Babylon 5 Edit Decision List Description

In the world of professional video editing, decisions have to be made as to what will end up in the final result. Editing a television program like Babylon 5 is a very complicated process. A process that is beyond the scope of this page. Editing can be done off-line or on-line, where off-line editing will not produce the final product. While it may produce a video tape, the tape will only be a rough cut and may not include any special effects, not even fades. On-line editing will produce the final product. On-line editing can be done manually or automatically. The automatically is what requires an EDL. An EDL is used for manually editing as well and an EDL is the normal result from an off-line edit.

The EDL is the list of all the elements that make up the final result, and the position those elements will take in the final result. Those elements will also be described in some fashion, so that the editor will know what the piece is (this is production house dependent). But, the important part is that the EDL will contain a list of SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) time codes. Those time codes exactly describe the position of the elements within the final result. The EDL for a program like B5 is very complicated.

Then we get into the EDL for putting together the hour that makes up the tape used to broadcast Babylon 5. This EDL is what makes up the program segments and the commercial breaks. What I am providing here is a reverse engineered EDL, i.e., I take the actual satellite fed tape and work backworks, making the EDL from the final result.

The times listed in the EDLs for the uplinked Babylon 5 episodes are fairly accurate, since I use professional Umatic-SP decks equipped with SMPTE-LTC time code. Don't even think about trying to do an EDL from consumer VHS video decks, unless you have an external SMPTE-VITC time code generator/reader. The EDLs provided allow you to determine when the commercial breaks will arrive and how long they will be. Many of you hit the pause control when recording B5 from your local TV station. I tape the Warner Brothers satellite feed the Sunday morning before the stations are allowed to air the episode (starting the following day, Monday).
Last modified on October 22, 1995