Since the very early days of my career, the one type of project I’ve worked on the most by far – are shortform promos for broadcast/cable networks. We’ve all seen them a thousand times – “Next week on the new episode of….”. Promos have been a huge part of my world for almost 20 years, and in that time I’ve developed a lot of techniques for making sure all of my outputs are perfect, every time.
Juggling Versions, Tags, Cutsheets, And More
When it comes to broadcast promos – there is one constant for all networks and all projects: versions. Almost all promo campaigns have tons of versions that need to be made. From one base edit, outputs with different graphics, tune-in, durations, all have to be made. The most important thing is to make sure you can organize this chaos, and make sure all of your outputs are perfect – every time.
Mixing Light Murder Mysteries
For the past 8 years – the vast majority of my promo work as been in true crime television, so In this insight – I’m going to walk you through my technique for slating, tagging, and outputting a promo from beginning to end.
I’ve taken a real true-crime promo, for a real campaign that I finished and output in Resolve. I’ve changed the footage and graphics for rights reasons – but the process is exactly the same.
So we will be outputting a cutsheet for an imaginary true crime show called “Mixing Light Murder Mysteries”. It’s a show where Robbie, Dan and I team up to solve cold cases where people were murdered by clients for bad color grading….
Besides the footage – all the deliverable requirements, processes, cutsheets, etc are exactly what they were in the real campaign.
In this Insight – I’m going to show you how I finish and output a campaign from beginning to end. This includes:
- Looking at a real cutsheet from the network, which explains the outputs I need to make
- Laying out the promos into a templated stringout sequence
- Replacing all the versionable elements in the most efficient way possible
- Generating output renders
A big part of my process is that I use a custom python script which I’ve written to generate batch render jobs based on markers I’ve left in the timeline. It saves a ton of time, and I’m going to provide the script as a download so you can use it in your workflow as well!
So if you haven’t watched my previous Insight on installing and running Python scripts in Resolve – give it a look so you can be ready to use Python scripts.
Now, this is a bit of a longer Insight then I normally do. I’ve been working in promos for so many years – that I just have a lot to say about this kind of workflow. I didn’t want to split it into multiple Insights – because when I’m doing this work for real clients, I need to do it all quickly and accurately, and I want to show the process from beginning to end.
If you’d like to try this all out on your own I’ve included my Python script and a Webvtt subtitle file that you can import to replicate my workflow. You can find these down below the video (just note: I’ve zipped each file).
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!
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