When editing/mixing in post, do not get bogged down on winning a BAFTA for the opening montage (even though I am a judge!). Learn to pass through your mix in layers, gradually improving it. Remember, often you might have no idea that later on in the film there is a last minute inclusion of a mute three minute reconstruction of the D-Day Landings that may take you hours to complete!
For me, when mixing a documenatry or a promo I work in the following way:
- Start with the Dx (film term for dialogue) and seperate the tracks and get similar interviewees on the same tracks etc to speed up the mix and split out the others into sensible track allocations
- Then do another pass through the whole show and do the fade ins and outs of each and every clip
- Then if you have time another pass where you do any RX3 or other remedial audiosuite work
- Then mix the sync/dialogues
- Then I look at the music edits
- Then I mix the music against the dialogue
- Lastly I look at the fx. If you short of time, this is where you can compromise as at least you have transmittable dials and music mix (which is often large swathes of the programme).
- I tend to mix what is there from the edit/AAF/OMF in the first pass - these are the fx that the director and editor are used to hearing in the edit - so you will get “bust” quickly if you miss these out. Familiarity is the key here. I make notes on the fly about where I need to add stuff.
- Then I go back and then start adding in all the extra bits that would be “nice if you have time”.
- If a director attempts to get bogged down in a section I often say, “let’s get it transmittable first, I’ll come back to this section and improve it further later”. Later on when the clock is ticking towards the end of their booking and they are paying the bills, they often change their mind about what seemed to be so very important earlier.