark comm teams on what the communication vision of that final deliverable is. Our job as professionals is to make sure that we coach and direct people to say that. Then of course, again, there's nuances and sometimes there's an approval process on their end where they need the people to see it, especially when we're dealing with lawyers. You mentioned legal approval, healthcare as well; that's huge. So there are certain things that we're looking for moments, technical information, are we hitting the right message that we've decided that we're going to hit?

Austin Canary:

That's really good. It's such an interesting difference between what you and Chris are doing, where you come in with research, knowing what kind of message you want to come across. Then you go into the interview process trying to coach the people behind the camera to give you those nuggets that you hope to get, where Chris might be working with various cinematographer's work and trying to compile it all together and tell a story. So it's interesting to hear the two different methodologies, even all the way back to production, how much research goes into it.

Robert Weiss:

I'll give you another quick use case here that I think this whole process really, really comes in handy because it is like Chris's, at least a little bit. Testimonies, client testimonies. Typically, we don't have the client in the room with us because then that makes the person that's giving the testimonial uncomfortable. So we want to be there. Again, we're deciding what the questions are. We know what to ask, but sometimes they say a lot of good things about the client, but the client has an idea of why we call them the cheeks are in the seats. So the why the person is they're being interviewed and they can go through that EDL really quickly and basically tell us. So we're not guessing, they're just telling us.

Austin Canary:

In such a contrast, Chris, what does it look like when you've been handed footage that didn't have that much thought process going into it, that there's maybe a general idea of what story is being told, but you have hours upon hours of random tidbits? I saw a question come up in the chat. How do you start to put together a story, even with script-based editing? How does that even benefit you if you're starting from the ground up?

Chris Bové:

That's the best ever. When you're handed a box of tapes or a box of something, camera cards, what be it and, "I'll see you in a month, put something together for us." That's the best day, other than the day that you get all your archives and your footage of your B roll and you start going through the nuggets of that. But it's the best day when you're handed a rough script or a bunch of bullet points, or here's what we think it could do, now go search for everything. So the first thing you do as a storyteller is you go back to college, you go back to everything that you learned about what you do to craft a story. So you put together what I call the radio edit. You're basically putting together a radio program. You're not worried about B roll. You don't care what anything looks like.

Chris Bové:

It could be the best cinematography, worst cinematography, it does not matter. You're putting together the story that you can turn away, look at the wall, stare through the drywall into the abyss behind it and just imagine the film, what it's going to be. Everybody here, all the participants here, everybody here who's watching this has watched things and understands what is good. You can describe what is good. That's what editors do is we take what isn't good and make it good, but the reason why we do so is because we know what's good. So you listen through it, you find the nuggets, they just reveal themselves to you. The hard part is, what order do they go in? And how do you start putting things together there? Well, what you do if you want to get it done the fastest possible, is you put together the most obvious edit that you possibly could.

Chris Bové:

You put together the linear story. If you're telling a historical document or you put together the historical doc first. That is if you have a filmmaker who is just dropping something off to you and saying, "Let's start building something." It's not for somebody who says, "I have a clear vision and here it is, and don't change a single word." But if you have all this footage in front of you and they start putting it together in a linear fashion, the changes you want to make and the art that you want to bring out of it just start revealing themselves as well. You start realizing it takes 20 minutes to talk about this subject here. I want to talk about it in four, so you cut it down to four. Then you realize this next scene's too long. This one is out of place. I actually want to tell it over here.

Chris Bové:

So everything starts piecing itself together. You start realizing it shouldn't be told in a linear fashion, it should be told all over the place. Not necessarily a Pulp Fiction all over the place, but in the sense of every single piece of information that you tell is always a timed release pill. There's a throw and a catch. So if you mention something at the beginning of a three-minute scene, you want it to resolve at the end of the three-minute scene because your head, your brain absorbs it, and it's happy now, and it wants to move onto the next thing. It's not sitting there with unresolved issues. So you learn all those story tactics so that once you've put it together in that long radio edit, and now you're adding the B roll, you're adding the actuality moments that you captured on video of people saying things out in the field or something, that you realize you can erase three paragraphs worth of content because this one person said this one thing perfectly.

