On this site and in my books I’ve written on this subject but I thought it would be good for editors, producers, and other filmmakers to hear it from a company of professionals. I welcome guest bloggers with informative articles so here’s one submitted by One Inch Punch Pro, a Toronto based video production company that creates corporate videos, music videos, short films, reality television and more.
Why Editing and a Good Editor Matter
If you are tasked with creating a corporate video, you should be aware that the mere production won’t be the end of the road. There is another critical step that can make or break your video and that is the editing process. Some mistakenly brush off editing as a final touch up that doesn’t significantly alter the content of the production. The truth is that editing really does matter and it has the potential to make a video a hit or a dud.
Editing takes experience, technical knowledge and an eye for what looks, sounds and feels good. Lean on the expertise of a corporate video production company if you have any concerns over the editing process. The editor you hire will know all the ins and outs of the editing process including motion graphics, soundtracks, compression formats and more.
Plan the Editing Process: Getting Started
Whether or not you proceed with the help of a professional video editor, you should establish a plan for the editing of your footage. Take a few minutes to plan out how you’d like your final production to appear. Think about your target audience and your motivation to create the video in the first place. Then think about how you’d like to supplement your video content with things like animations, text and graphics. Re-watch your footage and take notes about what you’d like to improve and how you’ll go about doing it. Once you’ve established a vision, it is time to start editing.
Convey a Story
A story is the foundation of just about every video production. It is imperative that you keep this in mind during the editing process. An editor has the power to make subtle changes that will shore up a story and connect events in a manner that engages the audience with the plot. The editor should be able to determine which parts of the script don’t carry over well onto the screen and then re-craft your video to fill in the gaps to help reinforce the plot.
Establish the Pace
The pace at which your video proceeds can make a big impact on the audience. Use the editing process to focus on the length of time that shots are held. Pay attention to how quickly you cut from scene to scene and how much time you let the camera hold certain images. This is a delicate balance that can be refined during the editing process. Be careful to not linger very long on one image or scene as it might serve to turn off the audience and cause their minds to wander. Over cutting or rapid cutting between shots can leave audiences confused and feeling as though they are watching a video that is rushed. Just because a video has a lot of cuts doesn’t mean it is good. Part of an editor’s job is to find the emotion in a scene, and sometimes holding on one shot is the best cut of all.
One key area where corporate editors exerts control is the music. While editors don’t always choose a video’s full score, they often have a say in the style of music, where it is implemented and for how long. Music really does make a monumental impact on the quality of the final production.
When you think of the typical corporate video’s soundtrack, you likely think of extremely cheesy music that sounds generic and flat out bad. It’s the type of music that doesn’t hold a viewer’s attention. This is exactly what you want to avoid and where the editing process can play a key role. When editing, ask yourself, “Does this music make the viewer want to stay tuned in?” The proper music has the potential to do even more than that. Ideally, the audio will actually pull viewers in and spur them to pay closer attention to your video’s story.
When editing, be sure to fit the music to distinct parts of the video as appropriate. For instance, if you have an intense segment that transitions into a hopeful scene and further evolves into a humorous ending, select different music for each part. The right music will establish a foundation for the actions, words and animations that occur on the screen.
Problem Solving: An Important Role of Editing
The editing process is in place to make a video production “work.” While the director/cameraperson invests plenty of time and effort filming all sorts of shots, the editor is there to piece it all together into a cohesive production. This is extremely challenging; many editors actually fail to solve all of the problems in an artful manner. Sometimes there is a missing segment of the script because actors weren’t available on certain days. Other times, there are problems with audio, images and animations. The editing process is key to ironing out these issues and building a final product that is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s a bit like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle.