Software, Tech Tips & Tricks, Video Editing
ScriptSync is an Avid product that lives inside Media Composer. It assists filmmakers and video editors with a workflow we’ve been waiting 100 years for – the ability to quickly sync video and audio clips directly to the lines and lines of words on our scripts and transcripts.
Either someone has written a script ahead of time, or like with documentary or reality shows, someone makes word-for-word transcriptions of what people said, and then builds the script in post-production from those transcripts.
You’d think something this awesome would have been around a lot longer. Well it has. Eleven years longer in fact. Many people are actually confused between what ScriptSync is and what is the environment inside Avid Media Composer it works from, namely script-based editing.
It’s funny how many people over my career have said this exact line: “Wait, you really want me to write down what they said? Every word?”
If you want ScriptSync to work, and work well, your transcripts need to be amazing. Not just slapped together, or approximate. They need to be accurate. I’d even recommend word-for-word, to the point of including ums and uh’s, stutters and restarts. The more you give ScriptSync to latch onto, the better.
There are three options, and they absolutely subscribe to the theory of cheap, or fast, or good. And I’ll leave it up to you to decide which one fits your production.
The first option is the cheap option. Use an app or a bot on the Web that makes speech-recognition transcripts. Since there isn’t a person listening and typing, the customer is supposed to expect a failure rate. If you are in need of extras in your transcripts – like notes about what timecode each new bite starts at, and who is talking (interviewee versus the producer asking the questions), then this option is not for you.
The second option is the fast one. Use an upload service that hires people at an incredibly cheap rate. On-call and on-demand, these people bang-out transcripts as fast as possible. Think of them as the UBER of the transcription world. For this, a lot of independent producers have recently begun using REV.com. The price is nice and the speed of getting back transcripts is nice too.
There are still issues with this – many of them. But the biggest ones are inaccuracy and inconsistency. If your interview mentions medical terms, occasional foreign language words, or anything out of the ordinary, many times the contracted transcriber will simply spell it phonetically. Also, on large projects you are absolutely not guaranteed getting the same transcriber. If you have 30 transcripts, you might have 30 different people, and each with a different style and accuracy level.
Plus, and a lot of independent filmmakers don’t often think of this one, but what is that company’s confidentiality plan? You may not be concerned with whether they leak the information about what an interviewee says, but depending on your material perhaps you should? Are those transcribers under your own Non-Disclosure Agreements? How sensitive is your material? Remember they are able to keep your proxy videos or audio clips forever if they wanted to. Lots to think about!
The third option is the good one….[continue reading]