Narrative dialog editing/Follow Dave:Disk Contents

This school is
Narrative Film Production
This course is:
Fundamentals of narrative film editing
This lesson is:
A quick overview of narrative dialog editing
The pages of this lesson are:
Lesson Summary - What is dialog editing?
Lesson Page - "Follow Dave?" Editing Workshop CD
Lesson Page - Analyze the dailies
Pop Quiz - Guess how many takes? - 4 points
Lesson Page - Select an editing program
Lesson Page - Edit the scene

Contents of "Follow Dave?" Editing Workshop CD disk

Getting started - Quick overview

Watch the educational movie
Start by watching the movie called "Start Here". This movie is slow for the first two minutes. Then it gets more interesting. The movie explains the entire processes of editing a conversation for a dramatic scene in just 11 minutes.
This movie is designed for high school students so it can be a bit obnoxious.
Watch me second
Then immediately watch the movies in the folder called, "Watch me second". These movie violate the rules you just learned.
Particularly, watch the movie with the musical film score. Notice the huge gaps between the dialog which are filled by music or by sound effects. All three of these movies are long edits of the scene. Without music or sound effects, these extra gaps would be ridiculously long.
There are no gaps in the dialog of the dailies, right? So where did the gaps come from? Hum!!!
Skim the editing instructions.
Skim through the instructions for editing the movie. These instructions are step-by-step editing instructions which go through the entire edit of the scene.
Convert the dailies
Finally, look at the film dailies which is the actual raw film footage for the scene. Depending on your editing program, you must convert the dailies into the format that your editing program prefers.
Edit the scene
Edit the scene. If you have problems, email me.

Edit the scene

Even though this scene is long and not very interesting, there are lots of instuctions. Therefore, it is a good to edit the scene for two reason:
1. Looking at all the decisions for editing a conversation is good practice. Because there are instructions (a PDF file), this is not overly difficult.

Submit your completed edit

When you are ready for the next disk
To submit your edit for this scene, burn it onto a CD-R or DVD-R disk. Then mail the disk to me when you return the copy of the "Follow Dave" disk. For my complete USPS mailing address, email me directly.
The next disk is a DVD-Data disk containing 24 unedited scenes. Once you have sent me the edit of the scene called "Follow Dave?", I will send you the next disk.

"Follow Dave?" Editing Workshop CD

The "Follow Dave?" Editing Workshop disk from the Star Movie Shop is the best way to get started learning about film editing for motion pictures and television dramas.

The "Start Here" movie

Animated and educational
The most important element of the "Follow Dave?" Editing Workshop disk from the Star Movie Shop is the "Start Here" movie which explains the entire process of dialog editing for a dramatic scene.
This MPEG-1 movie is only 11 minute long so it is very short. The first two minutes are spent looking at one of the master shots of the film dailies so that you understand the story. Then the Start Here movie picks up speed and explains all the steps of editing narrative dialog from scripted dramas:
  • Editing to get the best dialog
  • Locking the audio and rolling the picture edits to get the best visual transition
  • Adding cut away shots (or in this case, it might be called a "cut-in shot".)
  • Replace dialog (which is rarely done but, in this movie, dialog replacement is the ideal way to improve the dialog in one tiny spot.)
  • Add music to enhance the mood of the scene.
  • Add sound effects to explain what is happening off screen.

Animated example of film editing
Educational but fun
This animated movie is fun to watch. It has its own film score and no talking heads. You will not fall asleep watching this movie.
Above, you see the timeline of an editing program. As the clips are selected, you see them placed into the timeline. Later sound effects and music are added visually. Therefore, this is a very good way to for you to visualize the entire process of film editing and film scoring.
Just six film clips
This scene (scene 17) has just six film clips or film dailies. So even though the scene is long, it can be edited easily in just a few hours. The most time is spent making decisions and adding the musical score. Complete written instructions (pdf) are included on the disk.

GNU Open Source Documents

All of the document files on this disk are covered by a GNU Open Source License. You can share the documents with your friends.


The "Follow Dave?" Editing Workshop CD is the first editing workshop created by Star Movie Shop. This CD-ROM appears to have been developed about ten years ago so the content works on very old computer. Even though the movie images are only half size and the video quality is very poor, the disk is very educational, specially since none of the other disks from the Star Movie Shop have written instructions.

Pictorial Storyboard

Print this pdf file before you start. It will help you follow along with the story.

The "Star Here" movie

This is an educational animated MPG movie so it should play on Windows computers, Mac computers and Linux computers. This should play on all computers manufactured in the last ten years.

The Film Dailies

The original film dailies came from a promotional tape released by the production company as a publicity stunt. The quality is extremely poor so you cannot use this for your demo reel.

Also, because the size of the only 320 by 240 pixels, few editing programs can edit these clips. Only Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere can edit the dailies directly.

The editing instructions

Print this PDF file to see how to edit this scene.

The scoring instruction

Print this PDF file to see how to create the film score for this movie.

The film dailies

The film dailies are ready for editing with any QuickTime enabled editing program which can edit clips that are 320 by 240 at 24 frames per second.


An editing workshop disk is good publicity for a motion picture. Generate this kind of publicity for your motion picture by creating your own editing workshop disk.

So when you complete your motion picture, remember the "Follow Dave?" Editing Workshop disk. This disk will be used by film schools for the next 50 years (which is how long the "Gunsmoke" footage was used.)

That is a lot of publicity for your movie.

The next page

The next page looks at the film dailies on the "Follow Dave?" Editing Workshop CD.

Contact your instructor

Your instructor for this film editing class is Robert Elliott. You can email me by clicking here.