So you send your raw footage to a video editor and it magically comes back as a finished product. No, that’s not even close. Post-production has its own phases it must go through. It often requires constant back and forth between the producers and the editing bays. Corporate video adds an additional voice from the client. So throughout each phase, the compiling of the video bounces for approval. From the producer to the editor back to the producer to the client. Then back to the producer to inform the editor of the next move. It is common for the producer and editor to work very closely. It is advisable to patch in the client to comment on the video editing stage. Still, after all that confusion there are tedious aspects that we can further break down. Let’s do this into three stages. The three stages follow a similar process to writing a script. You start with an Outline, move into a Rough draft and after a lot of work complete a Final draft. Let us examine them from the editor’s perspective.
The Outline Phase – This includes all of the pre-production aspects. The editor receives the story script so they can envision what the final product should look like. Then the raw footage is sent. The editor lays over and syncs the audio tracks. They pull selected pieces and labeled for the various parts of the video. The producer and/or editor will make timemarks on the pieces of footage they would further like to use. This includes discarding any unusable footage. Be it from blemishes, out of focus or just setup sequences that were never intended to be used.
The Rough Phase – This is where the talent of the editor really comes into play. The exact millisecond the editor chooses to crop at takes years of experience. Anyone can learn how to put selected clips in order. But finding how they seamlessly align to where the viewer forgets someone edited this footage takes a professional touch. Once the footage is put into place it is often reviewed by the producer and client for the ok to move forward. Sometimes switches are made and the editor has a side bag full of alternate takes to select from.
The Final Phase – Now the story has been put down. It has included the exact clips the producer and client want. Put into order and fine tweaked. Now you can add soundtracks and audio effects, perhaps overlapping text additions as well. There might need some color correcting. The high-quality footage needs to be rendered. Most editors work in a much lower resolution rate to speed up the process. It is common in client orientated projects like corporate video that drastic changes might still take place. This is just part of the process.
Whether you are a producer, an editor, or a client, or an aspiring editor this information can deeply benefit you. Know that technology is advancing every year. It is making some aspects of the job much easier. Possibly streamlining them. It also bringing new effects into play; continuing education is something no one in the field can slack on.