Paper editing can be the fastest way to get things moving in your publishing calendar. These resources can get you there even faster.
A paper edition is a time-coded list of the Bits and quotes you want to use, in the order in which you want to use them, often accompanied by a few notes on the illustrative images (B-roll) you use to cover the cuts and add depth. Paper processing is especially useful in business or documentary projects, where much of the material is based on interviews. So what makes a good paper edit?
Good paper processing is precise, specific and well structured. To get good paper processing, especially for interviews, it depends on good transcripts of your interviews that you can scan and highlight quickly.
In the past, transcription was expensive, because you had to pay a typist to listen to The Audio and manually write any word by word. Today, computerized speech-to-text services can deliver high-precision transcripts with up to 10 times the real-time speed. This improvement in technology and the lower costs of cloud-based services mean that transcription is now more available than ever for everyone.
In this post, I’ve summarized some of the best online transcription services, including a few free options.
Before we look at the different services and software you can use, it is important to know what pitfalls can occur if you rely too much on transcripts and paper processing.
If you work from a paper processing, it is less likely that you spent the entire Interview and absorbed everything. Instead, you just switch from Timecode to Timecode and collect Clips, so you may not know the images as well. This saves time at first, but in the long run it can mean that finding “the Bit we really need” means going through the transcripts again or starting over with the images.
The greatest peril in relying on transcripts is the dual problem of inaccurate transcription and textual thinking. The downside of inaccuracy is obvious-when you get to this part of the video, the respondent simply did not say what you see in the transcript. The downside of textual thinking is that you work the words the way you want to hear them (in your head), which may not reflect how the respondent told you.
This leads to another trap that (as I’ve noticed) is common among corporate clients who try to edit the text too narrowly, steal instances of ” And ” And “because” from random parts of a judgement and try to “bite” them together. Sometimes you can get away with it, especially if you can hide the Composed Phrase behind a few cutouts, but most of the time you will work in a corner of paper.
Let’s start with the Free Option to give you a taste of why digital services are superior to manual transcription.
The free option is … You. You listen to The Audio and enter the transcript itself. I used to do this often for Interviews on my Blog. This epic Interview with editor Vashi Nedomansky, how he helped Deadpool’s editors prepare for Premiere Pro, literally took days to transcribe by hand. Younger. I had the chance to check out the SpeedScriber beta of Digital Heaven, it saved me so much time transcribing this Interview with Sven Paper of this type that I can hardly believe it.
If you want to transcribe an Interview for a blog post, Timecode stamps are not so important. If you need Timecodes, something like Inqscribe may be a better Option than the following VLC workflow.
Transcribing by hand, I used VLC Media Player for a few reasons:
- It is a free cross-platform media player (Windows, OSX, Android, iOS) that handles almost all file formats.
You can slow down the audio playback to allow you to keep pace as you type (playback > Scrubber playback speed).
- Keyboard shortcuts like” step back ” (Alt + Command + Left Arrow) make repeating a section quick and easy.
- My suggestion to pass an Interview as quickly as possible is to slow down the sound by about 50%, type as quickly as possible and not stop correcting errors or typos until you are at the end of a paragraph. This way you can type quickly, loosely and untidy, which will get you through large chunks instead of stopping every few seconds.
Note though that no matter how fast you type, you’ll still need an eternity to survive something like an hour-long Interview.