The Scoop on Video Editing
Video Editing is a misnomer. Editing makes it sound like you can take something that is partially complete or almost complete, make a few changes and you are done.
Editing is the process of building the story from nothing. Every project starts with a blank screen. What happens first? What do you hear? What do you see? A pile of footage does not tell a story or deliver an impactful message. The editor is the single most influential component in the video project.
The start of the video editing process
- First, the captured footage is reviewed and catalogued.
- A treatment style is designed, including color processing, graphical layout, title style, how graphics and backgrounds will be handled, types of transitions, etc.
- Music and sound effects are purchased or designed.
- Voice over (if applicable) is imported and placed on the timeline.
An introduction or “first scene” is created and then a small portion of the program is presented to the client for review. Do they like the style? The pace? The music? The graphics? The titles? The transitions? If so, then the project progresses using the approved style. If not, a second round on the style is generated and so forth.
What you should expect as the client
You should be given a firm estimate on the editing effort that was assumed in your proposal. There should be no surprises on your invoice. A good producer / editor will be clear about what you expect your program to convey and should have a great deal of experience in estimating the effort. They should be able to show you examples of similar scope and style as your project, to demonstrate that they understand your need and will deliver what you expect.
The Best Video Editing is never appreciated or perhaps ever noticed
The whole idea of a professionally produced program is that the content has the desired impact on the audience. If an effective program were as easy as pressing “record” on your iPhone and pressing “stop” when it was done, there would be no need for professional production. Yet, somehow when you see something well produced, you like the experience. It somehow has a much greater impact than the college student recording his video blog on a tablet.
There is no shortcut during the editing process
The most powerful scenes that you have ever watched, whether a blockbuster summer movie or a simple documentary did not happen with little effort. Editing is a time intensive process. Graphical sequences can take 8 hours of labor to generate 30 to 60 seconds of attractive footage. Finding the good takes from an interview and stitching them together to tell a compelling story takes trial and error. An important project should receive a proposal that assigns a healthy portion of the budget for editing. Typically, the editing or “post production” portion of a project may account for two-thirds of the overall budget.