Sometimes working on low-budget projects means leaving the initial edit to others. Researchers sometimes already have plans for the footage. Producers might not have the funds for all your editing time.
That means preparing the way for a paper edit. You send the footage to someone else who sends you back an initial edit as a document listing a series of timecodes indicating what footage goes where:
[01:47:22]-Mr. Thomas: "That's when we decided to extend the name of the club using the initials of the new members..." -[01:48:12] "...as to who the second 'A' was."
[02:12:01]-Mr. Yankson: "I thought it a demotion..." -[02:12:56] "...the Muddy Lawn."
They usually refer to hours minutes and seconds, because the specifics of frames don’t apply to paper edits.
How do they know what timecode to put in their documents?
The simplest option is to use QuickTime player. The time shown in the bottom-left of the window usually shows the number of minutes and seconds counted since the start of the movie:
If you move the mouse over this counter, it changes into a pop-up menu where you can choose to display the source timecode of the movie (the timecode used within Final Cut, Avid or Premiere):
If the person who is doing the paper edit refers to this time, you can use it within your editing software: “Use the third time the guard opens the cell door [from 36:28 until 36:42]”
If you are not sure of whether your collaborator will have access to QuickTime player, or if they require footage in another format, it is better to add timecode to the video itself:
This is known as a “timecode burn”.
The most straightforward way in Final Cut Pro is to use Andy Mees’ Timecode Generator plugin. Before you add it to your timeline, enter a value for duration at least as long as your timeline:
Download it from his page (by clicking the screenshot at the top of the page).
Another option is to use a separate application to add a timecode burn to your movies: QT Sync. It was originally created to fix QuickTime movies whose audio and video are out of sync. It has an option to add timecode to existing movies. This can be useful if a movie takes a long time to render, and you want a version without a timecode burn: