Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Editing a NASA Video

This week I have been putting together the next installment of the Ares Quarterly Progress Report (QPR). We have been doing this for two years and that means we are up to QPR #8. We edit all of our videos using an Apple program called Final Cut Pro. It's called non-linear editing because the old style of editing was done in a "linear" way...

I also want to mention that we shoot and edit all of the video in high-definition video.

First, a script is written by a script writer (funny how that works...) and after it is approved by many people the script is then "voiced" by a "talent". The talents we use are from company in Birmingham, AL. The producer and I (in Huntsville) are on the phone with the talent (in Birmingham) and as he reads the script, it is recorded in their studio (also in Birmingham). After the recording session, I then go to a secure website and download the audio we just recorded.

Next, I take the audio and put it on a timeline. That is the actual editing area in Final Cut Pro...Once it is sounding like I like it, I then begin to cover the audio with appropriate video. This is the video we have shot during the previous 3 months...usually we are talking 40-50 videotapes total to choose from.

Then I have to add what we call lower thirds...think of a newscast where the anchors name is put up on the screen near the bottom. Our lower thirds identify what it is you are looking at!

Lastly I get to choose music from our on-line music library called Non-Stop Music. It's so cool! All I have to do it log on to their website and choose from thousands of songs. Once I choose the music, I just download the music files and lay them under the talents voice and video.

After many rounds of approval it is finally released to the public!

Here's the Ares Quarterly Report from last quarter...


Anonymous said...

Nice setup, James. I've heard great things about Final Cut Pro.

Anonymous said...

Hi, yes very nice work. These updates help a lot to understand what is happening on this fantastic project.

Is it possible to see higher quality versions on youtube or even the HD versions?


NASA Videographer said...

We are currently working on a way to get our QPR's out to the public in an HD format. We will soon have the capability to burn BlueRay discs...but not now.