Scrivner & video

Meant to post this note a while ago, as I found Scrivener wonderfully helpful on a video project I was working on at the time. I’ve used it often for writing, but put it to a different, more organizationally-directed use for the video.

The video was a marketing piece, so nothing tres exciting, but I did have on hand a fairly gnarly amount of taped interviews with students & professors. To keep track of things, I captured clips that I thought might be useful and essentially used Scrivener as a transcription and filing tool. Each interviewee got their own label color. I transcribed each of their clips, assigned the label, selected a few keywords, and highlighted that part of the clip I judged the best for presentation. So, after logging/transcribing 100 clips or so, I ended up with a corkboard that featured cards that at a glance I could relate to a character and a keyword, and showed the meatiest part of the clip. Sweet. To build the video, I could make a collection based on keywords or characters or whatever, select as many cards as I wanted, drag them around to create the narrative. Try it this way, try it that way. When the words on the corkboard looked good, then I’d bop over to Final Cut and actually glue things together. When I needed to produce “scripts” (there was no script per se – just folks talking) I could edit the scrivenings and print them out.

In the past I’ve tried to keep a database of clips in, well, a database. Didn’t work anywhere near as well as Scrivener. Didn’t offer the flexibility or the visual ease that Scrivener provided. Definitely made things a bit easier to manipulate and now is coming in handy as a text archive of what I have on hand. It was brilliant.


That is a fantastic idea. I wish I had Scrivener back 4 years ago when I was editing 20+ hours of video interviews. I used a large MS Word table to keep track of each interview. Man, I could have really applied your technique.

Maybe next time.