CROSSCUTTING. Crosscutting is the old
standby of videotape editing. In crosscutting, you use
shots from two different actions or events that will
finally be related. A time-honored example is the
meanwhile, back at the ranch style, or the hero riding
hard to save the life of the heroine who has been chained
to a buzz saw by the villain (fig. 14-50). The action
would be cutback and forth between the desperate rider
and the saw as it comes dangerously close to the
heroines head, showing the progress of each, then
finally relating them as the rider arrives at the last
moment to save the heroine.
The second method of videotape editing is
compilation cutting. This is used in documentary-style
stories of surveys, reports, history or travelogues.
Segments are tied together through narration. The
narrative explains the shots, which may have little or no
matching relation. These shots or scenes maybe long or
short shots, or they may go from longshots to close-ups
without any special transitions.
BASIC EDITING PROCEDURES
Before we cover the basic procedures of editing
videotape, keep in mind that the editing procedures and
techniques in place at your NBS detachment may differ
from what is portrayed in this section. For training
purposes, lets assume a script has been written and the
primary narration has been recorded on the production
tape. (This is a normal news/production requirement.)
Atypical editing sequence might look like this:
1. The editor will work from a log that lists all of
the scenes on the tape(s). It may be prepared at the time
of the shooting or as the tape is being reviewed at the
station or your office. The log will briefly describe the
scene and indicate where it is located on the tape (using
the counter on the playback VCR).
2. The producer, editor and sometimes the reporter
will decide which scenes to use, the order in which to
show the scenes and the amount of time you have to tell
the story. In some instances (especially at small NBS
detachments and aboard ships), one person will make
all of these decisions.
3. The editor prepares a blank videocassette with
countdown leader and enough control track to cover the
length of the story. He then loads it into the edit/record
4. The raw video is loaded into the playback VCR.
Now the editing process is ready to begin.
5. The story is assembled and edited according to
the predetermined sequence. Sometimes the audio track
is recorded first and the visuals added later. At other
times, the sequences are assembled in order, depending
on the type of story and available footage.
6. The editor labels the smooth tape with the title
of the story, date and run time. A supervisor will review
the story and make corrections (if necessary) before it
The technical side of the editing process is fairly
easy to learn. With todays technology, the procedure is
almost foolproof. Nevertheless, a good videotape editor
must have a thorough knowledge of many related skills
to provide viewers with a simple, yet effective, message.
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Identify the format
of a script that accompanies a video news
When you write a script to go with a video news
release, make sure your pictures tell the story. The
narration should supplement them, not overpower them.