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  • Writer's pictureMarcelo Lewin

Editing a Fight Scene Part 1


Transitioning to Filmmaking Day 4: Editing a Fight Scene Part 1

Next week, I have to turn in my final edit for an action (fight) scene for my Intro to Premiere class at UCLA Extension. It's a very cool project that I'm really looking forward to completing.


The project is broken down into 4 parts:

  • A Head Build with a 2-pop

  • A dialog scene, where they are planning the fight.

  • A prep scene where they are putting together the weapons

  • The actual fight scene.

Although the final project only requires that I turn in an edit, with no sound design required, I want to make the extra effort and do sound design, because I think it will make a huge difference in the final edit (and hopefully in the grade I get).


I started the project by sub-clipping all the camera footage (camera A and camera B) and organizing them into 3 bins:

  • A bin for all the "planning" footage.

  • A bin for all the "weapon prepping" footage"

  • A bin for all the "action" footage.

Adobe Premiere Pro Bin Organization
Adobe Premiere Pro Bin Organization

I also set up the main sequence timecode to start at 00:58:30:00 so that picture start can be at 1:00:00:00

Premiere Pro Sequence with Timecode starting at 00:58:30:00
Premiere Pro Sequence with Timecode starting at 00:58:30:00 with a head build.

My naming convention for the sub-clips are "SHOT-PERSON-Short Description-Take"


Naming convention used for sub-clips
Naming convention used for sub-clips

This is as far as I got today. Tomorrow I will finalize all the sub-clipping and most likely add markers to the clips as I review them with some notes for each clip so that I can easily identify them later.


After that, I will create "stringouts" probably by shot type before I start editing using the pancake method.


The rest of the day, I spent watching YouTube tutorials on how to cut a fight scene. Below are a couple of great tutorials worth watching if you have the time.







I also watched some great movie fight scenes for research, to get inspired for this edit and yes, just because they are fun to watch.




Of course, I had to watch one of the best fight scenes ever on film, John Wick 3, the knives fight.


Other things I worked on

  • Learned about ACES (Academy Color Encoding System)

  • Spoke to MIT Horizon as they invited me to present on AI Filmmaking.

  • Had speaker training for the upcoming AI Creative Summit where I'll be presenting a breakdown of my short film I created using AI.


Until the next entry!

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