Insider Tips: Create a Quick Timecode List in Media Composer

Every week, Insider asks one of our expert contributors to share a tip, tool, or technique that they use all the time and couldn’t live without. This week, Chris Tennant shows us a quick and efficient way to create a timecode list spreadsheet in AVID Media Composer.

Generate a Spreadsheet with the Marker Tool in Media Composer

In my role as an assistant editor, one of my primary responsibilities is to create timecode spreadsheets from the timeline. This is done based on a variety of needs, such as ADR spotting sheets, VFX conform notes, or editorial changelogs.

Fortunately, there is a quick and efficient way to accomplish this task by utilizing markers in your timeline in combination with Media Composer’s Marker Tool. By following the steps below, you can quickly and easily generate a spreadsheet that contains all the necessary timecode and marker information, without having to manually enter everything.

  1. Open your timeline and make sure all locators are enabled and visible. If needed, add descriptions to each marker. For instance, ADR markers should have each line of dialogue in their description fields, while VFX markers should contain shot IDs and shot descriptions.
  2. Open the Marker Tool by selecting Tools > Marker Tool.
  3. Highlight all markers in the timeline. Right click and select Export Markers > Text.
  4. Save the output as a .txt file in an appropriate directory.

Tidy your Timecode List

Once you ‘ve generated the spreadsheet, it’s time to tidy it up. Open the .txt file in your preferred spreadsheet editor, such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. It will likely contain more information than you need, so eliminate any irrelevant columns.

Generally, you will only need the timecode and description columns. Finally, add any necessary labels to the spreadsheet, such as the name of your production and the date, and your timecode list is finished.

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Chris Tennant

Christopher Tennant is an IATSE Assistant Editor who’s worked on features and TV for Sony, Netflix, Legendary Pictures, Blumhouse, and others. He lives in Los Angeles and writes a blog featuring post-production guides.