Production Spotlight : Editing
A lot of people think that what they see on television, movie theaters or online is exactly the way it came out of the video camera. They couldn’t be more wrong. There are countless hours of hard work and team collaboration that happen behind the scenes in Post Production after the raw material was shot.
The typical (simplified) post production workflow goes something like this:
- Ingesting the Raw Footage (Simply put, importing the material so it can be used in an editing software)
- Editorial (The actual process of selecting the best takes, working closely with the director to craft the best possible story)
- Finishing (This involves compiling all of the assets such as color corrected media, sound design, and any visual effects/graphics into a final timeline, and give the piece its final polish and tweaks, ultimately preparing it for the final export)
- Output/Distribution (Creating the final, playable media, and or distributing it to various locations such as movie theaters, websites etc.)
With all that aside, today we will focus on the power behind the editorial part of the post-production workflow. If you asked a stranger to describe what a video editor does, I guarantee that not many could give an accurate answer. It isn’t as flashy of a role as a director, actor, or even a cinematographer, but it’s just as important.
Here are some things that video editors encounter on daily basis.
- Facing hundreds of creative and selective decisions
- Watching countless hours of raw material, assembling into cuts, reorganizing, and manipulating footage in a way so that the structure or story arc are the best they can possibly be
- Enhancing the performance of actors and a lot of times fixing their mistakes
- Creating structure, rhythm, pacing, tension and release, taking the viewer through different emotions, but most importantly telling a story
- Troubleshooting technical aspects of post production as well as staying current with all related software and hardware
Video Editing: An Invisible Art
The industry professionals like to call editing an invisible art, and for a good reason, because the less you notice the editor’s work, the more successfully they have done their job. Not many people see a movie and say; “Wow did you notice the superb editing?” They do go through certain emotions, and are usually left with a lasting impression. They may never know that their enjoyment of the video production was the result of an editor’s careful craftsmanship.
As you can see, an editor can wear multiple hats and perform variety of different tasks, but the bottom line is that editing is an essential piece in the big puzzle we call film making. It exists to tell the story as efficiently as possible and reflect the director’s original vision in the final product.