Chris Bové:

So you kill it, it's gone. So those are always the best moments when you're handed the keys essentially, to just write the script yourself. I can't tell you how many times I've done that, where somebody will come to me with a pretty organized script and by the time you get to day two, day three, day four, you throw it out. You present this and you say, "What do you think?" The other's say, "What were you doing with those four days?" Which doesn't happen too often anymore. Or they say, "My gosh, I didn't think of that. Let's do a hybrid and we'll move forward from there."

Austin Canary:

I think that's such a beautiful explanation of starting linear, because I feel like that's almost the ground floor of script-based editing. Is you find your nuggets, you have them in a linear fashion, and then you can start to add your creativity to it. Who said something better? Where would it make sense to maybe introduce something prior to learning something else? I think that's what's great about your methodology is that you can go find all the great things you think sound awesome, put them in order, but then that's where the magic really starts to happen is when you to start finding other things.

Chris Bové:

Definitely. The important thing to merge with that is if you are the only person with the transcripts and the filmmaker, the director, whoever else knows that they commissioned transcripts, but they didn't actually look at them, there's no common knowledge. So you can put forward the best idea for what the edit should be and they'll always not trust you. They'll always say, "Well, I'm not quite sure. I thought I remembered somebody saying something better during the interview." So that's where I've grown to really like the Rev workflow. Is while I'm working in something like Avid script-based editing, the producer, the writer, the whoever is working on the web interface that you have, going through and highlighting what they think are the best select. So you have two people working at the same time, entirely different workflows. You have one person who is editing things together in the way that sounds the best. You have another person who is almost like your producer, writer and legal team at the same time, putting together what it should say, what it should achieve. It's always a hybrid of the two, but if you only have one or only have the other, everything takes twice as long and it never gets as good.

Austin Canary:

Yeah, that's really good. It made me think of a prior conversation that we both had where you both agreed that at one point, both B2B marketing video and documentary can be very dry if you want it to be. Robert, I know you brought this up, that B2B video is not always about storytelling. It's about getting the information across. It's about the sales tactic in the video. How do you take something that can be very dry and how do you make it compelling?

Robert Weiss:

I think that's part of what Chris was just talking about, is that's why we get paid. Is you start with a plan or a script you execute maybe in a linear fashion, and then you need to put it together from a verbal standpoint and from a visual standpoint. When I was mentioning dry, is because when you're buying a product, sometimes there's no emotion in it. Chris's stuff, you can put music in it and maybe you put a nice long scene of B roll at the sunset. I don't have any of that. I've got this engineering thing that we're just trying to communicate and the audience is relatively small, but that audience, again, they're not there for the feeling of it.

Robert Weiss:

They're there for making a business purchase. I need the information and I need that delivered. But you know what? At the same time, we do have a person giving that information and we do need to make it flow. Because if it does not capture their attention and it doesn't keep them engaged within that video, again, from a verbal standpoint, getting the information and from a visual standpoint, they're going to move on to the next company. They will never move to the next stage of the buying cycle and our clients won't come back to us.

Austin Canary:

That's powerful. I'm sure that's such an important mindset to even go into video production. Before you start rolling the camera for these videos is, how do I keep it engaging and compelling from the other competitors who are trying to fight for this business?

Robert Weiss:

Sometimes we don't know how we're going to do that. Again, we have a plan, but people will say things or not say things, or maybe the machine doesn't work. It's happened. We've gotten there and this robot arm thing that was supposed to be super fast, that day that we were there, it didn't work. It was broken, so we interviewed the technical person and we had to figure it out.

Austin Canary:

Chris, for you, I want to ask the same question. We've talked about how web ... Sorry. Documentaries used to be very dry and how much that has evolved thanks to having transcripts on hand. So I'd love for you to talk a little bit about that.

