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  • Writer's pictureMarcelo Lewin

Stringouts and Pancake Editing


Transitioning to Filmmaking Day 7: Stringouts and Pancake Editing

This is a continuation of my previous article I wrote about editing a fight scene for my final in my Intro to Premiere class at UCLA Extension.


One of the (many) things I learned about editing from the Facebook group, Ask an Editor, is to pancake edit. Pancake editing is a really simple, but super effective, concept.


But before I get into that, I have to tell you about stringouts. Stringouts, in simple terms, are sequences (doesn't matter which NLE you work on) that have a bunch of shots organized in some order, so you as an editor, can quickly find a shot you want to work with and edit into another sequence (usually using pancake editing).


Below, you'll see 5 "stringout" sequences in my Adobe Premiere Pro project that I created organized by the type of shots you'll find in each sequence.

  • A Camera Fight - All shots related to the actual fight from camera A.

  • B Camera Fight - All shots related to the actual fight from camera B.

  • Planning Start - All shots related to them planning what they will be doing.

  • Planning End - All shots related to them recapping what they have done.

  • Prepping - All shots related to the girl loading up her weapons.


Stringout Sequences Created in Premiere Pro
Stringout Sequences Created in Premiere Pro

Within each stringout sequence, I have all the shots organized by what happens in those shots. Within that, I have the different shots (Medium, Wide, Close-up, etc) that are all related. I use chapter markers to define what's there so I can easily find a shot. I also color code those shots to match the chapter marker color, so when I use that shot in my main sequence, I know what stringout sequence it came from. I also used the same name for the chapter markers for both Camera A and Camera B stringouts so that I can easily find pairing shots with different angles.


Camera A and B Stringout Sequences Focused on the Fight
Camera A and B Stringout Sequences Focused on the Fight Shots

From my understanding of stringouts, you, as the Editor, or the Assistant Editor working with the Editor, decide how you want the shots organized in the stringouts. It's a tool used to quickly see all the shots in a row so you can scan them using the timeline indicator.


Once the stringout sequences are created, I can start using pancake editing to speed up the editing process. In pancake editing, you basically stack your sequences, one on top of another, just like pancakes, so you can quickly scan your shots and bring them down to your main sequence. The bottom sequence is usually the sequence you are editing your shots into and the top ones, are the ones that hold the source shots you possibly want to use in your edit.


Below, I have 3 sequences open, the top 2 are the stringouts of the fights (camera A and camera B). The bottom one is the assembly sequence for the fight.


Pancake Editing Inside of Premiere Pro
Pancake Editing Inside of Premiere Pro

There you have it, pancake editing and stringouts, two great editing tools we can use to speed up the editing process. Thank you so much to the Ask an Editor Facebook group for all the feedback and advice they provided me.


Other things I worked on

  • Worked on my "Continually Reinventing Yourself" presentation, which I will be presenting at the Compass 2023 conference next week.


Until the next entry!

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