Chris Bové:

Let's invent a new use case here. Let's put it into context. Let's say that you are creating a historical documentary on a subject. Let's not say it's a thing, let's say it's a person. You're going to make a documentary about a person. So you go out and shoot as many interviews as you can, as many people who have talked about this person or to this person, or whatever. You start putting the entire story together. You learn things as you go because only so many books have been written. So you have this giant box of knowledge, camera cards, archives, VHS's, you name it. On it, people have said things. But if it's just a box of tapes or just a box of something to you, it's just a bunch of things that people have said, but you don't know what. So the first thing that you always have to do is get every inch of it that you possibly can transcribe.

Chris Bové:

Now there are lots of options out there ranging from just an app on your phone. You can hit play on your VHS deck and call yourself, and Apple's own iPhone voicemail will transcribe it for you. There are so many workflows out there for just getting words onto a page, but you transcribe it somehow. That's the lowest. The Cadillac is you find somebody who is a court stenographer or transcriber who is a friend of yours, and then you just go into town or you learn it yourself. You're just typing as fast as you can. You buy yourself the USB foot pedal so that you can actually start and stop. There are so many workflows for getting it transcribed. Once you have it transcribed and you can start seeing everything that you have, then all of a sudden you become, I would almost call it if you're doing a document on a person, you have to become that person's family archivist.

Chris Bové:

You have to invest yourself fully into everything that that person is about, everything about their family, everything about their extended family, their friends. You have to tell that person's entire story and you do so only through the footage that you have. When you don't have footage, you have narration and you have to write the narration. Well, ignore that for now. First, you start putting together exactly the definitive documentary on this person. You do that first with transcripts, by getting them made. You then bring them into ... There's a lot of different NLE's out there. There's Premiere, there's Resolve, there's a whole bunch of different ones. Avid always has had the best and it still in my eyes is the best because it's all-inclusive.

Chris Bové:

Premier uses Transcriptive and there was a few other options out there. Script-based editing in Avid has been around for quite a long time. ScriptSync is the software, the plugin for it that allows it to be synced incredibly fast. It was a game-changer for everybody. It allowed a 30-day edit to go down to a 14-day edit for me. It was just amazing. Once you've transcribed it all, once you've brought it into the avenue so that you can now click on a word and instantly the video pops up, and then you can start cutting something and you start piecing it together, that is the next step where you start just building this 20, 30-hour long documentary. This BBC mini-series on this person, you start cutting down, you start cutting down. That's the long way of doing it.

Chris Bové:

The short way of doing it is you don't even put it in the edit system yet. You start looking at the transcript and you just start highlighting. You just start deciding what needs to be told about this person. We talked about documentary being a dry thing. Now you're no longer doing the documentation part of documentary. You're doing the entertainment part of documentary and you're doing what Steven Spielberg referred to as an adjunct of the actual piece of history, and so what you're doing is you're condensing. Now it becomes your film as opposed to just the Wikipedia article on this person. That can't happen. Well, it can happen if you want to spend three to four years working on it, but that can't really happen in a practical world unless you're using transcripts.

Austin Canary:

That's good. Hey, Robert, I saw a question just come in. I think it kind of pertains to what we've been talking about. I'm going to try and rephrase it as best as I can, but how do you find the balance between communicating ideas very directly and companies that are maybe trying to attach emotion in storytelling? I feel like they're probably talking about various customer stories and product videos, but how do you go about balancing-

Robert Weiss:

Yeah, I-

Austin Canary:

... those two?

Robert Weiss:

I see that question, and it mentions brand market as I think that was a keyword that you left out there because when you're doing brand marketing, you do have emotion attached to that. You are trying to communicate a story. What we have talked about previously in this webinar was more B2B blocking and tackling, lead generation, give me the information that I need to make a buying process, which is not a brand. You might have a logo there, but that's it. It's a different type of video that you are creating, like a recruiting video or a testimonial video.

Robert Weiss:

Those have a little bit more emotion in it, telling a story, and of course, a brand video would definitely have more of a story, but at the same time, there's many different ways to approach a brand video, like you have a commercial that has no words at all that is a brand commercial or a brand marketing video. No words at all. It's just visuals and emotion, lifestyle, people, people acting or doing things. That gives you the feeling. There's many ways to approach doing something for a brand versus the things that we're talking about, which are more blocking and tackling sells, lead gen, things of that nature.

Austin Canary:

Sure. Yeah. No, that's definitely a valid perspective to make sure that you've differentiated the two. I had another question come up. I feel I can answer this by just pulling up the slide again. In case anybody missed, it is How to Get Started With the Script-Based Editing Workflows With Rev. If you type in this short link, rev.cm, notice it's not dot com rev.cm/SBE for script-based editing, so rev.cm/SBE, this will take you to a blog article where you can get access to both Avid ScriptSync and EDL formats with Rev.

Austin Canary:

If you're not currently a customer, you can still go ahead and fill this out, but just be sure and sign up for a free rev.com account. You should be able to do it from that blog. But if you go to this link right here, you can, like I said, get EDL and ScriptSync access. Hopefully, that answers your question on how to access that.

Austin Canary:

I'm going to go through some Rev-based questions really quick, guys. I'll try to get to any that might pertain to your perspectives, but if we don't make it in time, I just want to thank you guys so much for being on this call today. Your perspectives are invaluable when it comes to editing documentaries or editing marketing videos. I've really enjoyed us talking about this, so I'll try and get through some of these questions and get you guys back on any other questions that might pop in.

Austin Canary:

We have a question, "What's the difference within Rev between captions and transcripts?" Captions are mostly for the distribution process, so if you're going to upload a video to YouTube, then you want to have closed captions be able to display on that video. Transcripts, on the other hand, are usually used in the post-production process, and it's where you get all of your raw footage files transcribed so that you can easily search the text of the dialogue that you're working through. That way, you can edit your videos faster.

Austin Canary:

Another question is, "Do the transcripts include verbatims like uhs and ums?" That's usually an option if you want it. If you don't want it, we usually do not include the verbatims. Do we offer a high-level scrub of audio prior to transcription to remove bad audio, dead spots, all that? We do have an audio trimming tool. The only disadvantage is that you have to do it one at a time, and the only thing it can do is front and back. If you're looking to cut out bad audio in the middle of an interview or if you're looking to cut out dead spots, it's not going to be quite the tool for that. That may be something that we look at down the road, but for now, you would probably want to make a new master sequence of your edited clip if you're wanting to cut out things in between and not just at the beginning and the end.

Austin Canary:

Another question is, "Do you know of any other non-linear editor platforms that are developing something similar to Avid ScriptSync?" Adobe Premiere Pro is offering some AI-based captioning and transcription. It's still super early in their beta testing. I've tried it out myself. It's pretty good. I love, personally, just the improvements they've made in the transcription and captioning workflows that will work really nicely with Rev as well, but I know that they're developing some things, but other than that, I don't know of any other platforms besides Avid and Premiere who have actually prioritized speech-to-text as part of their native platform.

Austin Canary:

That being said, nothing against either Avid or Adobe, but I know that sometimes it's a lot easier to share a Rev transcript than it is to import it and then have someone intimately involved with the editing process along with you. If you're looking to collaborate more and work with your team of non- video editors more, definitely recommend trying out these script-based editing workflows that involve the transcript editor. That way, you can have someone hop in, highlight what they like, and then you can take it and run with it.

Austin Canary:

Let's see. They asked, "Can you also get ScriptSync and EDL formats if you use the AI version or the human version of Rev?" Answer is yes. You can get both of these formats for either. If you're looking for super high-quality transcripts that you'll likely be sharing with clients or you'll be sharing with executive producers or directors, you're going to want the human-powered transcription. It's more accurate. It syncs better in Avid ScriptSync, for sure. I know Chris can talk on that, and he has a whole documentary on that. He sings the praises of getting an accurate transcript for that kind of workflow.

Chris Bové:

That's the important thing too is a lot of people always ask the questions of, "If I'm trying to upload a script to Rev or I'm trying to start to send some audio to somebody, but the audio is just so muffled or it's live sound or... " send the audio to your post-production process first. Send the audio to have it get cleaned up, and then send it off to be transcribed. I mean, it's very easy to do it that way. They can reduce a lot of the noise. It'll sound very robotic, but it's not going to be the kind of sound that you're going to use in a finished product. It's just simply for getting transcripts. You can almost over-clip it so that just simply words are being sent to the transcription.

Austin Canary:

Yeah. That's a great point. Thanks for chiming in on that, Chris. Okay. Let's see. I have a lot of people chiming in that are worried about their audio quality. I think Chris just brought up a great solution is focus on your audio file before you submit it to Rev, if you need to clean it up, if you need to bring the gain up, whatever you think might be necessary. Someone actually said specifically that they shoot documentaries on a sailboat, so there's a lot of various sounds going on.

Austin Canary:

I would definitely recommend human-powered transcription for you. I would never go the AI route if you have that much noise going on between crashing waves, the seagulls, and all the various sounds. You're going to get 99 to 100% accuracy on your human-powered transcript whereas you're going to be more the 80 to lower 90 range with your AI, and so if it's a matter of finding the soundbite or not, definitely go the more accurate route. Let's see.

Robert Weiss:

I also think that goes into the production itself. We shoot in New York City a lot, and literally, we have sirens all the time. Some of the sirens, we can deal with, or if they're coming up the street... so you have to deal with that, or somebody walking or something drops or a phone rings and stuff like that. That's also in the production itself before you even get to the transcription, somebody should be monitoring that and making sure you've got good audio.

Austin Canary:

That's great. Yeah. There's so much like in the middle of production, pre-production, planning you should be doing that aligns better with a script-based editing workflow for your editor. If you're the editor on the call right now, talk to your production team about ways that you can make this process work better for you. The only thing I'd like to end on that we haven't touched on that we talked about in prior conversations, Robert and Chris, is we've talked about how transcripts can help you with video editing, but I'd love to hear from both of you how transcripts can help you repurpose your documentary, repurpose your B2B video, and turn it into other things. Robert, I'll have you go first on this one.

Robert Weiss:

Well, like I mentioned where we've got something called a video-first strategy that we've been using for many years now, and again, it all starts with, it's easier for somebody to talk and answer a question than write about it. Again, this answer, case in point, right? Once you have that transcription... Marketers need content. Video is nothing more than just a piece of content, right? It's a very valuable piece of content, but without the contextual wrapper around that... and that could be from a blog post that Google finds to come up on a search. That could be in an email that talks about that video or a social post that somebody might see or in a press release, or there's probably some other use cases. That video from a B2B standpoint needs to play a role within that process.

Robert Weiss:

By taking that transcript allows marketers to do all of those contextual things at a higher productive rate than if they started from scratch, and, we talked about it before, the legal aspect of it. It's more on point. It's more of what the talent wants to say because they're saying it. We're just taking what they said exactly as they would in person. It's more aligned to what that person is talking about rather than the marketer trying to write this technical piece, having to then go give it to the technical person, which comes back, then it goes to legal... That's a process.

Austin Canary:

Yeah. Well, I apologize, Chris. It looks like we have less than a minute, so sorry to cut you off there. Robert, thank you so much for sharing your perspective as well. Guys, I just want to thank you so much. Robert, Chris, thank you so much for being on this call. Your perspective is invaluable.

Robert Weiss:

[crosstalk]

Austin Canary:

Thank you to all the attendees that joined us today for the subject. I hope that you guys can take away some really useful strategies. You can start using transcripts with your video editing, and ultimately, be a better video maker. Thank you guys so much. We're going to sign off here. If there's any questions that we didn't get to, we'll try and answer them via email. Feel free to follow up with us. Robert-

Robert Weiss:

Thank you.

Austin Canary:

... Chris, thank you so much.

Robert Weiss:

Thank you.

Chris Bové:

Thank you, everyone. If you have any specific questions for me, hit the Avid Editors of Facebook. I'm there all the time. Just keep asking questions.

Austin Canary:

Thanks, guys.